For girls night I was excited to go and see the movie My Sister’s Keeper. From the adds I new it would be sad but I had no idea what a beautifully, hard movie it would be for me to watch. There are so many parallels between TTD and Cancer. They are both awful beasts but they are also very different. So, with this in mind I thought that I would be just fine at this movie. I was wrong. It didn’t help though, that before I left Collin starting having seizures and vomiting. I felt the need to stay home but Jason insisted that I go and get a break. I had no idea how difficult it would be to watch. I was balling and thinking of my little man the entire time. I was thinking of Regan and all that she has to go through and watch on a daily basis. I also thought about what all Jason and I have been through the past nine years all because of this illness. There were several things that I took away from this heart breaking, profound, moving, motivational, and familiar movie.
The first is that my little man is so amazingly strong. Yes, this is something that I have always known but several moments in the movie reminded me of a couple experiences that I have been through with him. I will never forget when I had to stand outside a door helplessly and listen to my little boy have a huge needle stuck into his spine. There was no pain medication and no way the nurse would let me into the room for fear that I would try to stop them. It was heart breaking to hear him scream but then when it was all over and we were cuddling in his hospital bed he was so peaceful. He didn’t complain. Collin can have an incredibly hard day and night filled with pain, seizures, and vomiting but then if he feels better the next morning he wakes up with the biggest smile. As if he were saying “Oh, thank you I don’t have to hurt.” Just as the sweet girl in the movie I find that Collin is my strength in some of my hardest moments. I can be completely breaking but then when we cuddle and he caresses my face as if to say “It will all be ok Mommy.”… I feel better.
The second is what an amazing daughter I have. Yes, I already knew this before as well but our life is so “normal” that at times I don’t realize that some of the things that she is asked to do is not what a little sister would be doing for her big brother. When Collin starts to seize she will instinctively go and get towels to clean him up. One day I went out to the garage to do laundry and Regan started shouting “MOMMY.. MOMMY!!!!” I ran into find her holding a towel, cleaning up her brother, and comforting him after a seizure. There was a scene in the movie where the younger sister preformed the most amazing act of love for her older sister by cleaning her up after she soiled herself. This touched me and broke my heart all at the same time. I think often times the main focus goes to the children that are suffering with the illness and maybe not enough about the ones who are shining examples of sacrifice and love. Regan is an amazing big, little sister. I feel so blessed to have two children that are so strong in such very different ways.
The third thing was how amazing my husband is. Ok… Yes, I already knew this one as well but it is always nice to be reminded. Watching the struggles that the illness put on the parents marriage made me so grateful for my wonderful husband. It has been no walk in the park. We were young, newly married, and then thrown into am incredibly stressful world. We weren’t sure how to deal with all of the news that we were getting but we did. When we needed to go to counseling to get help to learn how to deal with all of it together he didn’t complain. When I am terrified and crazy he calms me. When I am tired from a long day of appointments he will bath him and give him his medications. This is true love. There isn’t anything more beautiful than a man that loves you enough to humble himself, learn with you, grow with you, stand by you, and love you endlessly.
The fourth thing I learned is that Disney Land is Collin’s Montana. In the movie the girl that was sick loved to talk about and remember wonderful times in Montana. Well, I am grateful that Collin has a place that makes him feel the same way. He can not express it in words but I know how much he loves that place. It brings him comfort and peace. It is an escape and I am so grateful that he has one. If he is not well enough to go there we have pictures and videos for him to enjoy. Even just watching a home movie of the rides and our family together puts a smile on his face. I feel blessed that despite all that he has to go through he has an escape. That we as a family have an escape.
The final thing is how grateful I am for my testimony of eternal families. In the movie the topic of what will happen after death came up and they didn’t have an answer. I am grateful to know that no matter how hard it might be to part with a loved one here on earth, it will not be forever. We will be reunited as a family one day. I feel so blessed that when questions come up with Regan I have answers for her. I am grateful that it doesn’t have to be scary or the end. Families are forever!