Monday, July 11, 2011

Different than any other day

Jillian posted this on Facebook, but I wanted to be sure we recorded it here as well.

Today feels different than most other days.  
With Wednesday approaching quicker and quicker, I have fears and a feeling of helplessness.  I am looking forward to the surgery being over with for many reasons.  Aurelia’s heart will be whole.  Complete.  Healed.  For that I am thankful to the hundreds of doctors, nurses, surgeons, and others who will have taken part in her care.  Today’s feelings aren’t about the upcoming surgery though; they focus more-so on our daughter, Madison, who has been such a trooper through all of this.  Don’t get me wrong, Aurelia is my little heart warrior and I think that she is the bravest person that I know.  Madison though, has been through every bit of this with us.  And she has weathered it all very well.  I am very proud of the caring, sweet girl that she has become.  She is the best big-sister in the world and I absolutely treasure her. 
 I am looking forward to normalcy in our family.  Of the last 10 months, I have spent 116 nights away from home, at three different Ronald McDonald Houses.  That is nearly 1/3 of a year.  This next stay will likely be a week or two and this one I am dreading the most.  Madison has been with me for nearly every night for the last year, but this time Charley and I are opting to leave her at home with my parents taking care of her.   But leaving her behind is tearing me apart.  I know that it will be better for all of us in the long run.  Charley and I can spend all of our time at the hospital with Aurelia, especially during the first few days post-op.  We won’t have to rush back to the RMH for dinner or worry that we aren’t splitting our time equitably between both girls.  For Madison though, hopefully it will be a time for her to enjoy time at home with her grandparents.  She can play in her pool or in the sprinkler and have all of her toys and books close by. She can sleep in her own bed.  She will have her Uly and Shy (our cats) and she will have time for arts and crafts and the undivided attention of her grandparents. 
 For my part though, I am going to miss her dearly.  Having her with me for those first 11 weeks of Aurelia’s life (and the week before, when we went to Philly early) was such a blessing.  She was a wonderful distraction on tough days.  It was good to go “home” in the evenings and have her to be with, especially when Charley wasn’t there.  I think that I was able to be with her more and to see her grow and change more than I would have if I had been working all of that time.  It really was very special.  But this time, I think that we need to focus on Aurelia and to spend our time and energy on her.  I guess that anyone that has more than one child feels torn when they can’t be with both kids at the same time.  This just feels so painful though. And while there are still 2 surgeries ahead, I don’t have the same sense of angst when thinking about them.  Maybe that is because they are not right in front of me yet.  In the grand scheme of things, they will be minor compared to many of the other surgeries that Aurelia has already faced.  They will also be much shorter stays in the hospital, and hopefully they won’t have the risk of as many complications as are possible with this upcoming surgery. 
 No matter what, right now I am feeling scared about the next two weeks.  I would love for Aurelia’s surgery and recovery to be as smooth as possible, but I know our girl and there is bound to be some sort of a complication.  I take solace in knowing that Madison is just a car ride away.  And perhaps when Aurelia is stable, I’ll go home for a night.  Or maybe bring her back to Philly.  After all, I’m sure that she will be missing her sister (and her Mama and Daddy) just as much as we’ll be missing her. 

1 comment:

  1. I read this on Facebook and didn't have a chance to comment yet. My heart breaks for you. Wish we were around to do more to help. I am sure the decision to leave Madison in Gettysburg was a tough one, but sometimes the only choices available in these situations are the best in a field of not that great possibilities. I know you both are putting your whole hearts into the care and choices for both girls, and that's all you can ask of yourself. I realize it doesn't make it any easier or hurt any less. Sending lots of hugs and hoping for the shortest possible time until you are all together at a time when it feels manageable. Love you guys.