Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Am Just A Carpool Mom

First of all, I am not a religious zealous.  I am neither a pastor nor a medical professional. I am a working mom who is  also a Christian that believes in God and heaven.  I am a mom that was thrust into the healthcare arena by being told I have a chronically ill child that will live the rest of his life with kidney disease.  A condition, that up until he was 4 1/2, we had no idea was present. I have had to become educated on a variety of medical terms and conditions.  This was a necessity in order to protect my child.

I grew up believing in God, but I didn't have a full knowledge of just how impacting God was in our lives. After Matthew had his near death experience, I sought to really know and understand what had happened to my child. To do this I turned to my Bible. A book that before this time, I probably didn't pull out enough.  I relied on the paper leaflets I got from church on Sunday with the printed scripture readings and prayers of the day. I was amazed at what I learned and developed a deeper understanding for so many things that happened in our lives. 

I am not a radical. I am just a wife and mother that puts her feet on the floor everyday and hits the ground running like every other working mom out there.  My young son was given an unforeseen path in his life and I believe with every ounce of my soul that God has carried him through.  He has shared a vision of what can only be described as heaven. Because of the unexpected events in our lives, my daily schedule is just much busier now. 

My day begins just as it always has, getting kids ready for school and making our morning commute.  Now I juggle my career as a photographer with the passionate pursuit of being the founding president of the National Pediatric Blood Pressure Awareness Foundation.  The NPBPAF was created in 2010 to protect other children from enduring the type of issues Matthew did, by providing increased blood pressure screenings and awareness. I educate and advocate on the need for increased blood pressure screenings for all children. Speaking publicly and professionally on Christian issues and Matthew's near death experience has allowed me to share the impact God has had in our lives and how He has made His unending presence known to our family.

There was a day in the spring of 2007 that will be etched into the minds of my husband, closest friends, and myself forever.  It was on that spring morning that we stood at my son's hospital bedside and prayed for God not to take him as we feared he was passing from this earth.  A time when his eyes rolled back into his head and went completely unresponsive and lethargic.  It was noted in his medical chart that he had an episode, during an interval of 3-5 minutes, of which could not be explained.  After a full CT of his brain, we had a neurologist give us a simple answer of  sometimes there are just things that can't be explained medically.

That time interval of just a few minutes has changed our lives in ways that could not be imagined.  It was nearly a month after Matthew's experience when he shared it with us.  During that time, we knew there was something very heavy weighing on his little soul.  Initially we thought it was just the stress and worry of knowing he had been so sick and in the hospital.  On the night he finally shared what had been plaguing his soul, it was as though a load of bricks were lifted off his shoulders.  From then on, our lives had different meaning to all of us. It was a change of nothing but positive.  We knew that Matthew had a life of purpose.  My husband and I had feared we were losing Matthew on that spring morning.  After he woke up, we were relieved and then moved forward to continue to try and understand what was making him sick.  We did not give any further thought to that specific episode after the neurologist assured us he had not had a stroke or had not slipped into a coma briefly.

It wasn't until the bravery Matthew showed by sharing his experience, did I really come full circle and know just exactly how close we came to losing him. I will say we all live a life of purpose now and have a strong desire to give back and help others.  His story has helped many people already, privately, to heal and understand the peace and beauty that is on the other side.  The prospect of his story being able to help thousands more after his story is finally shared publicly is amazing.  On March 11, 2014, people will have the opportunity to know the full path of events. To learn more about Matthew's story or how to get your copy, visit www.celestegoodwin.com.  If you are on www.goodreads.com, you can search A Boy Back from Heaven in the title section to find out how to preorder a copy.

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