When I woke this morning, the first thing I thought…

When I woke this morning, the first thing I thought about was Mother’s Day.

As I was still laying in my bed contemplating what the day meant to me, I was struck by the awe of the mothers that I have come to know in the past 10 months.

You see, I am not just a mother, but also a grandmother. And I am 48 years old. “Why does that matter”, you may ask. It matters because this year, for the first time, I am seeing my first Mother’s Day as not only a mother but also as a grandmother.

But it’s even much more than that. As a grandmother, I have a more seasoned view, as more than a few Mother’s Days have come and gone in the past 31 years. In that time, my life and my views of motherhood have grown tremendously. But in the past 10 months, my view of motherhood and grand-motherhood has changed in ways that I could never have imagined.

Of course being a grandmother is undoubtedly the BEST thing in life! As someone recently said, “if I had known being a grandparent was this great, I would have had my grandchildren first!” LOL I simply have yet to find anything in my life that is more rewarding – and my heart is filled to the brim with a deeper love of my granddaughter, Brie, but also of my daughter, Brandy. It’s such an incredible thing to see her blossom as a mother. It touches me in a place so deep and so precious, it takes my breath away!

But why put all of this on the PMG Awareness page and blog?

It is because of this. In all of my years as a mother, and in all of my dreams and hopes of being a grandmother, I never dreamed that I would be the grandmother of a precious granddaughter with “special needs”. And I have to tell you, that today, Sunday May 13, 2012, I am grateful for this opportunity.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not grateful that Brie has PMG, nor am I grateful that our family struggles with the pain, fear, and heartaches that comes with the diagnosis. But I AM more than grateful that it has shown me things that there is NO WAY I would have ever known were it not for Brie and this brain disorder (PMG) that we struggle with on a daily basis.

Today, I am filled with the wonder of how GRATEFUL each of our families are for the tiniest of victories with our children. I watched Brie pet the family cat, Sarah, last week and it moved her mother and I to tears! I’m willing to bet that doesn’t happen in most family’s lives!

So today, I wish to CELEBRATE the way our lives are FILLED with a different level of love and nurturing that we have as parents and grandparents of these special children. I wish to celebrate that, although we struggle on a daily basis, we know a love that FEW people could ever begin to imagine. And, I can say that because I have seen both sides of this thing…raising a ‘typical’ child, and being part of raising a ‘special needs’ grandchild.

Furthermore, my life is so much fuller and richer for the incredible shared experiences of raising these special children in a world where not even most doctor’s have a clue what they are doing! So we have developed a unique bond with the families of other PMG kids. We have come to know that the most experience we can get, is right here, in our groups.

This is where she share our parenting joys and our fears. We reach out to each other, lift each other up, share the smallest of victories, pray for each other, help with a few dollars when we can, and even shed tears for each other. Indeed, it’s a bond that few will ever know.

So, today I want to say THANK YOU all…for making my life so much more rewarding. Thank you for helping me breathe through some of the scariest moments to date. Thank you for opening your hearts to each other. Thank you for taking the TIME (and God knows how little time there is in a special needs family!) to help each other to get through this. One day at a time.

It is with the utmost honor that I wish to say Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers, grandmothers, and even the dads and granddads that may be fulfilling this role. Your love, your sacrifice, your friendships, your patience, and your understanding are precious to me.

I wish you all the very best Mother’s Day! I am honored to call you my friends and my family!

With Love,

Catrina – happy to be Brie’s Gram 🙂