On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas

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I ran across this piece by Jonathan Morrow while doing some research on expanding my writing skills, and it really tugged at my heartstrings.

Jonathan’s piece, “On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas”, hit home because my lifetime mantra has been hurdle jumping:

We are born, we face hurdles, and we die. Some are natural, some are self imposed, and some others place upon us.

What we do with those hurdles is what makes us who we are! Do we jump our hurdles, or cry in front of them?

You see, out of jumping the hurdles in life, is how we gain strength! The bigger the hurdle, the bigger the reward when we jump it! If we don’t jump those hurdles, and cry in front of them instead, we gain no strength.

Jonathan’s story is a touching one. His mom was not about to give up and cry in front of her hurdle. She was determined to succeed. To win this battle.

Here is a portion of his article. I would encourage you to click the link at the end of this excerpt and read the rest. He is a writer, like me. Give him the click love please!

On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas

Written by Jonathan Morrow

The doctor cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, but I have bad news.”

He paused, looking down at the floor. He looked back up at her and started to say something and then stopped, looking back down at the floor.

That’s when Pat began to cry.

She’d argued with herself about even coming to the doctor’s office. Her baby was a year old, and he hadn’t started crawling yet. He tried, yes, dragging his legs behind him as he struggled to make it just a few feet on the floor, but it didn’t look right. Everyone told her that she was worrying over nothing, and maybe she was, but she told herself that she would take him to the doctor, just to be safe . . .

“Your son has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” the doctor said. “It’s a form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects children.”

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Pat was speechless. Everyone had told her she was silly. She had hoped she was wrong, prayed she was wrong, but still . . . she knew.

“What’s going to happen to him?” she managed to say.

“Where most children grow stronger as they get older, your son is going to get weaker. He’ll lose the ability to move. He’ll lose the ability to breathe on his own. And one day, he’ll catch an infection that will spread into his respiratory system, giving him severe pneumonia . . .”

She held up her hand to stop him. “You’re saying he is going to die?”

He nodded. “There are three types of SMA. Caught this early, your son almost certainly has Type I. Most children with Type I die of pneumonia before the age of two.” He paused. “I’m sorry.”

Pat looked up into his face and saw that he really was sorry. It made her angry. Not because of his pity, but because in this man’s eyes, her baby was already dead.

“Don’t be sorry,” Pat said, wiping tears away from her face. Her voice was suddenly very calm.”He isn’t going to die.”

“It’s important you understand the situation, Mrs. Morrow. The pneumonia . . . he won’t be able to fight it.”

“He won’t have to,” she said. “I’ll fight it for him.”

The miracle of mothers

Over the next 16 years, I had pneumonia 16 times. But I never died. It sounds strange to say it, but my mother wouldn’t let it happen.

Mom orchestrated a team of more than a dozen doctors. She slept in a chair beside me in the hospital, sometimes for as many as 30 days in a row. She pounded my chest and back every two hours to loosen the mucus, covering my chest and back with bruises.

Today, at 27 years old, I’m one of the oldest people in the world with my type of SMA, and people tell me it’s a miracle. And I agree, it is. But the miracle isn’t just me. It’s a mother who fought like only a mother can to keep me alive.

By “alive,” I don’t mean just “not dead,” either. You’d think my mother would have been satisfied for me to live at home, tucked away from the world where she could protect me, but for her, that wasn’t living. She insisted that I be great.

When my elementary school principal decided that disabled children didn’t have a place in her school, my mom appealed to the school board and turned every board member’s life into a living hell for two years.

She won.

When I wanted to play basketball, she forced an astounded coach to reinvent the rules of the game so that I could be the “ball carrier” for the team, and no one could take the ball away. Not surprisingly, everyone wanted me on their team.

When I could no longer pick up a pencil, she arranged for honors students at local colleges to help me with my homework after school. I graduated at the age of 16, not only near the top of my class, but with college credit.

If you’re a mother, none of these things surprise you. Some mothers are weak, sure, but the vast majority fight for their children, especially when those children are defenseless. It’s not because they’re trying to be heroes. It’s because that’s their job.

And I think we can learn something from them. Not to minimize what mothers do, but I’ve come to believe that our job as writers is not all that different.

Fighting for your ideas

Growing up, I always had to fight to get people to listen to me…

Like I said… click here and read the rest of Jonathan’s article.

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