Thursday, October 23, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Today was one of those days where you find yourself pushing against the wall and not getting much further than your own reality. Today's journey took me through the motions with my feet, feeling heavy as if I dragged cement blocks inside my sneakers. By the time I was home, exhaustion overtook me emotionally and physically, and I didn't even have the desire to start dinner.

Yes, it was one of those days. Maybe you've had one? Maybe if you're like me, with one amazingly special child who just seems to get sick every now and then, then you just might know just how tired I am- yet I barely did anything at all.

It was the constant calling from the nurses office that started things off on a negative note. Don't get me wrong, call me a billion times if my child's health is a concern. It's just, well, I wonder how truly trained and able today's nurses are. It's like some don't know what to do and no matter how much information you share to help them make your child's day a smooth one, even on sick days, well, it's like they either don't want to be bothered or have discovered the best way to handle things is to say, "Come get your child." And I get it! I'm an educator, working with families and children all day. I know where it comes from. 

But, I also know that I look for solutions, for ways to help the child feel comfortable until parents come for them. I know parents can't always leave work to pick up their children and because I know my own situation, I try to help parents through these hard times. So, where is the help for my son? for me? 

I found myself on the train station, waiting and waiting, under the heavy rain and cold winds. My heart pounded and ached because I couldn't control how fast the train arrived while I waited, knowing my son was feeling miserable.

It's not enough to carry the burden of trying to rush to be with your child, it's how the parent is sometimes treated and spoken to when they arrive. There are those that think sharing some kind of threat makes you run any faster to the school. Where has the compassion and the professionalism gone? Where are the professionals that take their oaths and their careers seriously enough to make a difference in the lives of those they serve?

Instead of seeing the despair, the exhaustion, and the hassle some parents endure when they go to pick up their ill children from the school, the school staff and nurses become cold and see someone whom in their eyes is failing, doing a bad job, "How could you send your child to school feeling this way?" attitude. I want to shout and say, "Hey! Be quiet! This is not my life today, no, not just today or right now! This is my everyday, every moment, don't get a break from it life!" And yes, if I were to keep my son home every time he's not feeling well, I'd be a stay at home mom, homeschooling, and never able to work so that I could provide for my son's needs, which include more than clothing and food, but medical supplies and medication that is not cheap. So, yes, some of us don't have the luxury of being in the PTA or staying home.

My journey is not easy. I'm not bitter. I'm not angry. 
I'm frustrated how this world keeps changing its priorities.
This world's viewpoints keep focusing on the wrong things as their focal points in importance, and they push aside, even wagging their finger in disapproval, at the things that are good, worthy of imitating, and believing in.

Exhaustion claims me and the bed seems a lofty paradise of clouds, calling me away to blissful sleep. The truth is, my day is not done. I've been taking care of my son without a pause. I still have to make sure his blood glucose levels are well enough to let him sleep, give him Lantus, and maybe later on around 11 pm or midnight, check to see if he need Novolog. I'll try to sleep and then wake up to start all over again. I'll still go to work and do my best not to share what's going on because I don't want others to just hear about my struggles. People around me have their own journeys as well. We all find ourselves in some kind of hard time, battle, receiving end of bad news, or just going through the motions. So, I usually don't share, unless I'm really pressed to share.

My journey.
Your journey.
Sometimes we say, "Oh, this is how it is. This is how I feel."
Other times we just, "Shhh....." and wait on the Lord.
we're on this journey and it's up to us to find some joy and strength through each step.

I pray for my son's health tonight. Fill him with your healing touch and restore life to those areas in his body that struggle to work as they should. Lord, my son needs you so much. You are able to do great things in his body as he sleeps. Lord, I pray not only for my son, but for others, parents and their children, who are passing through the valley, walking through the darkness, dragging themselves in the midst of their exhaustion to serve, to help, to do what they can- Strengthen them. Bless them with joy in the midst of their pain and troubles. Send rains of healing and restoration into the homes that so desperately need you. The children need you, Lord, but dear God, the parents that are their non-stop, Lord, they need you, too.

Prepare our feet and our hearts, our minds and our bodies,
for tomorrow's journey.....
In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.

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