Independence

Dan and Bill

Independence?  I had it at one time…several times as a matter of fact.  When I was single and living alone I had independence.  Even after I married, my Husband and I worked as a team with the kids, but I still had my own independence.

In 1986 I  had emergency surgery that took my independence away for a while, but when I recovered, I got it back.  More surgeries and illness continued to pop up through the years, and I became dependant on other people for my care.  My sister, my Mom, and the Joe-Man.  But, I always came back and reclaimed my status as an independent woman.

But, in 2001 Addison’s Disease came to visit, and he has not left.  This illness has robbed me of much of my independence.  I have to plan my activities carefully, but I still need someone to depend on most of the time.

Independence is something we all want our children to achieve, but not at a young age.  We want our kids to grow into it…not be thrown into it without warning. 

My boys were fifteen and thirteen when I got sick.  Typical teenage boys involved in sports, music and Scouting.  School and their activities keep them busy.  They were accustomed to coming home to a cooked dinner and having time to do their homework.  They were so busy they didn’t have to worry about much….but things were about to change for them and their Dad.

After I got sick, coming home from school meant checking on me, making sure I had taken my meds and had something to eat.

These young men had to learn how to plan meals, make a grocery list and shop.  Both can cook and they learned to enjoy it. They learned how to do laundry and iron a shirt.  They learned how to manage their time, make arrangements for rides, and clean the house.  They became totally independent with little help or guidance from me.  The boys and their Dad had a hard and fast lesson to learn, they stumbled a few times, but they learned.

When my youngest son went away to college, I didn’t worry about his abilities to take care of himself.  He already knew how to. 

When my older son got a job as a FireFighter, I was concerned for his safety of course, but I knew he was independent enough to handle a tough job.  He is one of the preferred chefs when he is working, some of the other guys can’t boil water.

So, even though I never wanted my boys to grow up so fast, they did.  They are strong, caring, empathetic independent men. 

Thankfully, not too independant….they both still live at home…and that makes me happy.  I still need to depend on them for a lot.

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17 responses

  1. It’s so strange that I stumbled upon this post today. I am at that point where I am going to have to have a family meeting which will involve delegation of various tasks that I just cannot do anymore. I’m feeling very guitly that I can’t be that leave-it-to-beaver type mom who has freshly baked cookies and milk waiting for the kids when they get home from school. Your post made me feel good that I’m not alone in this. Thank you.

  2. Hey there pretty lady!! This was an awesome post. I can relate so much because of Addison’s striking our family and changing everything for my daughters and my husband. Your boys sound like awesome young men. And, they will be more capable than a lot of boys their age who haven’t yet had to do much of anything. Your boys will be great husbands one day. It’s weird how terrible things really can work out for the greater good. I always remind myself of that Biblical concept and it is so true…I’ll check in again soon!

  3. Like you, I am not as independent any more due to illnesses that simply won’t go away. It is hard to have to depend on other people for much of the time.

    That said, I have to say that I love how you told this story. It is easy to say that you lost your independence, but this story almost makes it seem like you gave your independence to your men.

    It is a blessing that they are all now independent and you don’t have to worry about them now.

  4. It’s interesting how God uses things like our illnesses to teach others things that are important – like for your boys and how they are so much more prepared for many things because of having to learn to cook etc while you have been ill. I am glad you wrote about independence because it is such a big topic when we are in chronic pain or illness. God bless you today blogging friend!

  5. Those lost feelings of independence is something I’ve been struggling a lot with lately. I can definitely relate to this post. I’m glad you have such a supportive family! That can really make such a difference.

  6. I love your post! I can really relate. I went through so many things and dealt with them, readjusted, etc. But my most recent blow has really changed things, probably for good. But I hold out hope. I’m stubborn like that. 😉
    I think it’s great that your boys have learned “other” skills. My husband is an awesome cook. He can also sew! (Not great, but much better than I can.) I think it is good to raise men that are self-confident enough that they aren’t worried about what someone might think about things that they do. Men that are smart enough to realize that any basic skills you can have in life are a GOOD thing. 🙂 For yourself, and for your family, because – as we both know – you never know when they might need those skills. Your sons sound like great guys!
    Plus their future wives will thank you someday!

    • Thanks Deb! I know you are going through some tough times with your little one, but I have a feeling you are going to be fine and so will she. You are strong and a fabulous Mom Deb, so pat yourself on the back and continue on with confidence!

  7. Thanks for sharing about your sons; they sound like great guys! Wishing them continued success, fullfilment, and good housekeeping! (lol)
    My hubby was the youngest of 5 boys; as the last kid, his mother said “what the heck” and passed along her “woman” skills like ironing and sewing (does it better than me). These things have come in very handy over the years.

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