Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Conversation With God.

It is difficult to imagine what life with allergies is like for those who don't live it. It is nearly impossible to imagine that a favorite cookie or topping on toast could take my son. Every bit of food that goes into his body is scrutinized. I make all his food, I read labels and then I read them again and again, I call companies, he wears his medicallert bracelet. I keep up on the latest research, he always has two epi pens with him but still there is so much worry. I worry about shopping carts, kisses, shared toys, playgrounds and church. I wonder what someone just ate, where their hands were, what is on the bottom of their shoes. I worry that their are so many things I haven't even though to worry about.

I went through a period of time where I was drowning in anxiety (which is a softer word then terror which is what I really felt). It crept up into my eyeballs. The ones that tried to stare hard enough into the pores of someones hands as they reached for my child. If I squinted just hard enough the exact particles of protein hiding among the crease of their palms would become evident and I could remember to breath again.

I forgot to breath a lot. That's what drowning feels like. You can do it in water and you can do it in fear.

I had flashes of life with him in those moments of fear. Flashes of that spacey grin and eyes that light up a room. I hear his little voice, my syllables on his lips. His vibrancy; an energy you can feel, almost touch. I had flashes of life without him, that is where the terror hides, in images of a hollow life. Then I stopped breathing. The shock of this possibility enough to stop a basic reflex.

I was drowning. Then I remembered God.

The bartering, pleading, promising, begging and bargaining of my baby's earliest days returned with great comfort and the faith that I was being heard and understood. I know God knows I cannot bear one thing.

Today at preschool, in an environment otherwise safe for him as an allergy aware facility and a nut free environment someone brought in almond cookies and sat them on the table. I came in to the room to observe mouths in the process of grinding down bits of poison. They were only reminded on seeing me, this should not be. They scattered to wash hands, throw out half eaten cookies, apologizing all the while. I struggled to keep my composure as I always do. I looked at the floor and envisioned snatching Ben out of his room and running with him. Where would I run too? Where would it end? I imagined little protein particles on the floor, sprayed invisibly out of ones mouth as they chewed. attaching to their shoes, into the preschool room, onto a toy and into Ben's mouth. No one understands this fear. No one but one.

"Please God, remember what I cannot bear".

And then I breath again.

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