The Sunshine of My Life

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow” – Helen Keller

In what ways are you able to stay positive about something that sometimes brings you down?

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.


With my husband and I both suffering from chronic illness and everything that goes with it; no income, debt and  living under the poverty line, it is hard to see the sunshine through the shadow.  The only thing that has represented joy and goodness these past years is our four-year-old son, Tyler.  He is the one thing, the one gift, that I know God has given to me.

I can’t imagine my husband and I being ill without Tyler.  What would be the reason for us to keep going?  Now we have a little boy depending on us.  His parents get sick and ambulances come, he watches us take medicine all day, he sees Mommy on a scooter or get pushed around in a wheelchair. At this point in his life he is used to it and we are Mommy and Daddy, his parents, just like every little boys’ and girls’ mommies and daddied in his Pre-K class.

If I didn’t have Tyler, what would be my dreams for my life?  What would be my motivation? My dreams are centered around him.  I dream to give him a house, to rent or own, with a backyard and a swing set. I dream of one day taking him to Disney World, and seeing him go to college, even though I probably won’t be able to help him with that financially, like I wanted to.

The world is full of possibilities for Tyler, and I know that even though I probably won’t be able to travel to Europe or Egypt, drive cross country or walk in a Rain Forest, that Tyler will have all of those opportunities.  I dream of the life that lays ahead for him.

I have pain every morning, but I know I must help Tyler get ready for school, or that however exhausted I am in the evening, I have to make him dinner or give him a bath.  Seeing him walk through the door after school, I have to get up and do the mommy thing.

I suffer from depression and other mental illnesses, and some days it is so hard to get going, but I know Tyler, with his laughter and exuburance is waiting for me.

Every mother says the same thing about their son or daughter, but Tyler has a heart of gold, is sensitive and compassionate and very smart.  People tell me he is not just a special child, he is a special person. His teachers tell me his brain goes places that the the other children his age don’t go to.

Whenever things are really bad, when I am in pain or depressed I have this mantra:  “Do it for Tyler, Do it for Tyler” .  I have a bracelet and necklace with his name on them and a locket with his picture in it.  He is always with me.

He is my inspiration and my hope which is a lot to lay on a four-year-old.  But just like any other Mom thinks, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me and, sick or not, I hope that I can instill in him the qualities of a hard-working, caring, respectful young man.


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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.

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