Tomorrow, March 8th, marks 6 years, since we heard those words “I am sorry but…” . In a few weeks it will be 5 years since we last held Alexander in our arms and said goodbye. 5 Years. So much has happened in that time. We have had 2 beautiful girls. One of our girls, had open heart surgery at just 6 weeks old. We moved – although just up the road. I started working again. I am working, but not as a nurse. I work in a bakery at a supermarket. I like to say “if I drop a loaf of bread, it is no big deal. If I dropped a patient, it is a whole lot of paperwork!”
Life is pretty bearable most days. My friend and fellow bereaved parent describes it well in this article:
But there are still some days, that are very difficult to get through. There are still days I wish I could just crawl under my covers and stay there forever. I wish I didn’t have to deal with life – to work – to take care of my children – to have chores to do. It can be hard to get up, and put a smile on my face and face life.
I still have a lot of anxiety that my two girls will get cancer and die also. A few weeks ago, the older one was sick with a bug. I was doing fine until she said “My head hurts – my neck hurts”. My first thought was meningitis. I called the doctors office and they calmed my fears of that, by having me tuck her chin to her chest. But when complained on and off for several days afterwards, that her head hurt – I had it in my mind that she had a brain tumor. And not just any brain tumor – a DIPG which is terminal. I had our Make a Wish Trip to Disney planned out. Then, I texted a few “cancer mom” friends and they helped me snap back into reality (although, I really would have felt better if I could have given her a quick MRI to calm all my fears)
The PTSD can be bad (click here for posts where I talk about that https://thecookiegal.wordpress.com/?s=ptsd&submit=Go )
It can be a big thing – like a child being sick with similar symptoms that your child that died had. or it can be something small. I was in church a few weeks ago, and I saw a boy maybe 12 or 13 heading back in the pew and he put his hand on his moms shoulder. I almost lost it right there! Now, this boy didn’t look like Alexander, or even what I thought he MIGHT look like at this age. But something about that one moment, almost brought me to tears (I did hold them back as I had my children with me)
When my kids were newborns, I thought that age was pretty boring! (although some days I do miss just being able to snuggle them and rock them to sleep) It is fun to watch the children grow up and do new things every day. My older daughter is very bright and comes out with the smartest things! It is fun to watch her play pretend and make things up in her head! My younger daughter, is climbing into EVERYTHING right now. Drives us nuts, but we love it too!
While I am loving this age they are in, I am not like most people who say “don’t grow up to fast!” or “how did they get to be that old?!?” I am SO HAPPY they are GROWING UP and getting older. In fact, some days I want them to HURRY UP and get older! Not to make my life easier (no diapers, no sippy cups) but just because they have the CHANCE to grow up! Alexander didn’t have that chance. He didn’t even make it to be 2. Growing older is a GIFT not every one is given.
Hug your family and tell them you love them every day.