Then my daughter got sick.
In reality, Betsy was ill before Atticus even had surgery, but we didn't know what was wrong. We were looking for answers, took a couple of wrong turns, listened to a misdiagnosis, thought she was getting better. And then it all went to hell. She got sick. Really sick. As in, this-mother-was-sick-at-heart sick. She was hospitalized twice in November -- mid-month, and then again the day after Thanksgiving. Really, even now, I don't have the energy to write extensively about what she's been going through. She has a chronic, autoimmune disease but now, with the right medication, we are starting to get it under control. We are beginning to get our daughter back.
In the Hospital
The first time I spent a night with her
in a hospital was twenty-one years ago.
In the dark, she cried. I reached for her,
held her, nourished her.
Now, darkness. A whisper:
I wake from fraught sleep.
Sweet girl, yes, I'm here.
Nourishment is elusive.
My vibrant, beautiful girl is frail, wasting.
In the dark I cried,
and held her.
It's been a hard few months. This poem shouts despair, I know, and I've certainly felt a portion of that lately, but things are looking up, and I have genuine hope for Betsy's health. I've got the energy to write this because my daughter has the energy to eat, keep food down, absorb nourishment again. It's such a primal desire ... a mother wants to feed her child: Eat, eat!
They say a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child, and it's true of health problems, too -- a mother can't really be happy when her children are suffering, can she?
But a mother can hope. And trust. And keep going. And that's what we've been doing around here. It's what we'll keep doing because it's the only thing to do.
Hope and trust. And learn to breathe again.
The Poetry Friday round up is at Random Noodling.