“Why did they make me like this?”
There it was, the bomb had been dropped in front of me. The detonator was seconds from going off. I could tell by the quivering lip and the tears that were seconds from bursting out. It was now up to me to disarm it.
I was helpless to it.
This bomb did not stand alone. It was fused together with the one that has been sitting inside of me. Only mine, was programmed to detonate merely seconds after the other was dropped in front of me.
Those seconds however, they seemed like several minutes as I tried to remember what the disarming code was. I’ve been working on this for just over 5 years. I knew the day would come I’d have to utilize it. But in those long, painful seconds, none of the codes felt right.
And just like that, before I could finish thinking, both bombs went off simultaneously. The strong boy in front of me, with the quivering lip, who had been fighting so hard to keep it together as he asked his question, he burst. And so did I.
We sat snuggled in my bed under blankets, perfectly intertwined, just as our bombs had been. We have always had a way of speaking without speaking in moments like these. Although this time felt very different. He felt bigger, well, older, he is Charlie size after all. He was old enough to notice he was different. And now, he had asked me that long awaited question. One that he wanted an answer to. I thought I had a good couples years left until I’d need to have perfected the answers to it. But, Charlie has always been his own keeper of time.
While I held him tight, I tried to make sense of all of the versions of all of the answers I had run through my head.
“Because I grew you wrong,” is my anxiety’s personal favorite. It seemed to be the answer every other time I tried to come up with an answer.
“Because you’re a special boy and you’re meant to make a difference.”-my logical brain.
“No, it’s because you grew him wrong.”- anxiety brain.
“Because. . .” -logical brain taking a go again, because this weeping boy is still waiting for some form of answer. There is only so long the tight hugging is going to be enough.
“Stop, no…it’s because you grew him wrong.”- anxiety brain is sure a treat ain’t she.
We go back and forth several more times. As I held a little boy, his lip quivering, continuously trying not to cry. Trying to be brave.
And then out loud, because blurting things out is the only thing that stops my anxiety brain, came the only answer that felt right, “because God DOES NOT make mistakes. God made you exactly who and how you are suppose to be.”
The passage I chose for my Charlie tattoo before he was even born reads, “I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 (NIV). And the one I have used so often, every day since, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5(NIV)
And then he slept.
And I cried, as I sat in a place of, “what actually just happened?”
The wreckage stabbed at my heart, and pieces kept interrupting my thoughts. I wanted badly for silence. Maybe I should’ve handled it better. Maybe I should’ve kept my strong game going. But I couldn’t. He had big emotions, and this time, this time they were destined to meet mine.
This time, that painful bomb that we had both been housing for 5 years, it went off. Neither of us knew how to stop it, neither of us had the code ready. And I imagine there are many big questions to come, questions we will continuously not have the answers for. Feelings we won’t be able to contain. Moments that will leave us more confused then when we entered them. And for that my sweet Charlie, I am sorry.
But I promise you, God & I will be there for all of those moments. We will figure them out together. I do believe those are the moments meant to change us. In those moments, we are meant to learn, and we are meant to grow. Just as we have been doing since the day you were diagnosed.
On this Sunday morning, with the sun shining so brightly on his blonde bed head, his eyes glistening, I asked Charlie, “why were you made like this?”
“Because God does not make mistakes!”