Monday, November 16, 2015

Running Away

Yesterday was hard, so very hard.

The day before, Saturday, DQ was in a lot of pain, but had big plans.  She forced herself to enjoy the moment, despite the pain. By the end of the day, she was too exhausted, too spent to walk from the handicap space at the restaurant to the table.  We had to use the wheelchair. A first for such a short trip.

So, on Sunday, DQ was extra tired. She tried to be happy, but she did not have the energy to maintain the joy. She had to have many moments alone to calm down.

At one point, after a big meltdown and fifteen minutes to cool down, I went to DQ and held her. She explained that she doesn't know why, but lately, she just feels angry.

I asked her if she was in pain (I knew she had been for days).

She said: "Yes, Mommy, and I don't feel good.  I don't know why, but I don't feel good."

I know, honey.  Do you think you might be angry because you are feeling worse?

"I don't know, Mommy. I don't know why I'm angry."

That's okay, DQ. You don't have to know why you are angry. 

I know sometimes I get angry or irritable when I don't feel well.

"Really, Mommy?"

Yes, but it does not give me the right to treat people badly.

In her most downtrodden voice, she obliged me by saying: "I know. I have to be nice."

Yes, but we do understand if you are not feeling well and you can tell us that.  We will help you as much as we can.

She thought for a long time, snuggled deep into my arms.

"Mommy, sometimes I feel like running away."

My heart broke in two, but I somehow managed to assure her that everyone feels like running away sometime, but that running away doesn't solve problems, it just leaves them there for another day and takes you away from your support structure and the good things in life too, like family, love, and home.

"But, Mommy, why does life have to be so hard?"

I don't know, baby. I don't know. Your life is very hard, but we try to help you where we can. We try to give you as much love and enjoyment as we can, but I do not know why your life has to be so hard. It just is. I'm sorry.

"I love you, Mommy. You are the best Mommy in the world."

I love you too, baby. You are the best daughter in the world.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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