Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Loving a child

How would you react if you were told that your child did not have very long to live?

I had a conversation with a 12 year old boy who doesn't have very long to live, he is suffering from a terminal illness. He was such a lively and intelligent boy. I can't put how I was feeling into words, it was hard. Looking at this child who knew he was ill but was a joy to be around nonetheless, left me with so many thoughts.I don't know how I would feel or how I would react if he were my child. 
From speaking to parents, I hear all the time how children give them a whole new meaning of what love is and I know that is true. I have held peoples babies in my arms and fallen in love with them, I'm trying to imagine my own.

How would you feel if you were to watch your child suffer from mental illness that robs him of his mind?
I saw a boy of not more than 15 years of age lying in the middle of a dusty road. He was naked and people stood by and just stared. I asked the driver to stop the car and asked why they were staring at him instead of getting him off the road. They said he had mental issues which left me stunned. Was that enough to leave him lying there? Cars were going by and he could get hit.

I asked the guy with me to see how the boy could be taken off the road. A few guys came to help. Of course the boy resisted, he tried to hit them off but they overpowered him. Next, he planted himself on the spot and refused to be moved so they had to lift him off the ground to get him away. As I watched him being carried away, we drove off.

These incidents happened one after the other. That was the most difficult part of my day, watching how even children are not immune/protected from the horrible diseases or things that there are in this world.

I am struggling with this and I think of my god children and children of friends who are dear to me. It is tough watching children go through pain when you cannot help. I wonder and would like to know how parents handle all the emotions that come with being a parent...


Photo credit: Google images







20 comments:

  1. Hmmn, Ene you took me down a path every parent dread. I think the worst thing for any parent is to watch their child go through stuff they are incapable of helping out with. Sincerely, it's a place I never want to be and the closest I got to it was a few hours after Jed was born. I had the privilege of being beside Blessing when he gave birth to him (that experience on its own is something else). So, I went home to get Zoe to come see her lil brother, on my way back Blessing called that there seem to be a problem with Jed's testes ; the doctor said the balls weren't sitting in well bla bla bla. A corrective surgery has to be done asap.
    Immediately I dropped the call, I started sobbing . I went on google to check it out, google just compounded my fears. Cut the long story short, he didn't need a surgery any more. The whole "ball thing" aligned by themselves within a few hours. But the emotional trauma I went through for about 10 hours is crazy. I prayed later on o, but it was more of "God please do something about this before I lose it"
    It's really a painful thing to behold.
    Anyways, thanks. This is just a reminder that I'm not all that powerful.

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    1. Oh my! I am trying to imagine your anguish through those moments. Being helpless with someone you love is always difficult position to be in...Sadly, there is only so much we can do.

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  2. I totally feel you @gbenghammond. Ene, watching your child lying helpless with ANY kind of illness probably makes the list of top 3 most traumatizing things for any parent. For something as seemingly little as a cold, you're not settled until that child is A-okay! Then talk about a terminal illness. It will leave any loving parent completely distraught! Only the grace of God helps at that time. We do not want to outlive our children, it should be the other way round! We want to watch and nurture them grow into the fullness of life. Anything else is just too hard to deal with or even imagine. I have a colleague who's son has the sickle cell condition, believe me Ene, it is dreadful to imagine being in her situation. She misses work more days in a month than she's around, most times, but still it's not enough. She can hardly concentrate on work when the child is down with even a slight fever, let alone when in crisis. It's not easy at all!!! A sweet little child, so lovely to behold and energetic, imagine being told that any day could be be the last. Thinking about it alone breaks my heart, then imagine what the child's parents are going through. I could go on and on, but mehn, that is not a road any good parent wants to thread. I pray for God's comfort to anyone in that situation... Efua

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    1. I feel so sorry for your colleague. I watched two friends deal with sickle cell until the end sadly. It is tough!
      I always laugh at new parents when they speak about the first big fall. Most times they end up crying along with the child. I have been preparing myself mentally for years on how to process some of these emotions as a parent, I guess I am still preparing...

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  3. When you become a parent, you develop a raw emotional wound across your heart, mind and spirit that will never heal.

    Not even when the child grows into an adult.

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    1. I know...
      The way I look at it, it is half of you and the person you love most (better half) in human form. So it's basically both of your hearts in a body.
      A friend said "I love my son with a love that scares me". I think that sums it up.

