Dear Parent of a Sick Child,
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It has been too long since you laughed with authencity, thoroughly enjoyed a lunch date without that cloud of despair hanging over you, or even, been able to swallow your meal without effort? People are telling you that it will be okay, but somewhere in that place of despair, you are wondering if things will be okay. You know now, Parent of a Sick Child, that things will never be the same.
You look at the other kids in the neighborhood or in passing at the store. You hear their laughter. You feel their joy. You see their smiles, and then, your thoughts are pulled down with the image of your own child fighting for a sense of normalcy beyond illness.
You get angry. You spit at the curse of illness. You want to rage at the reasons, and yet, you cannot find one. Nothing makes sense anymore. Your child, once vibrant, healthy, and in love with life, is now fighting to stay out of Heaven.
You have pleaded with God. You have demanded an answer. Your anger has sprouted wings. Still…you know that anger breeds despair. You do not want despair to knock on your door. Instead, you want clarity.
You lift your child’s name up in prayer. You ask others to do the same. You question,
“Why my child? Why? Please….WHY?”
And then, you return to reality. You calm down. You regain that strength that has kept your feet moving. You meet with the doctors. You discuss options. You grab your child’s hand. You wipe away tears while holding your own in. You listen to others who agonize for your child. You hug. You comfort. You absorb the pain.
Dear Parent of a Sick Child, has anyone thanked you lately? Has anyone told you that he or she doesn’t know how you do it? How do you continue to get up everyday and put on that smile of fortitude? How do you keep on holding down a household, a job, and other responsibilities?
Maybe, just maybe, there have been times when you do not even know where you gather your strength from. Perhaps, you wonder when your grit will be no more. You fear caving in to your sorrow. You know, though, that you will never show the collapse of your armor to anyone else.
You seek the quiet corners of the hospital, the silence of your car, or the closed doors of your home. In those places of solitude, you let it all out. You wail. You wonder. You wish for a return to life before the sickness.
You want your child to live a life beyond all of this.
Dear Parent of a Sick Child,
Cling on to that spunk that is getting your child through the tough days. Pray with continual perseverance. Be present. Demonstrate determination. Speak of strength. Whisper your mighty wishes. All of this does not, and will not, ever go without notice.
Thank you, Dear Parent of Sick Child, thank you.
Thank you for not giving in, giving up, or walking away.
Thank you for the sleepless nights,
the continual nearness,
the courage to wipe away the tears of others,
the advocacy for what needs to be done,
the non-dented armor you wear every day,
the light of hope you shine each day.