I love my kids more than anything else in the whole wide world, but every once in awhile I feel overwhelmed raising them. There are times when I am impatient or tired or think life is challenging. But then I try to put it all in perspective and realize that these frustrating moments are fleeting, just growing pains for Keith and I as parents and Isabella and Gabby as kids. This is stuff every parent goes through at one time or another. And some parents go through so much more.
A recent email reminds me of how lucky we are. These tiny little blips in our family life are so inconsequential to what some family’s grapple with on a daily basis.
A few years ago, Keith arrived at a family portrait session – 3 children and their parents. The kids were just adorable. As he was having fun photographing them – the parents mentioned that their little one, Henry had a debilitating condition called mitochondrial disease. The little guy could not eat solid food – he was fed through a feeding tube. “In his first three years, Henry had 12 surgeries and procedures, dozens of diagnostic exams, over one hundred doctors’ appointments (with over a dozen specialists), hundreds of physical therapy sessions, taken several medicines, and the list goes on. And, of course, he had (and has) gear. He has a feeding pump, a nebulizer, feeding tubes and other stuff, an IV pole, bags that depressurize his stomach, a back pack to carry his pump, leg braces, and . . . . You get the picture.”
That’s about the time Keith took the above photo of Henry.
Since that time, Henry’s older brother has also been diagnosed with the same disease. Yet somehow, the parents have found the strength to start a foundation called Henry’s Hope, adopt another child (2 of Henry’s siblings are adopted), write a book called Three Candles and help other family’s with children that have life-threatening conditions.
The email was from Henry’s dad – just keeping us up to date on the family and sending us a link to the Three Candles website.
Talk about putting it all into perspective.