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  4. Being a parent comes with tons of ups and a few down sides, personally a child's illness tops the list for me, it unsettles me. I become emotionally sick too, unable to concentrate, I loose my appetite, loose sleep, visit the toilet frequently and all sorts of negative emotions and this is over some treatable ailment like malaria! I'm so bad I can't hold my baby to be immunized. When a child is Ill I wish it were me, to think that a child has to go through a terminal disease is heart wrenching. Personally my heart can't take that. After having my first baby I truly understood the meaning of the song 'sweet mother' the line 'if I no sleep my mother no go sleep' became real to me. It also made me understand God's love for us more, it was practical to me. I pray for all those going through such trying times, it's not what you'd wish for even an enemy.

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    1. Talking about Gods love, I have always related it to a parents love. That is the basis of my relationship with God.

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  5. Hmmm, this so deep a topic. Lennart fell from our bed 2 days ago. Less than 5 mins after I put him in bed since were not ready to sleep, I put him on ours and joined Ferdi in the living room. We have been very careful about this since he started to crawl. I swear my heart faded when I heard the noise.
    For the rest of the night I held my head like I was the one who fell.

    Even when he does not pooh for 2 days, I am so down.

    I truly agree that being a parent makes you more selfless and helps you understand love more.

    It is beyond words...

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    1. Being a parent tests everything in you! I am glad he was not hurt.

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  6. I never understood how deep this love for a child can be until I lost a pregnancy in its first trimester! I cried so much you will think I had lost a full grown child. From the first day you realize you have conceived, a part of your heart attaches to that growing foetus, you start imagining and dreaming. My heart wrenched in pain and I kept repeating over and over for 3 days consecutively....."My Baby"'.

    And then now I have a beautiful, intelligent daughter who keeps the smile on my face perpetually but the gruesome times I have had in the past 2yrs and 1 month are the times she falls sick! Its sickening to watch your child sick and you can do absolutely nothing about it other than to hold and caress them. Sleep is the furthest thing on your mind. I have asked husbandman lots of times how our parents went through these process more than 3 to 4 times! Damn..........they are heros!!! My mum became my heroine after I gave birth I tell you! I used to be quite sickly when I was small..........so I can imagine the fright I gave the poor woman!!! (I am so so sorry Momma)

    I pray for anyone going through one situation or the other with their child that God in His infinite mercy keep these children and have mercy.

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    1. We learn to respect the people who have thread certain paths before us so much more when we are in that position. It is humbling.

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  7. Dear Ene, you will even wish you grow teeth for them so that they do not have to go through the pain......Kai!!!!

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  8. Children are God's greatest gift to man. They literally are your other half. Watching their giggles and childishness just fills one with so much joy. Pain is something I dont want to imagine them go through....like you hurt when they hurt. My little girl got hospitalised for four days and my life almost stopped. I was such a mess, watching the nurse search for the veins and all the medical procedure is heart wrenching to say the least. Sadly, it's one of life's harsh realities that we have to deal with. We can only pray that we stay healthy and stay out of trouble .

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    1. Exactly, this line 'sadly, it's one of life's harsh realities that we have to deal with' says it all.

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  9. This, I imagine all the time... wondering. I always feel so sad for parents going through difficult times with their kids. I guess if it happens to me I may just have to be strong as being strong would be the only option! Motherhood comes with a lot of expectations, whenever my kids are sick I wonder if it’s due to insufficient balance diet that I fail to give them, then I feel quilty for failing them and all... you know. Anyway, God will keep helping us! It’s a joy and fulfillment that I can trade for anything!!! I’m nothing without my kids honestly!

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    1. Don't you dare ask yourself questions cos you may only fuel feelings of inadequacy. You do not need that, I am sure you are doing the best you can.

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  10. What can I say? The very act of conceiving and bringing forth another human person is life-changing. This changes your outlook on life and reorders your priorities. worst still or should I say better still, makes you vulnerable. I never understood this when my parents would react to something stupid I or my siblings would do. I totally get the picture now. My dad usually said that he wishes he could swallow us up like a whale whenever there was a crisis;and vomit us back out when it was safe to do so.😊

    My thoughts go out to the children you wrote about. I can only imagine the emotional pain and mental stress their parents are going through
    seeing them suffer like that.

    Being in their shoes would daily break my heart and test my faith a great deal. As a parent, I would go to any length to see my child whole again, even if it means visiting the shamans in India or Thailand. I would do everything conventional or unconventional until I make peace with the situation.

    Regardless, 1 Corinthians 10:13 says "God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."


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    1. Your father is hilarious! I like that line of thought...'swallow then vomit afterwards'. LOL

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