Day 36

I threw out a tub of low-fat yogurt today. It expired May 7th. I still have a carton of egg whites in the fridge door. And every time I get milk for my tea, or grab a cheese stick for Bryson’s lunch, I see the jar of applesauce, the low-fat margarine that I always thought was kinda gross, and the pharmacy bag with Brody’s leftover medicine.

I’ll have to throw all of that out eventually. I never bought egg whites or low fat anything before Brody. I don’t expect I ever will again.

There are three overripe bananas in the fruit bowl. I can’t bring myself to bake anything with them. I just think of how proud I was of the nearly fat-free banana muffin recipe that I came up with. I loved watching Brody enjoy those muffins. Now I can just make normal muffins with as much fat as I want. And that’s devastating.

He’s really gone. I don’t get to feed him any more.

Of course, I can’t deny that I have moments when I’m relieved I don’t have to manage that disease any longer. I hate those moments though. Brody was worth it. I love him. But I hate that disease. The lowest point in my life was when Brody was diagnosed with Glutaric Acidemia Type II, and the specialist explained how his little body was unable to metabolize fats and proteins and thus could not function or grow. I was shocked. I thanked the doctor and asked him if he believed in miracles. He said Brody was very sick, but he believed there was always hope.

Even after Brody came home, and showed miraculous improvement, I had so much fury toward God. Nothing has shaken my faith more than that diagnosis. I screamed and swore at God until I could finally forgive Her for not answering my prayer. Brody wasn’t born healthy, but I could still choose to trust God that he would thrive throughout his life.

I found an old journal today from right after Brody was born. In it, I wrote Bible verses and prayers and statements of faith. I’ve always enjoyed encouraging myself by writing out positive statements. I wish those prayers had come true.

I used to carry a recipe card around with me. I wrote it a few weeks after Brody came home. It says what I wanted from God for Brody and then what God wanted from me. I would share it, but I’m not brave enough. I can’t read that card without crying. The last lines are: “God has given me hope that is greater than fear, peace that is greater than torment and joy that is greater than pain. We are God’s favourites!”

There are moments when I measure my effort, when I hold my faith up to God and ask Her why it wasn’t enough for Brody to be born healthy. I really trusted Her. Isn’t there power in that?

Then I consider all the gifts God has given me. I remember the words God has spoken right to my spirit – right to me. I relive the moments when God’s presence was undeniable.

And I realize that my focus needs to rest on God’s goodness. No peace can come from dwelling on what I did or on what God didn’t do. I did what I could do. God did what she could do. In the end, that disease still killed my son.

I don’t understand, but I won’t forget all the victories because of this defeat.

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