I know we have all heard the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I have been told this many times by people over the last 12 years. Twelve years ago, at the age of 24, I gave birth to Quinton. I was scared to death when this 11lb, 2ft long bundle of joy arrived. Lance and I were expecting a healthy, baby boy. Quinton was born with hydrocephalus, our first clue something was wrong. At three days old, Quinton had his first CT-Scan and we were told that he was born with Alobar HPE and that he would probably not make it to his first birthday. That first year was the hardest. Lance and I took Quinton to many specialists to handle his sleep issues, diabetes insipidus, shunt, and development. I was always scared that today will be the day that he leaves us, but God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle so I pushed down all my fears and did everything my little boy needed.
Three years later, Lance and I were expecting our little girl, Abigail. Abby was a healthy and active baby. She started walking at 7 months and never slowed down. I was relieved we didn’t have to worry about specialists and medications like with Quinton. That all ended when she never started talking. At the age of 2, Abby was diagnosed with PDD-NOS which has since been changed to Moderate to Severe Autism. She wouldn’t talk and would have horrible melt-downs, but I can handle this right?
Lance and I learned to handle our lives. Our kids weren’t the normal children we expected when we found out we were having kids, but they are ours and we love them all the same. We learned to navigate all the aspects of HPE that I know we all deal with on a daily basis. We got our routines together that helped Abby and learned to understand her own special ways of communicating. I was teaching and Lance was a deputy with the sheriff’s department. We were handling and rocking the life we were given.
Two and a half years ago, Lance was shot and killed on a disturbance call. He saved a family from a man that had come to kill them, but left our family shattered. I don’t know how the kids and I survived this. It’s hard to know what kids that don’t talk are feeling and how they are dealing with not having their daddy at home. They have their own ways of dealing and they seem to be doing well. We have spent the last 2 and a half years going to memorials and ceremonies honoring Lance and other fallen officers. Just last week, I attended the dedication of the Lance McLean Memorial Highway (State Highway 567). This highway is located in Granbury/Hood County about an hour and a half west of Dallas. It is wonderful knowing that Lance will forever be remembered long after we are gone to tell his story. We have been blessed with so many people supporting and praying for us. I don’t know how we would have handled it without our family and friends.
The kids are doing well. Quinton will be 13 years old in March and is what I call, “the healthiest sick kid.” He is usually happy and when he gets the giggles you can’t help but join in. Abby is starting to say a few words and she hardly ever has melt-downs anymore. I went back to school to get my Master’s degree to be a Diagnostician and will graduate in May. We miss Lance every day, but I know he is here with us and watching over us.
There are many days that I have thought that God did give me more than I can handle. I don’t know if that saying is true. I do know that whatever he has given me, he hasn’t left my side. He is the reason that I am able to handle what he has given me.