Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Tiny Heart to Mend

I am still friends with many of my high school friends, some more intense than others.  When Trey passed, so many people I knew from high school on Facebook reached out to me, including those friends who I had lost contact with.  It was such a bittersweet blessing that brought so many people so close together.

Two of the friends I reconnected with fell in love and married.  They had a daughter who had a rare condition that caused one half of her body to grow faster than the other which I am sure has had it's challenges.  Those challenges led them to not want to pursue the option of having other children.  So imagine our surprise when she told us she was pregnant at Lorelei's Baptism.  Four months later they are at our home  for my husband's birthday party and when asked how the pregnancy was going they reluctantly revealed that there were issues with the baby's heart.  I felt positive in my heart in the face of their doubt.  I just knew that since we had been through the worst a parent could imagine that no one close to us would experience the same trauma.

Two months later their son was born and spent some time in the NICU.  Through the next 11 months I have worried about the numerous times that he has gone back to the local children's hospital and rejoiced at the news that he was going back home.  

I knew that recently he was back in the hospital but I assumed it was due to similar issues so I awaited news of his return home.  Upon checking their status last night my heart broke.  Their little boy is facing such big challenges right now, a life threatening surgery or waiting things out until he passes away.  The status I read was either he had a surgery performed that could put him into liver failure (his liver is already compromised) or "Our other option at this time is to keep him comfortable until he outgrows his current fixes and eventually passes".   

I panicked not knowing what it meant and immediately contacted my friends.  They confirmed my worst fears, either the surgery works or there is nothing that the doctors could do for him and he would pass.  My heart dropped and the worries began.  

I remember well the nightmare we went through not knowing what the future would bring.  Their little boy has fought hard with them are his side for 11 months with us all thinking that because he was surviving that he would thrive.  I wanted to spill my guts to them saying that I knew what they were going to but I knew that was not the right thing to do.  I could never understand their struggle for more than a year since they found out he had a heart condition.  They had been back and forth to the doctors and the hospital, I am sure they all knew each other by name and each other's lives.  At one point it gave me peace that the same staff was taking care of him all along but it made me sad that they had such an intimate relationship with the staff in their son's care.

Through all of this they have put on a brave face and I have subscribed to it because his condition has been managed.  Now, under the weight of this dire news, I feel the weight of their entire journey and it kills me.  Our nightmare was only two weeks long, theirs has been an up and downhill journey or hopes and worries.  We all have delighted in the pictures they share and have hoped along with them.  Their courage has given us all reason to hope.  I have admired their strength all along although I know they don't always feel strong or brave.

So here I am trying to sort out my feelings on the whole subject.  They are very dear to me, we had many good times in high school and the bonds of friendship that formed long ago stayed solid through the distance that years created.  The love and friendship never died.  Had we not been brought back together I would feel the same way, heart broken for their struggle, hoping for a positive outcome.  

I am trying to separate my own nightmare from theirs even though it feels like I am reliving everything.  Upon thinking of visiting them and meeting David I am terrified, which makes me feel like a horrible friend to them when they need those who love them around them the most.  I don't think I would have a positive contribution to their plight although I want to.  I fear that entering into that environment again would set me off and my feelings would overshoot my efforts.  Maybe I would surprise myself but then again I know myself too well, I know I would fall apart.

I don't feel comfortable staying on the the other end other internet or the phone when I really want to be with them physically and emotionally the way they need me to be.  When it comes to friends and family, NICUs and children's hospitals are my cryptonite.  I can talk a good talk but showing up is still hard for me.  Maybe that is a part of my journey through grief.  I hope to soon be passed this barrier but I am being patient with myself and gentle with myself.

In the mean time, I will try to redirect my worry to positive thoughts and prayers towards my friends' son hoping he slays the Goliath that lies ahead.  I just looked at his pictures just now and his color looks good.  I am going to hold on to that thought, that hope, that love, that journey, that resolution.  

I seek prayers for my friends, their son, and their loved ones in the rocky journey that they have ahead.  My hope lies in the possibility that he will beat the odds and wow us all.  He has already wowed us and inspired us thus far, why stop now sweet boy!

No comments:

Post a Comment