I know it’s been quite awhile since I’ve blogged. Long story short, I got two new jobs, right when the kids started school, have since cut it down to one and am just now getting my head above water. Anyway, today I was watching Grey’s Anatomy during the episode when the baby Zola gets a bowel obstruction and is very sick. I found myself having to turn it off half way through, unable to watch a sick child. It just brings back such strong emotions to when Chloe was sick. I often think it’s all behind me and then the emotions resurface and they’re just so strong. Last week I woke Chloe up and she was clearly not right. Pale lips and very lethargic. My brain (and heart!) were RACING! What the heck is wrong with her??? She didn’t seem to have a cold or a fever or be showing any signs of usual sickness. Was it her heart? I could feel MY heart start to race and near panic set in. I could feel those old emotions coming back. They were so close I could taste them. About an hour after she got up, she vomited and I was actually relieved. “Ah ha, the stomach bug. Now THAT I can handle.” She napped and woke up as if nothing had ever happened. Meanwhile I was left with this “taste in my mouth”. This uneasy feeling, for no reason other than I could so clearly remember how, what felt like just yesterday, sick she was, and at times how close we had come. . . (to what I’m not sure. . . losing her? so hard to conceive . . .)
Last year I did a training where we talked about our experiences at the hospital and what we had learned about ourselves. Not surprisingly, most people commented about how they learned that they are stronger than they ever realized. For me, I had to say the opposite. Through my whole experience with Chloe I learned that I’m NOT as strong as I thought I was. That realization hit me pretty hard. It isn’t fun admitting that you aren’t strong. That maybe, in fact, you are weak. . . and vulnerable. I really struggled with that reality, and I know people will “yes, yes you WERE strong”, but I also know in my heart of hearts, when faced with the possible loss of my own child, I was NOT strong. And I have finally come to the level of acceptance that I can honestly say, it’s okay. No one SHOULD be expected to be strong in such circumstances. That it is OK to FEAR the unimaginable, when the unimaginable is a possible reality. It’s OK to lean on others and find strength in those around you. It’s OK to waiver in your own strength for some day, you will find the strength again. I think I am finally there. Finding my own strength again and accepting my limitations and, if I must say, my weakness.
One thing I MUST say in reflecting on my own sense of weakness is the strength I get from the people around me, even when I have no strength myself. I guess one of my greatest strengths in Chloe’s situation was building up my community to help support me when I DID waiver. So once again, thanks to all who have stood by us, held us up, held our hands and heads, provided shoulders to cry on, support and food and gifts, special outings for the big kids, an ear, a prayer, a positive thought. . . no help is too small. . . to all of you, thank you for being my strength. I guess when I look at it that way, I’m really never as weak as I may feel, as my strength is truly gathered from all who support me and us.