“Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?”…
-from song recorded by Bette Midler
The first memory I have of my mom is her sitting at the kitchen table. I was five years old and I walked into the kitchen and said, “Mommy, my head hurts.” I repeated it several times, each time louder and louder until I fell to the ground and had my first grand mal seizure. When I came to from the seizure the first thing I saw was my mother’s frantic and worried face. It breaks my heart when I think of how many times my health issues have led to that worried-sick look on my beautiful mom’s face.
I admire my mom for surviving the childhood she endured. She did not have a father figure, as he left when she was born. When she was in 3rd to 6th Grade she lived alone in a home with her two siblings during the week and spent the weekends with her mom and her boyfriend. I can’t fathom her being so young and fending for herself during the week. I believe her independent and indefinable personality is due to how she was raised.
When I compare my upbringing–full of support and love–to my mom’s, I feel so blessed and sad to know what my mom had to experience. Even though my mom was not shown unconditional love, she sure knows what that means and how to be an amazing mom. I guess that is something that just happens and is natural for some. My mom gave up everything in life to make sure that I was happy and healthy throughout all of my health challenges. My dad allowed her to stop working when I was young so she could take care of me with my health issues, which started with seizures, then scoliosis back surgery and PKD.
“…I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”…
I inherited PKD from my mom. As previously mentioned in an earlier post, her doctor suggested that she get an abortion because of the chance of her passing PKD on to her child. I am so proud of her for staying strong and for bringing me into this world. I have never been bitter or upset for one second that I inherited PKD from my mom. For she inherited it from her mom and it keeps going back in our family history. I am grateful she brought me into this world, for she is my hero.
My mom watched her cousins die from PKD; her mother died at 53 when mom was in her early 20’s; her sister refused dialysis and transplantation and passed away from PKD; and her brother died while on dialysis. She has seen me suffer greatly from this hereditary disease. My mom also passed this disease on to my brother and his 11-year-old son also has PKD. My mother has her original PKD kidneys; her function is doing well and she is the oldest to survive in our family. She is the strongest person I know. Her eyes have seen so much pain and devastation from this disease. I believe she is our rock and here to help us all get through PKD. I hope with all of my heart that she will never have to endure the full effects of PKD. I know that sometimes watching others go through illness is harder than living it. I am in awe by mom’s quiet inner strength.
I smile when I reflect on the fun little memories of my mom. Like how she would make me scrambled eggs with ketchup when I was sick. She would make cinnamon and sugar toast, cut off the crust and slice the toast diagonally. She would make egg sandwiches with the crust removed and cut into four squares. I loved the notes she would write on napkins and put in my packed lunch. She can draw really well, and when I would have field trips at school, she would draw the best pictures on the outside of my brown lunch bag. She was so patient and let me have almost any pet I wanted and took care of all of them. She would stand up for me like no other person. I pity the person that would not be nice to me at school because they would be getting a visit from my mom! She devoted her entire life to caring for me, loving me, helping me, and making sure I enjoyed every healthy day. She sat with me in the bathroom when my belly hurt and would do anything to make me feel better. She held my hand, rubbed my back and gave me the strength to get through the toughest days. I learned so much from my mom. The most important thing I learned is what it feels like to be unconditionally loved.
“…It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.”…
I have not been blessed with the best of health, but I have been blessed with the best parents. Not everyone is fortunate to say that and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I want my mom to know what a remarkable, beautiful and amazing woman she is. That I continue to learn from her strength and unconditional love and love her more than words could ever express. I live every day to make her proud, proud of the decision to bring me into the world and for her to know how much she means to me. Thank you mom for all that you have and continue to do to make this life of mine wonderful. You are my hero and I want the world to know what a special woman you are. You are a PKD hero that we can all learn from. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me what unconditional love is. Even though we are 3,000 miles apart, I hope you can close your eyes and feel my unconditional love for you as I wrap my arms around you and sing…
“Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.”
Who did you inherit PKD from and how has it affected your other relatives? Did it skip a generation?