The Will to See

I sat down to write last night and nothing would come out.  My fingers couldn't move and my brain totally shut down.  I literally stared at the computer for 30 minutes wanting to write, but not able to will myself to move.  I'm not really sure why either.  All in all it was a good day.

I think my mood changed after helping Lucy with her reading homework.  She got so frustrated and cried.  A   lot.  I could just see the defeat in her eyes.  She was so discouraged, and so was I.  It is such a helpless feeling knowing that her limitations may be irreversible.  Commercials for the learning centers seem to taunt me as I know that even they may not be able to help Lucy overcome the obstacles in front of her.

Tonight's reading was much better.  I think that's whats so hard with Lucy.  Some nights/days are good.  Others are not.  Its a roller coaster for sure.  We never get to stay in neutral for very long.  The highs seem to be very high and the lows are almost rock bottom.  They are for me, at least.

In Sunday school this past Sunday my Dad spoke of the amazing miracles Jesus performed in the Bible.  It was a lesson that I could hardly sit through without tears.  Lucy's life is a modern day testimony of God's miracles.  Over and over he proved Himself.  I told the class that (besides a few dark moments) I never really doubted that God could heal Lucy of cancer.  Cancer was never bigger than Him.  What really made me doubt and fear the most was when Lucy went blind..twice.

When her sight was restored, both times, I knew I had been a part of a miracle of Biblical proportions.  My faith, along with Lucy's vision, had been renewed.  I still have nightmares about those dark days when Lucy couldn't see.  Whether or not it is rational, the prospect of Lucy going through life without being able to see was almost worse than living with cancer.  To have had sight for 5 years and then to have nothing; well it was more than my soul could bear.

I guess all these things have been weighing on my mind lately as I have watched Lucy struggle with reading.  I think about the limitations on her life as she grows up if she can't read well.  I think about the joy I get from submerging myself in a great book.  I want that so badly for Lucy.  I pray every day that God would continue to work miracles in Lucy's life and that she will continue to beat the odds.  She is tough and she will fight.  We will, too.  We would appreciate your prayers as we work daily to overcome the challenges in front of her.

And if you want to know why I'm really losing my mind, this video pretty much sums it up.

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  1. Oh, Kate, I hear the pain in your words!

    I have been reading your blog, sending positive energy your way, and crying along with you forvwhat seems like forever. But I'm not the commenting type!

    This one, though, I couldn't let pass. I'm a kindergarten teacher...

    When work is so hard and frustrating that it makes a child cry, it is NOT the right homework! one work SHOULD be practicing things she knows, so that she has more fluency or automaticity. It should NOT be new learning. If she is doing many worksheets, those are NOT about reading and don't help build the skills of reading. What's more, she is in KINDERGARTEN and may not be ready to read....even though it is her second year of kindergarten. I think a conversation with the teacher is in order. Appropriate homework might be: re-reading a book or two she has already read In a reading group, using the strategies good readers use (look at the pictures, make the beginning sound, look for little parts you know); working on a number of sight words each week to gain automatic recognition, listening to a story you read and talking about it. It should be just like Lucy: short and sweet!

    1. I do agree with Trace since we homeschool this is thee exact approach we are striving to take. She will read in time, and it's not abnormal to struggle with reading. My 5 yr. old would love to read, but he is also having a hard time, it's hard not to doubt myself (since his older brother was reading by 5) but I really need to work on whatever works for him.
      I do feel your heart and I understand our mother hearts.. hugs

  2. My twins were slow readers. Now, 28, love reading. Their 1st grade counselor told me that kids read at all stages, but most all have caught up by 4th grade. That is when my did, fourth grade they were on track.

  3. I'm not a teacher, and I do not have a child with the limitations that Lucy currently does but I do have a first grader in my house. Reading for us has been a constant learning experience. We read every night in bed before going to sleep. I provide educational toys...toys she LOVES but doesn't realize she is learning while playing. LeapPad/LeapPad2 and the LeapFrog Tag Reader are wonderful products that provides fun ways to assist a child with reading! We have had great success with these products. The LeapPad has loads of learning apps you can download that will keep her engaged while she learns. Lucy likely feels as if she is an island unto herself with some of the limitations she is dealing with. These learning toys may be a great way to help her turn a corner and help her feel she did something on her own. Nothing spurs a child along like discovering independence! Prayers for you both! Keep us updated on her reading progress.

  4. Thank you for your continued honesty in sharing your life and Lucy's story. Thank you for always having your eyes on God. Sometimes I read your posts and see my life. When my vision gets cloudy, my heart aches, and I wonder too many 'what ifs', your words set me straight. I can see more clearly and refocus on this life God has granted me, no matter what it holds. Thank you friend!
    Always praying and always thankful for our meeting in Ga!
    Much love to all,

  5. I'm going to commit to praying specifically for Lucy's reading challenge...
    The video of your son was just too precious for words! I have a grandson about his age- gotta love little boys!

  6. Kate, I had to comment too as I was a slow reader. I had to take extra classes to help with my reading skills. By 5th grade I was in the top reading group so don't let this hurdle get you down. Lucy is such a strong fighter, eventually she will catch up and you will once again be amazed at her abilities to just keep on fighting through.
    Prayers always!

    I also had to comment on the video of Jack. It made me laugh because I have 2.5 year old boy at home too and he takes his dump truck and runs around the house pushing it at breakneck speed. It makes me a nervous wreck to see him doing this, but he always manages to avoid a crash :) I just felt better knowing that I"m not the only mom out there with a crazy boy.

  7. Have you considered hiring a tutor to put some distance between the emotions of each of you? I taught second grade for years and knew first hand how frustrating it could be for parents to help their kids when they struggled. I say this out of kindness and not as a statement about you.

  8. Kate -- I still pray for Lucy everyday. She will continue to amaze you all.

    And right now our living room couch has become "the garbage dump" and you would not believe everything that is stacked on there -- fridge magnets, plastic mixing bowls, cans of food from the pantry, and oh! the toys!

  9. Not much of a commenter, but I've been a long time follower. I heard somewhere that the act of crawling can help improve reading skills. Something to do with certain parts of the brain being triggered and stretched. I don't know if there is a valid connection and you might want to do a bit more research, but if it can help, then I don't want to hold back information! Praying for Lucy's reading.

  10. Both my sister and I struggled with reading through first grade, we were even in a slower paced reading class. By second grade we were both reading at much high levels, I even got to join a special advanced book club in fifth grade and we love reading to this day! Don't be discouraged, I'll bet that all Lucy needs is time :). Praying for you all!

  11. With Lucy's hearing loss this may not work, but if the books she is reading are also available in some audio format. Hearing the story may give her confidence when reading the story. Our library system has a program called "Fun with Fideaux" service dogs come to the library and the children read to the dog one on one. No ;pressure no judgement. If you have a pet this may work at home, sometimes moms are not the best audience. Another trick would be to let Lucy read into a recorder and then play it back.

  12. while i can't identify with childhood cancer and the long term implications from that, i can identify with watching your own child(ren) struggle to read. both twins were diagnosed with dyslexia in January. it is heart-wrenching, frustrating, and scary. I am praying for your girl.. love you, jenn