We are in the middle of January and some of the resolutions we promised to keep just a couple of weeks ago already seem to be fading away. Our intentions were wonderful and our commitment admirable. So what happened to our fortitude? Did something act as a roadblock to our goals?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the thought that another year gives us a chance to start anew. Whatever problems we had last year fade away as opportunities to walk into new possibilities emerge. We can move forward into a hopeful future. Life restores life and the gift of renewal shines brightly.
Some vows we make last many years. We promise to commit to our spouses, to be the best people we can be, and to love and support those closest to us. Resolutions refer to a yearly do-over while vows are made for an extended time; their durability outlives whatever we commit to each Jan. 1.
Our most important commitment is to our children. Those of us who struggle with chronic illness face many pressures others do not: frequent hospitalizations, home treatments, infusions — the list goes on. Through a sea of complications and struggles, we can sometimes feel that our most important gifts are overlooked and we don’t realize how we punish ourselves for past mistakes.
One of the worst times in my life was when my oldest son had his port-a-cath removed. He did a beautiful job infusing his port, but finding veins were a different story. He hated needles and his mother and I struggled with him when it was time to infuse. Once, when I infused him, he started thrashing around making it impossible to access his port. I raised my voice. Though I didn’t use unkind words, I did get upset and I felt bad about it afterward.
I wish my behavior had been a one-off, but unfortunately, it happened again. After infusing my son, I would beat myself up for the surge of adrenalin that had taken over my body during each stressful infusion. How could I be so cruel? He didn’t deserve my anger. I later learned how to control my anxiety. However, I didn’t learn my lesson until I was dealing with my second son’s issues with needles.
Years later I tried to make amends with my eldest son. I told him, “The worst job of parenting I ever did was infusing you. I am so sorry that I raised my voice at you.” He replied, “Dad, I am not mad at you. I know that you were trying to infuse me. I needed the medicine.” I couldn’t believe that I was hearing such wisdom from my 18-year-old son and realized then that our children teach us the most valuable life lessons.
Resolutions should not be confined to once a year, but be practiced every day. Today I resolve to treat others with kindness and start afresh in my work. While these are great promises, the most important ones are to love those closest to us with all of our hearts and to raise our children with a sense of hope and security.
Happy new year.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.