I was seventeen when my first child Janet was born. I'd been married only one year. I was overjoyed at becoming a mama with visions of a bright happy future ahead. God had diffrent plans for the future. Janet was three months old when she was diagnosis with Cystic Fibrosis. I had no idea what this was but learned very quickly.
We were told our baby had a very small chance of surviving to be three years old. Her illness had been inherited from my husband and I through our genes. Any child we would have together would be at a 25% risk of having this illness. We planned to have no more because of this.
Janet was always struggling to breath due to CF. She remained small due to the fact her pancreas couldn't work properly. She died at two and a half years old. My heart shattered. I felt my whole world was coming to an end. I wanted my life to stop because without my baby life wasn't worth going on. These were my thoughts but something deep within me made me struggle to go on.
I'd spent twenty-four hours a day seven days a week caring for my precious baby without her I felt my life was useless. My arms ached to hold her once more even though i knew she was happier where she was then while she suffered here. So I tried putting my life back together, I wanted to become a nurse.
Janet had been gone only eight months when I found out I once again was to be a mother. Fear gripped my heart along with the joy of another baby to love and care for. What if once again my child were sick? I didn't have an answer for this question but knew my baby would have a chance for I couldn't possibly have an abortion.My heart wouldn't allow it. My second daughter Annette was born.
Annette had no problems from her CF until she was eighteen months old. Her illness apparently was milder than Janet's. I began to hope she'd be the one who survived until a cure could be found. Her health was much stronger than Janet had been. When Annette was two years old I once again conceived another child. Both times I'd become pregnant I was taking birth control pills. God evidently had a reason for my children to be.
Marie was born October 22, 1973 she was the strongest of my three children. Happy and bright from the beginning. Both she and Annette caught chicken pox from one of the children at the hospital during one of Annette's bouts with pneumonia. Everyone worried for Annette but we all felt Marie would do fine she was only six months old. Annette did well and recovered with little problems. Marie though became very ill and passed away of Mothers Day morning in 1974. I almost lost what sanity I had kept that day. I didn't because I knew Annette needed me.
Annette loved her baby sister so much that her grief was as profound as mine. From that day forward she didn't try as hard to fight her illness any longer. One year and twelve days later she had been in the hospital for eight-weeks. For forty-eight hours she refused to close her eyes to sleep. Finally i asked if she was afraid to sleep, her reply was, "If i go to sleep mama Jesus will come and I'll go with Him. Then you won't have a little girl to make you smile anymore." I learned that day what true love is. My precious four year old daughter was fighting to live so I'd be happy. She'd been suffering all her life and terribly bad for weeks but she was thinking of me. I whispered to her how much I loved her and said, "if you're tired baby and want to sleep, you go to sleep and if Jesus comes you go with Him and I'll always smile knowing He made you healthy." My little girl removed her oxygen mask for the first time in weeks softly kissed me said I love you mommy placed her head on my shoulder and went to sleep. When she awoke she was strong and healthy in Heaven.
I thank God for allowing me the honor of caring for His special children for the while He left them here. Maybe God trusted me more than I did myself for I know now He always sends His special children to those He knows will love them while they're here and keep their memories alive when He calls them back.
Janet: 10-17-69 Marie: 5-8-74 Annette: 5-20-75