A Break from Mito
by Meghan Clement

My son Eric and my sister Amy just got on the road to head to Nashville.  Amy realized it was once again time for a much-needed break for my husband and me.  She will be taking him to his seating and mobility appointment tomorrow at the Vanderbilt Rehab Center and then Eric is going to spend the rest of the weekend with his aunt.  While Eric is in Nashville with Amy, my husband and I are going to go on a little get-away to the Smoky Mountains.  We will be going with our good friends and hopefully we will be able to enjoy our time away.  I hope I won't be a big ball of nerves all weekend!

As I was putting Eric in his car seat today, I could feel myself trying to savor every little thing about him.  This weekend is a VERY much-needed break, but it is times like this that make me hate Mitochondrial disease the most.  As a parent of a child with a medical condition, you never really want to think about the reality of your child's condition, but somehow reality always seems to sneak itself into your mind. 

As I have begun to come to terms with Eric's diagnosis--although shocking and unbelievable still sometimes--I find myself trying to soak up every little moment.  I want to always know his smell, his amazing smile, his deep brown eyes, and every speckle on his skin.  I am constantly seeking out one more kiss and hug, an extra wave "bye, bye," and just one extra minute to tell him I love him one more time.  I am always waiting for the moment when Eric will once again teach me something new and somehow put a whole new meaning or twist on how I look at life.

FIVE DAYS.  Five days may not feel that long for many of you, but I am speaking from the heart of a mom with a child who is chronically ill.  My heart was aching today as I said goodbye to my baby boy who I will see again in five days.  I do not choose to live my life feeling like this every day, but today, for whatever reason, reality is staring me right in the eyes.

Whether your children or healthy or not, always remember that it is the little things in life that matter the most.  Tell them you love them, kiss them goodnight, read them a book...whatever it may be.  Make sure you make memories that will last a lifetime!

Meghan is a stay at home mom to 3-1/2-year-old Eric, who is her only child.  Eric suffers from many medical conditions as a result of Mitochondrial disease.  Meghan and her husband searched tirelessly for two years to get an explanation for Eric's medical problems.  After visiting 19 different specialists and hospitals, Eric finally received a diagnosis of Mitochondrial disease.  Since Eric's diagnosis, he has been able to receive proper treatment for his conditions, which has made him a much healthier and happier child.  Although Eric is non-verbal, he communicates his needs and wants, and his love, in his own special way.  Eric is a blessing to his mom and dad, extended family, and friends. 

Meghan frequently updates Eric's Caringbridge page to keep others updated on their family's daily battles of living with Mitochondrial disease.  To learn more about Eric you can visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericthomasclement.

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 Author:  Meghan Clement
 Date Uploaded:   7/12/2010