Saturday, November 01, 2014
Happy 20th Birthday Thomas!!!
20 years ago today, at 10:17am, my son Thomas was born.
With the world promised to him on that day, he was placed in my arms and I looked down at those beautiful dark brown eyes. As his mom I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to make his life perfect and most importantly that he would be happy.
20 years has passed and Thomas has overcome many of life's challenges but even on this day he is fighting a valiant fight against schizophrenia, his biggest challenge of all.
I have spent the last couple of days with my remarkable young man learning dark, long held secrets pointing to a hidden struggle he deals with each day of his life that is wrapped with a fear few people know or understand. Knowing what I now know about how he has been struggling for years with this secret, I am even more thankful for today and for the young man he is.
This illness, schizophrenia, has robbed him of a life promised to him but even in the face of what he battles, he continues another life filled with a different promise. He is surrounded by family who loves him, who supports him, and who do everything in their power each and every day to ensure his safety both out in the world and inside his mind. While schizophrenia makes it nearly impossible to protect him fully, we loved ones and those of you who support him do not give up hope. On every day, not just his birthday, we celebrate his life, we try to understand what he endures, how he overcomes challenges and when he no longer has fight in him, we all, in our own way, with our own kind of faith, hope for everything that is possible for him.
Today is a beautiful day because it means that there was a day, 20 year ago, that a baby boy came into this world that would make a difference. By sharing his story, by allowing me to share his story, he helps others better understand schizophrenia, the humanity behind it, and the strength it takes to fight it.
Today is also a solemn day as he and I begin to sort out a new revelation about his illness that is going to take everything we have got to find a way to help it. Always with an understood promise that medications will help whatever he faces, we have come to realize that now, what we have discovered, is untouched by medications and is going to take a strength we will have to build piece by piece to help us deal with it.
As his mom, as the woman who brought the most amazing son into this world, with a candle lit solely for making my own wish, I will wish for a miracle for my young man.
He, on the other hand, wants an ice cream birthday cake, gifts from his family of money to buy a gaming computer and time to spend with those he loves.
With everything that we can muster, we will give him what he wants and what he needs, far beyond his simple desires. We will give him love, support, understanding, compassion, and a quiet prayer that will hopefully be answered and brought to fruition.
Happy birthday Thomas. Happy birthday to my boy, my YOUNG MAN. Today, just as I did the day you were born, I wish nothing but happiness and health for you and today, just as I did the day you were born, I will make it my mission to make your life everything you want it to be.
I love you kiddo!!
Written by Melanie Jimenez
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