Diary of a Chronically Ill Mom: Dear Children


Dear Diary,

I missed another basketball game today. I cannot even begin to count the number of functions that are so important to my children that I have missed. Why do I keep fumbling things? I feel so bad. Day in and day out, it takes every ounce of energy I have to go through the motions. The idea of getting dressed and attending an event with other parents, other friends, other people; is just exhausting.

Diary, I have learned a lot about my children through this time of chronic illness. I have known of their strength, resolve, intelligence, devotion, and love. I have struggled with protecting them from the evils of my conditions. I have struggled with sharing the truths.

I have known and was taught from day one that honesty is the best policy. But sometimes, honesty is brutal, significantly when you know it will hurt someone you love. Most especially when you fear it is going to hurt your children.

However, Diary, I have learned the hard way that being honest and open with my girls is my only saving grace on this road I am destined to travel. I have learned that even when it was hard to explain to them what specific procedures might be like and what certain post-op side-effects might be like, it was easier for them to understand and deal with those things when they were armed with that knowledge. I have learned that, as scary as it was when my husband rushed me to our rural emergency room while bleeding out, then being rushed by the E.R. ambulance to a larger hospital with a surgeon on staff who might be able to save my life, that it was better for our girls to hear this news directly from the horse’s mouth as they say, than for us to pretend things were normal.

Diary, my daughters have amazed me throughout this journey. They have stepped up in so many ways. They have willingly taken the lead to keep the house clean, cook dinner when I cannot, feed, and care for my animals when I haven’t had the strength. They have reminded me to eat on the days when I felt I was drowning. They remind me to take pills when I am supposed to take them but forget. Some days, they sit on the couch with me and do nothing at all when I feel like doing nothing. They are in tune with my every emotion and mood, in a way I never thought possible. They read me on good days and bad days, and they act according to my unspoken needs.

Diary, I am not going to lie. Some days the path of chronic illness feels hopeless. But on those days, I look at my wonderful daughters and remind myself of what a blessing my life truly is, as painful as it sometimes implies. I have learned this – my daughters are strong, they are resilient, they are intelligent, they are devoted, and, most importantly, they love me. They love me unconditionally.

Until next time,