Come on, baby girl, you can do it! Walk to daddy…Yay! There you go! One more step, baby girl! Yes, that’s it! Good job! That’s daddy’s big girl! . . .
I reminisced as I closed my eyes, tuning out what the doctor had just told me. “Miss Grady! Miss Grady! Do you have any questions about your daughter’s diagnosis?” he asked as I zoned back into the present moment. How did I get here? Why me? Why my baby girl? Those were a few of the questions I wanted to ask so badly, but I knew he didn’t have any answers to them.
Just a year ago, I had a family and a two-parent household. Now, I was a single mother of a newly diagnosed special-needs child, and I did not know the first thing about this rare disorder that her doctor spoke of. “I’m sorry, doctor, what is this disorder again?” I asked attentively.
“It is a genetic disorder known as mitochondria disorder. It is, in fact, a very rare disease that we don’t particularly know much about. However, I can tell you that your baby girl will not live past the age of six.”
Those grave words hit me like a ton of bricks! I began to weep at just the mere thought of having to bury my child. The doctor’s eyes pierced through me as he maintained his professionalism. “I’m sorry if that came off as harsh, but I have to do my job and be realistic with you. The good thing is we can make the rest of her lifespan comfortable as she lives on with the disorder. She is going to need to see many specialists as her disorder worsens, as she gets closer to that age. I will be putting in some referrals. I’m sorry, Miss Grady.”
With that, he sternly walked out the door and left me sitting there scrambling to grasp the thoughts in my head. I couldn’t understand it. Just a year ago, my daughter was healthy, normal, and trying to walk and talk. Now, all of her motor skills had vanished, and her old life was being replaced by this new one. My initial thoughts and reactions were to call her father and ask him if he’d heard of the disorder and if anyone in his family had it. But that was a long shot since we hadn’t heard from him in a year and I didn’t know the first way of contacting him.
Immediately, I called my mother. No sooner than she answered the phone, the tears started flowing again. I explained to her, through whimpers, that her granddaughter had this rare disease that would take her innocent childhood—her life—like a thief in the night. My mother, being the strong, God-fearing woman that she is, didn’t even let me finish my sentence before she disrupted my sorrow. “Let me tell you something, those doctors don’t have the last say so, GOD does! Now you get on your knees and pray right now!”
I did as I was told and asked GOD for the strength that only he could give me. After my prayer, I got up and I asked GOD, why me? I heard my conscience say, Why not you! You were given this life because you’re strong enough to handle it! You were blessed with your baby girl because she needs you and you need her.
Looking back, maybe it wasn’t my conscious. Maybe it was GOD answering the questions that I had! All I know is, today, my baby girl is twelve years old—still here, still standing, with me holding her up and holding her hand through it all. Why not me indeed!Leave a Comment