"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Quote by: Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, April 17, 2005



Here it is two days before surgery and I'm back in this place, this awful frame of mind that I was so glad to be rid of six months ago. I've tried hard not to lapse into self-pity and negativity throughout this blog. This is, after all, Emily's problem and not mine. I wasn't born with the cleft. I didn't have to wear the NAM. I didn't wake up, bleary and in pain, wondering why my mouth had suddenly changed. This is primarily a story of optimism. Emily is happy. She is healthy. She'll be ok.

But as a parent, it's so hard to see your child suffer and I'm afraid. I fear the look in her eyes when she wakes up in recovery, with arm restraints on and blood dripping down her cheek. I'm terrified of the crying that I won't be able to stop. The kind that comes at 3 am, in a pediatric hospital room with an i.v. connected to her foot, a panel of blinking lights and buttons and the broken breathing of other anxious parents just trying to make it through until morning.

I hate that I can't take her place in that bed. I hate that she'll never understand, not ever, how hard it's going to be for me to hold her and not be able to soothe the hurt. Will she ever trust me again? And I fear the improbable. That tiny chance that she'll never wake up from anesthesia. That the trip to the operating room, with her in my arms, will be the last time I feel her warm and alive.

No, this isn't a life and death procedure. But for me it's as huge as the sky, as impossible to climb as Mount Everest, as heart breaking as losing my own soul. There's nothing I can do but be strong for her, but I'm only human and this is my most desperate hour.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jackie,
My name is Patty and I am Rachel's Gramma. I have followed Emily's story and have been so encouraged for our precious Rachel. Thank you for that. As I read your post my heart hurts for you. I cannot begin to imagine how you feel... But I do know how your Mother feels as she sees your pain over your sweet daughter. I have been praying for Emily and will continue to do so. Know that I will be praying for you and your family and I am believing God to meet your every need.
Warm Regards, Patty

4/17/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm right behind you. The fear of your child never waking up, those few moments before surgery being the last and you're filled w/ apprehension trying to hug them as if that hug will protect them. Kiss their heads as if that kiss has magic powers. That is always my biggest fear... I'm so glad you've voiced it too. I'm glad Em has done better than you hoped. She is such a cutie.

4/23/2005 09:26:00 PM  

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