Being a Mom Act I (Act II was Mother’s Day)

I know this seems backwards and it’s true, it is.  Act II was written and posted first and there is a huge reason for that.  My son Anthony, writing his last finals on May 13, 2010, is my second child.  For me, Mother’s Day is about the living.  It is how I have been able to deal with not having both my sons with me.  Just like the Christmas picture that never was, if I dwell on what I have lost then there is no joy in the day.

Hugging Mother’s Day is the anniversary of my son Tommy’s passing.  May 14th 1988.  Adding insult to considerable injury, May 14, 1989 (his first anniversary) was on Mother’s Day.  See what I mean…can’t dwell…

On July 2, 1984 our first son was born by c-section.  Ouch.  After only a few hours his color did not improve to a vibrant pink and was whisked off to Children’s Hospital in Buffalo after a quick baptismal ceremony held in recovery.

He was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries ( and a VSD.  VERY long story short, we took him to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia for a successful surgery.

Just a few months after visiting Philadelphia for the year post operative exam (where he looked great) he began having regular seizures.  He didn’t physically develop at age level and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  We never went more than two months without an in-patient stay at Children’s.  This abnormal experience became part of our normal life. 

 What I describe here is a very sickly child.  He was anything but!  He had an outgoing personality and quick smile.  He had a sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.  He once negotiated with Santa when he was given a toy at the Christmas party at his school, Niagara Children’s ETC.  It was a yellow plastic school bus.  He told Santa he already had a bus, he wanted a book.

In January 1988 he had a seizure and was in a coma for 3 ½ months. The phone call just before dawn on May 14th is like a distant dream to me today and the years of grief replaced by a life of gratefulness.  I survived what I hope is the very worst period of my life. 

Funny thing is, I am a very happy person and I really appreciate my life.  My husband and I beat the odds and are going to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this fall.  He is a past president of the board of directors of Niagara Cerebral Palsy and is also an active member of the Cerebral Palsy of New York State board.  Our second son, Anthony, is a really nice kid.  He works hard and seems to love life like his two parents.  Best of all, he is sensitive to folks with disabilities and carries the essence of his brother in his perfectly healthy heart.

Life is good!


Twitter: MidMajorMom

Twitter: JudeCaserta