I never want time to go too fast, yet I’m not too fond of my weeks feeling like months either, especially now when I’m just trying to keep myself from falling apart as I help my son heal from his accident and get him prepared for college.
It’s only been four weeks since he was injured, however, I feel like it’s been four months and I haven’t had much time to think about the future and what this tragedy will mean to him, or the rest of my family.
I’ve always been capable of compartmentalizing; it was a coping mechanism I learned while growing up in a dysfunctional childhood. I also developed tenacity, resiliency, and responsibility, and I became very assertive and methodical, all of which benefited me throughout my corporate career and now it’s assisting me with the hoards of medical and Army related paperwork as well as some of the speed bumps I’m encountering and it’s helping me deal with my own emotions as well.
I believe our past shapes us for our future and my past, as difficult as it was at times, prepared me for this horrific event. I’m able to put my personal feelings aside and keep my emotions at bay, placing my son’s feelings and needs first and foremost while remaining strong for him. I have a compartment for my emotions, like a dam holding back water, and one day that dam will break and the wall of water will burst forth, bringing my tumultuous feelings to the forefront where I will be forced to deal with them. On that day I will not be the Army Strong Mom I am today. I will just be a mom crying for her son and what he has lost and what will never be returned to him.
I will cry for the success he has achieved and the hurdles he has yet to clear. I will weep for the young man who so courageously joined the Army but was tragically and traumatically injured by the very institution that he loves so much yet still longs to serve. I will sob for my beautiful baby boy who had ten perfect little toes and fingers but now is dismembered for the rest of his life but has to learn to cope within himself, all by himself, and realize that he is still the SAME awesome person that he has always been regardless of what he looks like on the outside. Yet I will shed tears of joy that this tragedy wasn’t worse…much worse and that my boy is alive! He has ears to hear and eyes to see. He has his legs in which to run! And he has arms that he can hug me with.
I’m not going to negate the fact that my son suffered a huge loss and I will weep for that loss, but I am also thankful that I still have my son knowing in my heart and soul he will get well; he will heal and he will prevail—he is a Warrior. For now, I will hold back MY feelings since that’s what he needs from me at this time, but when the time comes for ME to feel, I will permit myself to feel the gamut of emotions that I must.
My son is a Warrior and I’m a Warrior’s mom.