Awhile back, I got to thinking. Thinking about something everyone should be made aware of. YOU don’t know ME!! You may think you do. But you don’t. In all honesty, no one does. Part of the time I feel like I don’t know myself. I have the ME that everyone at church sees. You know the one. Happy and holy, God fearing and loving, ultimate nurturer to my husband and children and if you are from my church, you think I am awesome with crafts! LOL. If you are my friends, you still think I am crafty, loving to my family and God. You know I get frustrated with my kids and my house is not always sparkling, but for the most part, things are in order. If you are my close family, then you know that I cried in more pictures as a child than I smiled! That I struggled, a lot, after our family’s car accident. You know that I am stubborn and don’t like being told what to do. You know that I love my family and would do anything for them, including sacrificing all of my childhood dreams, to raise them the way I think they should be raised. But even you don’t know me. Not really. If you are my husband or children, you see me at my best and worst. You know I am here to nurture and love you. That I will make you a really cool cake for your birthday and ask you everyday if you made your bed. You know the look I get on my face that means I have had enough! That for your sake, you should make as little noise as possible and try to avoid me. And then, there is the real me. The me that only I know. Only I hear and see. It is the me that hurts like no other could hurt and loves more deeply than any other ever could. You have that same “me” in each of you. The ME that we hide. The one that says those things in your head that you would never say out loud.
I got to thinking about these things after pondering on my life. You see, at the age of 5 my family was in a horrible car accident; my mother, only 27 years old, was permanently paralyzed. Life for me would never be the same. At the age of 25, I lost my first baby. I held him in my hand after 13 weeks of pregnancy and every waking moment for 3 straight days all I could do was cry and mourn my son, until exhaustion consumed me and I fell asleep again. Those days are a blur. At 26, I lost my second baby, only 6 months after the first. I didn’t get to see her. God sheltered me from that pain again. At 31, I had my 6th child. The one that broke the mold. She was supposed to be a boy! We had a pattern going. She was my biggest baby at 9lbs 1 oz. She was perfect. At least until a minute after she was born. The day flew by and she flew away….away with my husband to a hospital that would save her. They waited for me to be driven up the next morning before operating on her. I thought they were waiting so I could see her once more before the surgery. To kiss her sweet face and be there when she came out of the operating room. No. They were waiting for me, so I could say goodbye. I wouldn’t find this out until years later. Rich couldn’t tell me. He knew enough about me to know I couldn’t handle that pain. The pain of knowing that even the doctors were not holding out hope for my little girl. Her condition is rare. Really rare. There were so many things wrong with her heart. When I saw her, she was the color of death. A color that I can’t describe. A greyish, lifeless form lay before me! We prayed and wept. God saved her for us. I don’t know what we ever did in our lives to deserve it, but he gave us our beautiful baby girl back. The hardest journey of our lives so far was now before us. We are on that journey now. Years of depression and feelings of failure and loss. It’s been 3 years of answered prayers and blessings. But still, you don’t know the real pain we endured. You never will, just as I will never know your real pains and sufferings! You struggle everyday, in little things and big. I look at you and I see only what you want me to see. Only the littlest glimpses of yourself. Like peeking through the window of a car passing you by on the highway. EVERYONE suffers and has pains that we will never know. So please, if you find yourself assuming or making judgement, try to remember, YOU don’t know ME!