Hi, I’m Des, and I’ve been given the opportunity to guest write a few pieces. I’m the mother of a child with a chronic autoimmune disorder, a teacher, currently of special needs children, and a military wife. All of these things have given me the opportunity to come into contact with scores of people who all have something that they struggle with. I am a natural nurturer, listener, and often find myself in the role of advisor. I want to thank MCASMommy for the opportunity to share some thoughts.
As a teacher and a mother I have consistantly had to deal with fairness. For some reason many people in our society, especially our children, have an ingrained belief that life is fair. They look at life through a lens that expects everyone to get their fair chance, to not be taken for granted, or taken advantage of, and that bad things won’t happen to good people. While the optimist in me wishes that I could still believe that the world is a fair place, the realist is constantly proven right. Bad things happen to good people, hard things happen, most often to the people who least deserve them. The lesson that I am working on teaching my children, legal and classroom, is how to accept lifes situations, fair or not, and go on in a way that allows them and those they come into contact with to live their best possible life.
An example for you, last year my oldest daughter got sick. She was in middle school, playing football, and losing a ton of weight. She was very reluctant to share with me or her father what was going on. She didn’t tell us that anything was wrong, so initially we were worried about eating disorders. After only 2 weeks and 20lbs lost we knew it was much more serious, and started pushing hard to see a specialist. The local Dr’s quickly realized that her problem was more severe than they could deal with and she was rushed to a hospital about 90 miles away. There she recieved tests for anything and everything that could be causing her symptoms. By the time she left we had a diagnosis, a handful of pills that had to be taken daily, severe diatary restrictions, and a traumatized girl. A few weeks later I walked into my classroom and found a paper on my desk, with a post-it with a crying face attached to the front. It was an assignment where the students were asked to write about one thing they would change in the world. My daughters paper was full of heartbreaking realism about living with chronc illness, and how she wished she could cure anyone else with any condition like hers. And how it was wasn’t fair.
It’s not fair.
As a parent reading that essay it made me cry. It wasn’t fair, but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t reality. Fighting about the unfairness of the diagnosis was tempting, we all wanted to scream and shake our fists at the unfairness of it all, and we did for a while. Long term however we could not allow ourselves to live in that place. We as a family, and my daughter especially, needed to move to a place of acceptance and begin to move forwards.
Unfairness happens, there are horrible things in this world that happen to people from all walks of life, there is trauma, sickness, violence, addiction, and death. Letting the unfairness of it all rule our lives is allowing these horrible things to win. It is important to find a way to move beyond the unfairness and restrictions. We need to find a way to live our best life even given the difficulties. Call a friend, a family member, a counselor, or all of the above. Find an activity that makes you feel accomplished, worthwhile, and important. Take an active role in your own health and recovery, don’t fight the unfairness of the day to day difficulties, instead do what needs to be done so that you can do what you want to do. Continue to dream, plan, and expect a bright future. Is this easy? No. Is it fair that you have to do this? No. Is it important? Yes.