Thursday, November 12, 2009

an old post

I write all kinds of blog posts that I don't post. Either I can't formulate the thought or the sentences or I run out of time and think I will come back to it later. I usually don't. That leaves me with many a blog post that never makes it to cyberspace.

I thought of one that I had started a very long time ago. This one.

Last Thursday, a group of my friends and I went to see Steel Magnolias at the Tallahassee Little Theatre. The show was pretty good. I was moved to tears which says something.

For those who have not seen the movie or the stage production, and do not want the ending ruined here ... I would suggest you stop reading. Don't say that I didn't warn you.

At the end of the play, the character made famous by Julia Roberts, Shelby dies. She had a long battle with diabetes, goes into a coma, and passes away. Shelby's mom, M'Lynn is asked how she is doing.

In a moment of anguish, she says "I am fine! I am great! I could jog to Texas and back but my daughter cannot and never could." This is the moment that I let loose with a flood of tears. I could not help but think how I could relate. My son has a half a heart.

And that is where I stopped. I didn't finish.

But I understand where I was going. I could walk 60 miles. But Michael couldn't. Not then. Not now.

Michael's heart condition was just a part of our lives. I was in tune with his needs. I had his history memorized. I made certain that the appropriate people were informed of his diagnosis. I constantly thought of it.

But he didn't.

Oh. Yes. He knew about his heart. He gave a presentation about it for his class in January. He was a smidge nervous about it. So I went to hear him. To be there for him.

He did so well. I was amazed at his poise. At his stage presence. He held the little microphone and talked about this condition. Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. At the end of his talk. He said "And I have Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome". Mrs. Branch asked for questions. Every hand in the classroom went up. The kids were curious. Who could blame them?

Michael's best friend wanted a step by step account of how the surgeon fixed his heart. Michael simply told him that the doctor cut open his chest and he didn't remember anything after that. Because he was asleep.

Another classmate asked him. If you hadn't had the surgery, would you have died? Michael answered. Yes. Pretty Much. The classmate said. Well I am glad for that surgeon so that we can have Michael in our class.

And that is when I cried. And Michael answered another question.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jen,
I don't know what to say but your words have touched my heart. I check your blog every day and have done since I heard about Michael ... what a wonderful son you have.

Love from Scotland,
Catherine x

Tammy On the Go said...

wow, what a powerful glimpse into your life, once again! thank you, thank you for sharing your son with us

Melissa said...

I hope I will be at least half as good a mom as you are.

Elizabeth Dark Wiley said...

Jenn, I just went to see Steel Magnolias put on by a community group here a couple of months ago. A friend of mine was playing "Clairee." I cried at the same spot as you, but more b.c I was angry. I didn't think the actress playing M'Lynn was handling the moment responsibly. I felt like she wasn't willing to go where her emotions needed to take her to do justice to the script or scene. And she certainly didn't know what my friend Jenn was going through, and then I cried a little more b.c I realized I couldn't really know either.
Thank you for sharing.