I am always asking myself this question. Sometimes I even answer!
Life in our home has always required a constant reevaluation of commitments and goals. You may know of this routine. You promise your kids that you will attend all of their games, choir concerts, band competitions, orchestra concerts, horse shows, gymnastic meets, swim meets, church events, recital programs, and the parent meetings that go with each of these activities. But in reality, you may miss many.
When I asked my now adult kids how they felt about the many things that I missed as we were caring for Robert, all of them graciously said that they knew we had to miss some things, but that it did not stunt them in any way. Wow!
As parents, our goals are almost always focused on affecting how our children grow. To “stunt” them would have meant that I had “prevented (them) from growing or developing properly.” That would have been my worst nightmare.
Where would I measure on the parent success chart for Robert? Was my special, disabled son feeling the same way? I think as you raise a very medically dependent child, you are always asking how well you are doing. Some of the questions repeat themselves daily.
Did you go to see the correct medical specialist? Was the therapist really the best one for your child? Is the new medication really the best one to treat these newest symptoms? Is that new medical equipment necessary…and will the medical insurance cover most of it? (Crucial) Should you get him a few play dates with other children, or would that be a nightmare? Is the in-home medical staff treating him with love and expertise? Seriously, I bet you can add a few hundred questions of your own.
Have I done enough? Did I do enough? He is no longer here, so did I do enough? Immediately following his passing in my arms, I questioned each last second of his life. So many mind games. In the late hours of that day, I still wondered. But, I now know that I did do enough.
Honestly, it has taken a few years to settle my mind to this fact. After all, we now know that sweet Robert should have only been on this earth for a few years. And I believe that because he was incredibly loved and had caring medical professionals that walked us through every step, his life was full and long for his medical prognosis.
You will do enough, and you have done enough. Trust your heart. These special little humans are like any other child in their ability to feel the love we give. I really believe that Robert knew that we had done enough.
Oh, to share this with every parent: You are enough.
Listening Library: “Three” Sleeping At Last - Atlas: Enneagram (Ryan O’Neal)
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
(2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
Maybe I've done enough And your golden child grew up Maybe this trophy isn't real love And with or without it I'm good enough
Maybe I've done enough
Finally catching up For the first time I see an image of my brokenness Utterly worthy of love
Maybe I've done enough
And I finally see myself Through the eyes of no one else It's so exhausting on this silver screen Where I play the role of anyone but me
And I finally see myself Unabridged and overwhelmed A mess of a story I'm ashamed to tell But I'm slowly learning how to break this spell
And I finally see myself
Now I only want what's real To let my heart feel what it feels Gold, silver, or bronze hold no value here Where work and rest are equally revered
I only want what's real I set aside the highlight reel And leave my greatest failures on display with an asterisk
Worthy of love anyway
Songwriter: Ryan O'Neal
© Copyright Sleeping At Last 2016