Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My new birthmark

So yes, I did get a tattoo, and all controversary of ink aside, it is very meaningful to me. 
A friend told me that people get tattoos for all sorts of reasons. I think people should also get tattoos for healing. Hear me out...

Let's start with mine. 
People say the best thing special needs children give is the idea of living in the moment. Being grateful for what you have right now. Everyone tells me "take it one day at a time." uhhh sometimes I can only take it fifteen minutes at a time. Literally. I stop looking any further than just fifteen minutes. 
The Greeks had two words for time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos (chronological) time is schedules, beginning, middle, end. It's THE CLOCK!  Kairos is this present moment. Divine Opportunity. We can't go back in time or skip a chapter ahead. In a sense there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow. Our reality could change at anytime. THIS is all you have. This moment. It is easy to lose sight of this when we end up doing the same thing moment after moment, day after day, week after to week. Yes diapers do need to be change AGAIN. Yes your children are hungry AGAIN ( I swear my best days are the days my children are willing to eat anything, better yet get it for themselves :). But there are realities where all that is gone in a matter of moments. Houses burn up, children are kidnapped, people get in accidents. I am not trying to be miss doomsday but just reminding myself of how quickly our lives can change. 
I have repeatedly said that the hardest part of our situation is having such an unknown future. The spectrum is so huge for what the possibilities could be. I often told myself in the early days after John Michael's diagnosis that if he turns out doing and being so much more than we imagined I would have wished I didn't worry so much when he was baby. Same as IF our future is much more trying in the future than it is right now.... I would have wished I enjoyed the baby stage without the worry. So there is the lesson. Enjoy the moment, it is all you have.
I am living a life I never planned on living. I honestly can't remember what I thought about special needs babies or what it must be like for their parents before being in this place myself. I probably didn't think about it on purpose. It was just too much. I don't really understand how there are still people who haven't fathomed what this is doing to my heart who are confused at why I feel like darkness is trying to close in on me. This IS MY SON. He means more to me than my own life. He may appear to have always been this way to you. But he was in my body when he was invisible to your eyes. We were one person effected by life together. So what happens to him happens to me. We are going through this as one. He is probably on the better side of it though since he has never known life to be different. He is having a blast right now actually as his sister holds him in her arms. 
Since my life has thrust me into a different person, one I didn't know existed. I have a new birthmark. I have several actual birthmarks in unusual places when I was born as Michelle Marie Earle. Now as mother to John Michael, a new one has appeared. Behind my knee it says kairos (it looks more like KAIPOS actually for the greek letters). I am not posting a picture because again it wasn't about what it looked like. I want to be branded with this presenet moment. Anytime I wish I could go back or forward or change to a completely different life (the life I thought I could choose to make happen) I look at my birthmark.
I am not worried about not liking in when my skin is old and saggy because I don't believe I chose it. I was born into it. (humor me I know I ACTUALLY did choose to get it and suffer through the 3 minutes... I hate needles. give me all my crazy long births, it was better than having a knife jab to my bone!) I am not worried about the way it will look when I am dressed nice anymore than I would think about what my dress looks like with a scar. It's a part of you. It isn't an accessory.
My friends that went with me decided we should invent a spa like tattoo parlor where you have to go through a few sessions of embracing the changes that have happened in your life before getting your tattoo of symbolism. Maybe you survived cancer, lost a loved one etc. I was actually bawling on the way because of what it meant for me. Then you embrace the person you are now, whether you are there by choice or not.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Michele. None of my children are special needs, but when my youngest had bacterial pneumonia, I experienced acutely "the moment"--the freefall of each second, being completely vulnerable to God's sovereignty, not knowing anything except the now, being, doing, and believing with each breath. It was painful being so aware of the fragility of our humanity, and God would come rescue my heart with His peace and strength without promising me anything except that He was there in every moment. Just a few nights ago, my husband and I talked about how people are never the same after they experience a tragedy or find themselves on a rocky path that they can't escape. Now and then I feel wistful for my carefree self, and yet to be who I was before means losing gifts I gained, things I could not know unless I had experienced them myself. And "the moment" is a priceless gift. I understand why you got the tattoo. It is a fitting and beautiful birthmark.