Today I want to tell you about a hero whom I know well.
She is my sister.
I have two sisters, and they are both wonderful. (You can meet Julie here if you haven’t.) This past year in particular has shown many of us how strong and dedicated of a mother Jenny is, and I wanted to share her story here.
About four months after Jenny’s youngest child was born, it was obvious that he was struggling to gaining weight. The last 18 months (he’s almost two now) have been filled with nearly every test and appointment you can imagine. Weight checks, nutritionists, specialists, allergy panels, endoscopy, blood panels…just to name a very few.
For awhile things seemed to point to a very rare disorder affecting how sugar is processed in the body. Until the tests came back, Jenny was encouraged to eliminate all sugars – including fruits – from his diet.
When I heard this was this, I cried.
Imagine – raising a child who not only couldn’t have cupcakes or cookies, but not even a hint of sugar – never fruit, not a hint of honey in bread, nothing in supplements – no sugar at all.
I’m sure she had a few breakdown moments, but I never saw them. From that point on, she carefully, obediently, and without complaint prepared his special diet. It is insane the amount and special types of food he needed. She was always baking some sort of protein-packed “muffin” or meatball – and if they’re traveling, she has to prep all his foods ahead of time. It takes hours! He is also very allergic to milk, so that complicates things even further.
Another weird twist with his condition is that he takes corn starch mixed with water every three hours to regulate his blood sugar. (And he drinks it! This little guy is a trooper, too!) Did you catch that, though? Every three hours. Including the night. I guess God knew what he was doing when He gave Jenny this child, because if it were me, I would literally be non-functioning. I have never once heard her complain about getting up multiple times at night with her almost-two year-old.
It’s just what has to be done.
And most amazingly, she somehow continues to think of others. To remember the neighbor going through a hard time. To make dinner for someone who needs it. To get some special birthday gift, make a special dinner for her hubby, etc. etc.
From Jenny, I have learned that you can do more than you think, if you keep the end in sight. When I am feeling tired or lazy, I remember all the work she does. Jenny has also been such an encouragement to me to not use my own problems as an excuse to ignore the problems of others (as I am so prone to do).
Jenny, you are one of my heroes, and your family is lucky to have you.
*Update on my nephew: Extensive blood test showed that my nephew does not have the genetic disorder where he can’t eat fruit (!!!), so they are trialing them slowly. (Praise the Lord!). They are treating him for a growth hormone deficiency and the results so far have been promising!
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