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Make tax-deductible checks payable to: Help Hope Live, with "In honor of Cash Burnaman" in the memo section

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Monday, May 14, 2012

My reward, continued

Yesterday I said that I never thought I would write what I did. Two reasons for that:

One, writing about God was unimaginable a few years ago. I had lost my faith somewhere between Josh and Cash. Josh (when I was with him, anyway) was pretty agnostic, and after Cash was born, I couldn't imagine any God I believed in permitting the kind of pain and horribleness that I saw in the world. It's been a long journey back towards faith, but I admit I'm enjoying it. I am still figuring out what I believe, but that is an interesting place to be. It is important to note that this journey started with Cash's trip to India - seeing our community rally around us helped start the healing of my heart. I am not sure what I will believe in two years, but I cherish the return of my spirituality, even if it does not look exactly like any particular church's.

Two, I have always hated it when people said that Cash was given to me because I was "strong enough to handle it". Related annoying phrases included "God doesn't give us what we can't handle", "God sends special children to special people", and "These things happen for a reason". I have fought a minor crusade to make it clear that I am not stronger than people who got "normal" children - I think people just say that as a talisman as if saying the words will protect them from it happening to them. It is true that I have turned out to be damned strong, but any mother I know would have risen to the task. And yet - I had that little revelation about Cash being my reward yesterday. I am not sure how to reconcile my revelation with my firmly held belief that God did not deliberately send me a special needs kid. I think for now I will just wait and see how it sorts itself out because somehow I think they are both right.


  1. Hi! I found your blog through the CNN story - I've been following closely a stem cell program in another country, so I was curious to read about your experience. I'm the mom of an 11-year-old girl with severe cerebral palsy. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I completely share your annoyance with statements like "God never gives us anything we can't handle." I can't tell you how many times I've bit back the response, "So why do people commit suicide?" Then there's, "I know I could never do what you do," to which my response is always, "Yeah, I used to think that too. You'd be surprised what you can do when you need to." On the other hand, can't say as how I relate to the revelation - I've always pretty much gone with "Shit happens" as far as why my daughter suffered a terrible brain injury around the time of her birth - but thought I'd wave hi as another mom who's had at least some of the same feelings you've had.

    1. Rochelle,

      Thanks so much for writing - I feel exactly the same way, as you know. I actually appreciated it a couple years ago when one of my friends told me she thought she would have been okay if she'd had a special needs child. So many people are afraid to say it, as if it will jinx them.

      As far the revelation, I'm still thinking about it. I'm not sure what it means, and I don't know what I will think in a month or a year. In the meanwhile, I guess it helps me to remember all the special joys Cash brings me that a "normal" kid wouldn't have. There are alot of things I will never get to experience being his mom, but he's also brought alot of amazing things to my life.

      Best to you and your daughter, and tons of love - I hope today is one of the good days.

  2. Mother Teresa is quoted saying " it is said that God never gives us more then we can handle but I wished some days he didn't trust me so much"
    My toughest are with you and your brave son.
    Brent Alberta Canada

  3. That is a good quote! I feel that way often.