“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”
So there has been alot of talk about strength lately...mine, Bryan's, Sean's, Brigitte's, and Jake and Brenna's. Where do we get it? How do we do it?
I don't know the answers to either of those questions. What I do know is this. I didn't sleep at all last night. Tossing, turning, thinking. Worry, angst, control, sadness, laughter, tears....you get the picture. I went to bed early last night to get myself ready for all I have to do today. Including picking up Sean and Brigitte's medication for school, dropping off physical forms and having conversations with both school nurses about the kids, having a chat with the principal about tutoring for Sean, going to order glasses for Sean, getting a backpack for Brenna, getting Brenna a haircut, and then taking Brenna to cheer!! School starts tomorrow so there is alot to be done! Suffice to say with a normal week things would be crazy...but then there is Friday. Back to not sleeping.
I went to bed alone. Bryan was working another OT shift and wouldn't be home until midnight. Jake asked if he could come in and watch TV with me and how do you say no to that? Around 11:30 I sent him back to his bed and got myself as comfortable as I could. Bryan came home at some point because when I woke up at 3am he was there and so was Sean. Sean was cuddled up beside me as close as he could get. His head resting on my chest....soundly sleeping. I really had to go the bathroom, but it was going to wait. I needed to soak up this moment for as long as I could. What if it was the last time it ever happened? What if something goes wrong with the surgery and their are complications? All questions any parent would ask if their child was undergoing any procedure...big or small. Its just human nature. So I went back to taking in the sweet smell of lavender in his hair. Listening to his snore song. Watching his chest rise and fall. Holding him as close to me as I could. He gasped a minute and I jumped.
It was at that moment that I remembered that this isn't about me at all. This is about a 6yr old little boy who is undergoing brain surgery on Friday. I am not the strong one. He is. I am just his mom. I am just doing what I need to do to make this as easy on him as possible. We bought blankets and pillow pals. Picked out pajamas and word searches. We've got a bag ready to be packed. He is ready to do this. I am just there to pick up the pieces when he is out of surgery. To be there for him when he is scared walking to the operating room. To be there as they place a sweet strawberry scented mask over his little mouth and put him to sleep. I'll go back out to the hallway and break down with Bryan. Hug him. Beg God to keep him safe and get him back to me as the same Sean. Compose ourselves to go wait with family for the 4-5hour long procedure. Knowing the anesthesiologist is placing a tube down his throat. The residents are putting IV's and arterial lines in his little arms. While Dr. Warf makes a delicate 6-7inch incision down the back of his little neck and carefully proceeds to remove a part of his skull and brain. He will slowly wake up alone in the PACU and then they'll come and get us. Then we can begin to get him better and bring him home.
So, as I said. I am not strong. I am just his mom. Doing what every single mother out there should do for their child when they are sick and scared.