Religion and the Chronically Ill Parent

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

Prompt #1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous June and write a poem or a blog post.


This picture dates back to a post written in June of 2011, when my son was four and a half years old. We had picked up this book at a library book sale along with a copy of the same children’s bible I had when I was a child.

Back then, due to various illnesses and conditions I had never taken Tyler to church, except for his christening. In the post I wrote about how I would have to somehow find a way to get myself together and start taking him to church, or else how would he learn about his faith?

Fast forward to the present and I have seldom taken Tyler to mass. I’m either too physically ill or mentally cannot get my head together to get there. Tyler does go to religious instruction and has made his First Holy Communion and Penance, but not surprisingly, he HATES when he is taken to mass during the few times he is taken during classes. In fact, he is near terrified of church. Riddled with anxiety and highly sensitive he is scared of the statues and stained glass, thinks the music is sad and can’t stand the smell of the incense which is sometimes burned. He keeps asking the teacher when it will be over.

I know if I was taking him to church he would be used to it by now. Every Sunday I watch mass on the internet but he refuses to watch with me. He also will not pray on a regular basis.

The classes have done him some good, however, as he does believe in God, Jesus, angels and Heaven.

Personally I have made my peace with the fact that God understands that I would go to mass if I could and does not fault me for it. I feel my faith is strong.

But I was raised in the church, went weekly up until I got sick, and sang in the children’s choir and folk group. I believe faith is a strong resource for people in dealing with life’s difficulties.

But is what I am giving my son enough? Will he have these tools as he grows older?

Many chronically ill parents have enormous guilt over not being able to do as much with their children as they like and church is just one of those things.

I just have to hope and pray that the little I can give to my son is enough.

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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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