Saturday, May 22, 2010

I can't go on, I'll go on

I had an anxiety attack yesterday.

It started at a cafe where I was waiting with Anaya for Brent to finish an appointment. It happened that I sat next to a girl I know who has lost her children to the ministry because of her lifestyle choices. I try to practice compassion and non-judgement but I couldn't help getting angry. Angry with God, angry with her, angry with the world. I wanted to scream out loud how unfair it is that MY baby, who was so wanted and so well taken care of, is fading away. How lucky this woman is, to have healthy babies, and it seems she doesn't care enough to be there for them.

While these thoughts were going through my head Anaya started crying, then she started choking. Everyone in the cafe was looking in our direction. I helped Anaya through her spell and got up, paid the bill and left.

I felt an incredible sadness descend upon me. It settled about my shoulders and my heart like a cold fog. I shivered and tears spilled from my eyes and ran down my cheeks, falling on her golden head like raindrops. Wrapping my arms about my little love, we continued on down the street. I wished we had known when she was born that she was sick. She looked so perfect. There was no reason to suspect. Our moments turned into minutes, days, months, and now we are 8 months past the time when a stem cell transplant would have saved my daughters life. Would she have crawled by now? Would her little giggle resound through the house? Would her first word be Mama?

We could have found out with a simple blood test. We are want to provide the means for future parents to get this test if they want it at the nelson hospital. It's the same heel prick that they do for the usual newborn tests. We could have helped her but now it's too late for that treatment.

The tears kept falling, the anger building into frustration, my sobs bubbled out of my chest like unwilling prisoners. I felt nauseated and trapped, wanting to run, to scream and kick, wanting to fly out of my body. I wanted a healthy baby.

I met up with Brent and we went to the pharmacy to get Anaya's meds. I sat down on a chair and buried my face in her golden hair. She slept peacefully, my heart hammered against my chest and I wondered if I was going to have a heart attack. The anxiety of all my fears and grief and anger gripped me and I wondered if it would kill me. That made me laugh at my own thoughts. How ridiculous! I realized I was having an anxiety attack and forced myself to slouch into the chair and focus on cuddling the baby. I felt her breathing, her warm, trusting little beingness. I felt my own breath and slowed it down to match hers, I felt my body in the chair. I felt the air moving through my nostrils.

I began to feel my love for her radiating towards me, mirrored in the eyes of the people watching me cuddle the baby. A warmness embraced me and my heart slowed, the nausea faded and the anger disappeared. I realized that I will go on giving her more. All of me cares, all of me finds joy in her. I would not trade this journey for another. She's a keeper, if only I could keep her.

The impermanence of all life is what makes it beautiful and wondrous. Even when I can't go on, I'll go on.


  1. Camara I am so sorry you have to go thru this. My heart aches for you and your family. I can't imagine the emotions you are feeling. You make me want to be a better Mom everytime I read your blog I just want to go pick up Ellie and cuddle her. You are an amazing Mother and Anaya could not have come to a better home.

  2. Camara, I just happened upon your blog today, and I feel as if I could have written what you were thinking. There is just something so special, so true about having your baby in your arms, enveloping her. I don't know your daughter's diagnosis, but it sounds like one similar to my daughter's. We just have to keep fighting for our daughters and just keep showering them with love.

  3. Camara,

    I love you so much. I wish I could make everything better for you and your family again. If I had that power I would. You sad but true understanding of the impermanence of life is helping Anaya, your family and so many more people that you don't even know about. Your words are changing those that are reading about your struggle. You are changing lives through the journey you have been chosen to lead.


  4. Some sages say that children who leave this world early are highly elevated souls. These children only require a short amount of time in their incarnation to complete their karmic correction and perfection.

    Love & Light

  5. I often think of you and wonder "How does she do it? How does she wake up and go through the motions?"

    The very idea of what you are going through is so foreign to me, and yet, logically, I know that almost any mother would find a way to keep on with daily life. The thing about mothers is simply that we love our babies no matter what, and will find the deepest core of strength to go on even when we don't want to, or feel that we can't.

    I am consistently amazed at how strong women are. You are proof of this, of how deep and true a mother's love is.... Beautiful and strong, fierce and soft.

  6. Well said Kris and I whole heartedly agree.

    Camara is the embodiment of motherhood.

    That mother who does not care for her lost children was my mother. I grew up in a loveless home but I could not help but love my daughter the past 16 years. Skye has been my breathe, my water, my heart, my soul. She is my reason for being and the source of my happiness.

    I have spent many hours reflecting upon my childhood, wondering how one mother could be so different from another. How could she be so selfish, when I turn into a puddle of guilt at an unhappy face. How could she not hold me when I couldn’t put my love down. This knowledge and experience led me to pass judgement upon other parents one too many times.

    You are right to judge Camara. The innocents we bring into this world are our responsibility, not to be taken lightly. You possess a mothering spirit I admire and look up to. I never saw this side of you those years back but stand in awe of your strength now. I wish I had someone like you for a mother.

    Anaya is fortunate to have you. Both of your girls have a great mother. Be strong knowing your daughter has your love and dedication while she is here. It’s not the way you want it, but at least she has your loving comfort each and every day.

  7. Camara,
    You are loved, Anaya is loved, your family is loved. I may be far from you, but I blow you kiss in hopes it reaches you as a gental soft breeze. I whisper a lalaby in hopes it covers you like a warm blanket. Keep strong. Keep strong.

  8. hi, my name is lily, im only 13, but i was walking home a few days ago, and i saw the sign for the event at the Prestige, i also noticed this website, im so sorry you have to go thru this and i believe that, evn tho i've never met you or Anaya, i believe that she will pull thru. i really feel for you, she will survive! no one should have to watch their beloved baby go thru this but i know in my heart, she cant die. again, my heart goes out to you


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