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Motherhood through loss

French fries. I can still smell them. They were about a block away. That’s how I knew I might be pregnant. My sense of smell was off the charts. Sure enough a pregnancy test proved it. I was pregnant! My husband was, “giddy like a school girl,” as he used to say. I was scared, nervous, excited and elated! This was my first pregnancy, but I was already a mom. I became a mom the day I married John. He and his late wife had two boys who were 11 and 14 when we got married in 2011. We had our baby girl in 2014 and she completed our family. The perfect Trinity: essentially joining three families into one.

We had a fairly normal home life. There were definitely some challenges, but God gave us so much grace.

But then, a great challenge struck our family in 2016. My husband, the rock and glue of our family was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s. And it didn’t end there. We found out later that year as worsening and uncommon symptoms progressed that he had a genetic mutation called “MSTD,” or “familial multi-system tauopathy with pre-senile dementia.” I was distraught and left wondering why, how and what in the world I was going to do. Our daughter was almost 2, and the boys were only teenagers. He declined rapidly. Thankfully, his mind was for the most part intact, but the disease ravaged his once strong body and left him wheelchair bound. It was devastating. But after all the tremendous suffering he endured, the Lord was merciful and took him home on September 1, 2018. His children were 3, 18 and 22. And I was 35.

I wouldn’t wish the indescribable pain and heartache I have felt in losing my husband on anyone. Yet, there is one, who voluntarily signed up for that grief. His name is God. He allowed his one and only son, Jesus, to be sacrificed as the payment for our sins. He must have felt such pain as a parent watching his son die. I saw God in a totally different light as he revealed that to me. Relaying that to motherhood, I know I don’t have to give up my children as God did. But, I must entrust everything, including them to Him. It’s the ultimate sacrifice of motherhood: the right to be in control. We will be blessed and receive so much peace when we exchange the hopes and plans we have for our children for God’s plans.

The Durham Family

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