Tim and I were finally a family of three. The first thing I did when we took Jesse home was feeding him. It was hard to hold the bottle. Soon I realized that I could not physically take care of his physical needs. No dirty diapers, no feeding or burping him, and no tending to his needs in the middle of the night. These facts began my spiral down to my depression. I wanted so badly to take care of Jesse as any other mother would do. Watching Tim our nanny Amie taking care of Jesse the way I wanted to but couldn't put me in a deep depression. My parents picked me up so I could stay a week with them. By the third day I was missing my baby Jesse so much. It was then that I realized that I just wanted to be near him. Just being in his presence brought me joy.
When I returned home my whole attitude had changed about being a mom. What a great blessing it was to be mother. Amie was terrific at making sure I had my time with Jesse. She would always put him in my arms and even lay him on my chest when he took his naps. These times were a real bonding experience for me and my son. The older he got the more difficult it became. By 7 months I could not hold Jesse without supervision. He was just too wiggly and wanting to do his own thing. Again I began to struggle with my role as a mother. It was so hard to watch from the side lines as someone else took care of my child. I truly appreciated Amie for including me in outings to the park. Jesse had the greatest giggle and his gummy smile could light up my darkest days.
On an autumn November day Amie , Jesse and I met Tim for lunch at my favorite Japanese restaurant. The food was great as always and my spirits were high. I felt truly blessed to have a loving husband and Amie, a compassionate best friend and my son the true joy in my life. As we left the restaurant Tim rolled me outside the door then left me to help walk Jesse to the car. Amie took one of Jesse's hands and Tim took the other and they began swinging him. Jesse had a blast giggling all the way to the car. Like a ton of bricks the thought came to my mind that I would never walk hand in hand with Jesse. I burst into tears feeling that Jesse would not be able to love me if my gnarled hand could not hold his and my arms could not wrap around him when he's feeling sad or lonely. This experience fueled my insecurities as a mother.
That thanksgiving weekend we traveled to St. George Utah to attend Tim's sister's temple sealing to her husband. This was such a special occasion because three generations of Waites were in the temple including six of Tim's siblings. The Saint George temple is beautiful and was where Tim's parents were sealed. The spirit was so strong that all my worries of my motherhood were gone. As we went into the sealing room my mind was focused on Grandpa Waite who performed the sealing and thoughts of being with my family through the eternities.
As the ceremony began a vision appeared before my eyes. The scene was a beach and I walked hand in hand with Christ. I knew it was my Savior because I could see the nail prints on his feet as well. We walked along the shore and the waves washed over our feet. The water was a beautiful blue and clear so I could see the bottom of the sea. He looked at me and the question appeared in my mind why are you so sad? I explained to him my fears of Jesse not loving me because I would not be able to hold his hand or hug him when he is in need of comfort. The Lord then asked me if I loved him. And I replied yes, with all my heart. He went on to say I'm not there to hold your hand or hug you when you need comfort. I told him that I can always feel his love and peace when I pray and ask for it. Our Savior taught me a lot as we walked along that shore. First he let me know that Jesse would love me. The most important lesson He taught me was how much He loved us. He cried as He explained how He wished He could be by our sides in our times of sorrow and heartache. Christ loves us all so much and that is why He atoned for our sins, sicknesses, sorrows, and tribulations. The vision before my eyes closed and I was filled with love and peace. I knew that my Savior felt the same way I felt and through the atonement he would continue to strengthen me in my trials of being a mom. Jesse is now seven years old and I often say that having ALS is a lot easier than being a mother, but I know he loves me infinity because he tells me everyday.