But there was a time when I was what the world would refer to as a normal mom. I can remember specific things from when they were little that my body would never allow now.
I used to lay across the bed on my stomach with my legs hanging off and Scott and Samantha would each climb on a leg and we would play horse. I would bounce them up and down and all around trying to knock them off. Oh my goodness they would laugh and laugh!
Their dad and I would take them to the swimming pool every summer and play keep away. I would grab a child and shout at their daddy "You can't have Samantha, I want her!" And he would snatch her away and say "No, I want her!" A few minutes of that and then I would throw her at him. "OK, you can have her!" And he'd throw her back. "I don't want her, you can have her!" Back and forth we'd go. Then it would be Scott's turn. They would laugh until I was afraid they would drown.
We did bike rides for diabetes; even organized a diabetes walk in our home town. We went to Charleston every summer for vacation and would laugh and run and body surf at the beach. We chased after sand dollars and played in fountains. We did Disneyland and all that it encompassed several times.
In the winter we would grab the sleds, head up to the Sheriff's Department and start sledding down the hill. Oh my gosh we had so much fun!
We walked all over town trick or treating with family and friends; we would walk up town in the evenings for the Twilight Tour; we used to go out and pick out our own Christmas tree and I can still remember that first year our son was the one to cut it down.
Things I could never do now and things I'm afraid they won't remember. These days they come home and they see mom in the bed; again. Oh she's sleeping. Again. And I can see it in their faces. I don't see compassion for a mom who is struggling physically. I see that look that says "All she ever does is stay in bed. She never wants to go anywhere or do anything." I hear that sigh in their voice that really means "Yeah right, whatever." I try to remember that they are still young. But I pray that they never have to know how it feels.
I hope through pictures and videos one day they'll be able to look back and remember that there was a time when mom was fun. That mom was the one who taught them how to hitch hike. That mom used to put them in the little red wagon and take them up to the library and to Rocky's for lunch. That mom taught them about sleep wherever you want night. That mom wasn't always sick.
I hope that one day I won't look into their eyes and see the frustration or the lack of compassion I see these days. I hope that one day they'll understand that though this is who I am now, this isn't who I always was.
And it certainly isn't who I want to be.