“It’s not the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you play the hand.” – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
“Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?” – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
“Don’t worry things can always get worse.” -my dad
Perspective is an essential part of being a mom/caretaker. Things changed very quickly for us, forcing us to look at things with a completely different perspective. Don’t get me wrong, you have to take a moment here and there to grieve what can no longer be. Grief for what should’ve been, what could’ve been. I did that, rather privately to be honest, because I felt guilty about grieving in this way, after all he was still with me. It felt like I wasn’t grateful enough. Then I realized that it’s just part of the process, a little mourning was necessary in order to move on. I mourned the loss of who my son should’ve been, the life he should’ve had. The road I saw stretched ahead of us was wrenched from us, as it suddenly took a sharp left turn. Little did I know then, that the road would make many sharp turns in the years ahead of us.
He was just a little fella but he had big plans, I knew that many of them were achievable, until this disease took over. Even if he survived the leukemia, I knew that it would affect the rest of his life and so much that he had wanted to do, would be impossible. This meant I had to take some time to let go of, to try to see positive, in a different path that was unplanned. I had to do this first, in order to help him along this new path. It’s not something that is done in the first few months and then you move on. It’s an ongoing process that I’ve had to keep doing over time. Why is this? Every marker along the way reminded me of what I thought should’ve been. Then, many times when the new path changed suddenly, we would have to adjust again. These things would catch me off guard and I would have to struggle to find my way back to the perspective needed now, not what could have been.
That’s where perspective can either help or harm you. It’s all up to us. No one can force you to have one perspective or another. We can either be a tigger or an eeyore. It’s totally our choice. Having these choices I prefer to smile, enjoy life, be grateful, get as many hugs as possible, love well and live happy. Sometimes the cards dealt weren’t the ones you were expecting but throwing them on the table and walking away is a waste. A real player will figure out how to use them. It’s the same in life, when that hand shows up, then it’s time to get creative and figure out how to have a good perspective. Find joy, find laughter.
The years of the kiddo having to be in the hospital so much, were very painful but we did things to ease that pain, to find fun and laughter. The hospital didn’t have cable at the time(they do now so there’s lots of childrens programing), also there weren’t vcr’s (yes I know that I’m dating myself). Instead of just suffering thru and complaining that the hospital didn’t have much for the kids in the room, we bought a small tv/vcr player that we would haul along with us. Friends and family provided movies they had on hand. It was kind of like a library of videos among friends. Thanks to my mother who had taught me a love of reading, I also passed this down to my kiddo, so he loved reading. He was too sick to read himself most of the time, so I would pack up all sorts of fun, happy, funny, good for the imagination, interesting books, that I would read to him. Some of my favorite memories are when I would read Hank the Cowdog books to him. I remember laughing so hard, I was crying and he was laughing right along with me. There’s no greater joy than the sound of your little one laughing. Then, we went one step further. The kiddos school held a fundraiser for him and he didn’t want all the funds to go to himself, he wanted to help the other kids in the hospital as well. Part of the funds bought vcr’s for every room where children with cancer were treated. Those vcr’s helped a few kids thru some bad days, until the hospital was able to upgrade to cable for the kids. Doing that made all of us feel better. We were tiggers that day, and any day you can be a tigger is a good day.