The Day I Couldn't Hold My Son: As a Mom It's a Memory I Will Never Forget by Dawn Taylor

Motherhood Single Moms
5 years ago

The Day I Couldn't Hold My Son: As a Mom It's a Memory I Will Never Forget

Waiting for results from a CT scan for my son, I couldn’t hold him anymore. A scan looking for cancer.

Left alone in a pediatric hospital room with a crib he wanted no part of, my son wanted to be held. I was tired beyond words, a single mother. Holding him wasn’t easy; his weight already 35 pounds. 

My arms wrapped tightly around him, my knees buckled in slow motion as I let him slide to the hospital floor. I said to him in frustration, exhaustion, helplessness, “I can’t do it. I can’t do it.”

For a few minutes I didn’t move while he crawled away. He could walk, but chose to crawl. I realized he was tired, too. I pulled myself together and picked him up feeling like the world’s worst mother.

Soon after came the results.

I stared at the doctors as one said quickly, matter of factly, “No tumor.” My pediatrician explained a viral infection was the only explanation. No cancer.

Looking back, the joy I felt in that moment was buried by the overwhelming guilt and shame of a mother who couldn’t hold her son. My failing in that moment has taught me that I am human. That I’m not invincible. I’m just an imperfect mother who fell to the floor.

But I got back up.

Photo: The most recent picture of my son working at a summer camp. He is now 21 and a junior in college. 

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Heartbreaking. So glad it turned out OK
Dawn Taylor
Not my proudest moment but one that in some ways made me a better parent and made me stop trying to pretend I was okay. I’m still struggling to allow myself to fall down on occasion. It’s hard to fail but it makes us human.
Dawn Taylor
thank you , I don't love the memory, but I love the lesson

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