“…little did i know of the many days i'd lay on it overwhelmed by life's circumstances, physically drained from caring for my daughter disabled with cp, and alone, as a single woman, a single parent disabled by rheumatoid arthritis and obesity. This is a mahogany four poster bed with pineapple finials topping each post. It is a huge bed sometimes shared by my oldest daughter where she empties her heart to me, tells me how much i mean to her, and where we giggle and laugh together about silly inane things.”
Of all of the things that I own, my bed, in it’s king size glory, provides the most comfort. I had purchased the mattress right after my divorce. It seemed like a good feng shui kind of thing to do, I mean, a bed would signal a new beginning. I had purchased the mattress, when I still had the corporate job. I went to a higher end retailer and checked out all of the mattresses. Instead of looking at any of them by price, I decided to find the one that was the most comfortable. Once I did that, then I would check out the price tag to make sure I could afford it. I selected a luxury mattress, for it’s firm support, eight way hand tied construction and over a thousand coils for back support. The luxury mattress did not disappoint. I added a featherbed on top of the mattress and then some luxurious sheets. It was and still is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Little did I know the bed would provide me with more than a good night’s sleep in the years to come.
About a year after purchasing the bed, my job ended along with some seven hundred others at our company. The bed, would become my haven, soothing my tired ego when I couldn’t find a job. Little did I know that once I did find a job, I wouldn’t be able to work since there wasn’t any daycare to be had, for someone like Dear Son. I was then back at square one.
Over the years, my bed would comfort me when I would lie there from exhaustion. I remember when Dear Son was younger, prior to the VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator), he would have seizures all day and night. I would try to keep my eyes open but at some point, they would refuse. At that point, my eyes would have to defer judgment to my hands. It was there that I would hold Dear Son’s hands, his chunky fingers in stark contrast to his reed thin body, and when they would shake violently, I knew he was having a seizure and I would wake up and attend to him. If it weren’t for the big bed, I couldn’t have done that.
A few years after that, I remember my bed providing the support I needed, when my spirit was depressed. Between caring for Dear Son and missing the income of a full time job due to a lack of daycare for the disabled, my heart was heavy wondering if life would ever get better again. I missed working and I missed having money. People would say that the Lord doesn’t give you more than you could handle however I remember praying one night, that he would make it easier for me, since I could no longer handle all of the hardships. Within the next two weeks, things changed and some good things happened. But it was my bed that carried me through.
I remember too the days and weeks after my back surgery. I had to sleep in my living room chair in the months up until the surgery, because the pain down my leg was so severe. In the chair, there was one position, that if I sat perfectly upright and perfectly still, the pain would lessen. After the surgery, I would lie on my bed and be thankful that I had such a good mattress. It made my recovery go faster.
Today, my bed still provides much comfort. Caring for Dear Son is a twenty four hour a day job and to do it well takes a lot. Owning a business on top of that and keeping everything clean and organized, can be a lot some days. Most of the time, I am looking forward to my free night, every other weekend, when I get twenty four hours of uninterrupted time. I retire early, mainly from exhaustion. To be able to sleep and not have to get up to give medications, to start a feeding pump, to change a diaper or to roll Dear Son over is a blessing. It’s not that I don’t love him, because I do, but everyone needs a good night’s sleep in order to continue to provide a high level of care. On those weekends, I always sleep in, getting up at 7 a.m. and going on-line and then retiring back to bed for a few more hours. My cat knows the routine all too well. Sometimes, I’ll even watch t.v. in bed since to be able to lie there and do nothing is the ultimate luxury.
So reading that this mother of a special needs child would find comfort when life was overwhelming and be comforted when she was physically drained, made me realize the importance my own bed had become in my life. Her description was perfect and I wondered how many other mothers of special needs children felt the same way. We are so blessed to have these children in our lives and I’d never be able to function without my beautiful Dear Son. But our beds, well, they are our back up. They are the Plan B. They are our support when we have no one else and nothing left to give. They are a place to restore our tired feet and souls so we could get up another day and take care of our children who love and need us so much. As for the other mother of a disabled child, I am sure we are part of some secret underground club, where the password is “sleep”.