Monday, February 7, 2011

Faith, Hope, and Cinnamon Rolls?

A few weeks ago on a not so cold night in January, Connor and I went on a "mother/son date." As we sat in our car and talked over frozen yogurt my son began to share the burdens of his heart. Missing his best friend, the loneliness he has, how he now feels different than everyone else, how he hates having Diabetes and the constant fear he has that he's going to mess something up or not do something right and in turn that he might die from it. As he sat on my lap and sobbed such a deep mournful sob I couldn't contain my tears. As I hugged his little body tighter my thoughts were instantly filled with anger. I hate Diabetes! I hate the bruises the needles sometimes leave on his body. I hate that he can't eat when and how he wants to without having to weigh, measure or count every carb. I hate that I have to poke my sleeping child's finger in the middle of the night. I hate that I have to worry about such things as seizures from low blood sugar, DKA or dead in bed syndrome. (We have never told Connor about any of these!) I hate that his body sometimes can't do everything that he wants it to. I hate that I'm slowly loosing a part of him to the depression that often accompanies Diabetes. I hate that my 9 year old son is faced with his mortality. And most of all I hate that I can't fix it for him. I can't take the pain away from him and I can't bear the burdens for him that he must face daily for the rest of his life. In that moment as I grieved with my son I thought of my Savior as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. I thought of my Heavenly Father. How He must have wept as His Son cried out to Him in pain and with a heavy heart, knowing there was nothing He could do to ease the burdens that His Son must bear. How His arms must have ached to hold and comfort Him.

In the days that followed I struggled to know how to help my child. The sadness that crept into my heart is at times overwhelming. Brent and I discussed what we could do. We prayed about it, and talked some more, and then prayed again. We came to the conclusion that the help Connor needs is beyond what we as parents can give him alone. Our children look to us for everything and it's hard to remember that we don't have super powers and sometimes we have to call in reinforcements. We also decided to have a garage sale and bake sale to raise the money we needed to be able to afford an insulin pump for Connor. I strongly feel that this will not only help him physically but mentally give him strength.

We started spreading the word about what we were trying to accomplish. So many people have offered of their time, their talents, and their generosity. My dad has turned into quite the sales man. The first day we raised just under $50. As I told Connor his eyes just lit up. You could see that little glimmer of hope in him. A few people have come up to my dad and gave him what they could and simply said, "This is for your grandson." A simple statement that has touched all of our hearts. By the end of three days and everyone's combined efforts we had raised 10% of our goal. And I now have 30+ orders of cinnamon rolls to fill. Friday afternoon I went to El Rico's to see if they would be willing to donate some of their salsa for us to sell like they had done previously for our ward girls camp fundraiser. As I pulled into the parking lot I said a simple prayer. "Heavenly Father please help me to know what to say that I may touch their hearts." It's so hard to ask people for help especially people you don't know. As I walked into the restaurant I asked to speak with the owner/manager. I was guided to the manager and I began telling him my story. The manager tells me to wait just a moment. As I turned around there stood a man with tears in his eyes and said, "Hi I'm Rich. My grandson was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a week and a half ago and I would be happy to help you in any way that I can." We both stood there eyes filled with tears. That look of knowing on each others faces. We spent the next several minutes sharing our stories about the children that we loved. I left my name and phone numbers and offered my support to his daughter and her son. Having spent the last 114 days coping with our new life I have slowly come to realize what it means to be the parent of a child with this disease. I walked away in pure amazement at what had just happened. This couldn't have been just coincidental. I knew Heavenly Father had lead me there and I was overcome with gratitude. I sat in my car and cried.

This started out as an idea. A way to help my son. I thought that by doing this I could teach not only him but my other children that they can do hard things, that they can set goals and work to achieve them. I thought it was a way to show my son that it's ok to ask for help when you can't do things on your own and that there are many people out there that care about him. I also thought it was a great lesson in service, but what I didn't realize was that in trying to help my child I've really been helping myself. Every step of the way there has been some spiritual reminder that we are doing what we are supposed to. Uplifting moments that change you forever. That open wound that has made a home in my heart has slowly begun to heal.

I hope that we will be successful in our efforts. As I continue to pray I'm reminded time and again to have patience and to have faith. I know everything will work out the way it needs to. I am and will be forever grateful to those that have given to help our family. And even though my arms are sore from kneading a lot of dough I'm thankful that so many people like cinnamon rolls.

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