Christi Cazin is the author of Living on Coffee and Prayer.
She’s also proud to be a regular contributor for the DuchenneXchange
It’s very near to her heart to write about her journey as a Duchenne mom. If you’re interested in learning more about her families diagnosis story or journey as a Duchenne parent keep reading, and don’t forget to subscribe.
I remember the day I became a mother like it was yesterday. I remember vividly how it felt to hold my precious newborn for the first time. I remember the tiny fingers and tiny toes. I can almost smell that heavenly newborn skin aroma when I think about it. Oh, how I love that smell. I love being a mom. It’s not my only role, but it’s by far my favorite. The day I became a mother...
“Be strong,” people keep telling you, but they don’t know how it feels to hear the doctor confirm the diagnosis you feared most. They don’t know that his words keep haunting you like a song you can’t get out of your head. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy you keep hearing over and over again. They don’t understand the trauma that takes place inside a mother’s heart when she hears that her child has a degenerative disease. They don’t, but I do.
People are usually caught off guard when they find out that I have two sons with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They say things like, “I don’t know how you do it?” or “I could never handle that.” They call me brave and strong before they even know me. People compliment me for simply surviving in the world of Duchenne. My faith may be strong, but I assure you, I am weak. The truth is, the ones who are really worthy of these comments are actually behind the curtain. My children are the inspirational characters in our story, not me.
The real gifts are not the presents we buy and wrap anyway. The true gifts are the moments that you’ll never get back. It’s those early morning cuddles that your children will remember. It’s the frosting covered table after baking cookies that will stand out in their minds over the years to come. It’s the night you all stayed up late to watch Christmas movies together that will bring a smile to their faces. It’s the smell of hot cocoa, the sound of laughter, and the simple family traditions that they’ll talk about one day.
I live in two worlds. One is the world we all live in. Everyone is familiar with how to navigate this world. There are endless maps, books, and guides to help people find their way around. Support is freely available to anyone trying to learn how to thrive here. I still live in this world, but it’s no longer my home. My new home is a far more difficult place to live in...
No parent should ever have to tell their child they have a degenerative disease. There is no parenting book in the world that will prepare a mother to tell her two sons they have Muscular Dystrophy. How do you tell your six and eight-year-old sons that their lives will never be the same again? There is just no possible way to prepare your heart for such a task, but after I got that dreaded call that’s exactly what I had to do...
I witness bravery every single day. I watch my two sons fight a degenerative muscle disease called Duchenne. I watch them struggle to do simple things that most people take for granted. I could go on and on about how courageous my boys are. I could write a novel about how much they inspire me, and someday I will, but this is not about them. This is about the other hero in my home who inspires me, my daughter. This is about all the siblings out there that show the rest of the world how to treat someone with special needs. This is about them. This is about their impact, and the light they bring to this world.
Every day I wake up surrounded by moments. Some moments are ordinary, and some are unforgettable. My favorite moments are the ones full of laughter, joy, and unconditional love. I’m not blessed with these beautiful moments because I have a perfect life, or due to a lack of suffering. Quite the opposite, actually, I have plenty of painful circumstances in my life. When people hear my story, they don’t envy me. The reason I have the profound privilege of waking up surrounded by these precious moments is simple, it’s because I’m a parent.
I thought I was prepared for the results. For months I waited and worried about that call. I tried to prepare myself as best I could. I expected it, and yet the reality of hearing those words hurt much more than I anticipated. Feelings of shame, guilt, and fear came rushing over me like a sudden wave the moment I heard those four words. Spoken so bluntly from the other end of the phone were the results I’d waited to hear for over a year. “You are a carrier,” he said.
Living on Coffee and Prayer
All mothers live in two worlds. One world is full of laughter, joy, and precious cuddles. The other world is full of potty training, tantrums, germs, and tears. Both worlds are important, and both worlds compete for center stage. Author Christi Cazin knows that motherhood is two-fold. Her days are chocked full of diaper changes, homework battles, sticky surfaces, and runny noses. Every day she wipes counters, packs lunches, and struggles to manage the chaos that surrounds her. She survives on obscene amounts of coffee and prayer to get through each day. Peace may sound like a distant memory for mothers, but it doesn’t have to be. Peace is freely available; all we have to do is know where to find it. Only God can give us true peace, and only He can help us survive motherhood. Living on Coffee and Prayer will inspire moms to embrace grace for their mistakes, trust God through their trials, and learn to truly value the vital role God has given them. Motherhood is messy, but it’s also a profound privilege. If God is the focus, the difficulties don’t have to overshadow the joys of parenting. The chaos won’t last forever, but thankfully, God’s peace will.