"To have a child is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body." --Elizabeth Stone
You don't have to be a mother to identify with what I'm about to say. Somewhere in your life there will have been a child, if not your own, then a niece, nephew, a sibling, the child of a neighbor or in a class you taught, a Scout troop your worked with, or a friend from your own childhood. You've seen that person grow up, you've become fond of them, you've wanted the best for them and feared for them during times of trouble. You've worried.
As many of you know, Himself and I have four children, two each from previous marriages. The oldest, my son, turned 30 in January. Coincidentally, the youngest - my stepson - turned 24 the same month. The range of ages is not great, and they have all long since become 'adults,' legally, morally, socially.
My daughter has a chronic illness that while not life-threatening certainly affects the quality of her life in just about every aspect. (I won't go into further detail in order to respect her privacy, but there is no cure, and I thank God it isn't terminal.) Tuesday she had a medical crisis that resulted in her having to be hospitalized overnight. Her partner was kind enough to let me know; except for emails and phone calls I'm too far from my children to be able to visit them - my last trip to the States was two years ago, and between the current economic climate in both countries, recent political events, and realities like our having the house on the market, the next trip could be some time in coming.
By nature I am not a placid person - calm, cool, collected is definitely not Kasey. I learned, after the kids came along, after a fashion, to 'act' calm and confident so as not to add to their fears and anxiety. After a crisis was over, after I was out of earshot - THEN I got hysterical.
So now that I have these... adults-but-forever-children-to
-me in my life, I mostly worry. They are good about keeping me informed and communicating and letting me know what's happening in their lives, but none of us can help the laws of physics, i.e., time and distance.
I spent most of Wednesday worrying, wandering back and forth from computer to living room, from phone to computer, from autopilot - fix lunch, fix supper - to playing solitaire to trying to maintain my sanity to - well, you know how it is.
This crisis has passed: she's home, feeling better, working with medical people, trying to regain some balance. I was fortunate to be able to spend a long time with her on the phone yesterday.
My head is screwed on just well enough (it is to laff) to know how much worse things could be, and how much worse things are for countless other people who are dealing with catastrophic illnesses and traumatic injuries and pain and suffering. How awful when it's someone you love, worse than when it's yourself.
Many of you have posted comments, sent emails, written notes, prayed, and waited patiently with me, holding my hand through this tenuous network we call cyberspace. My heart is overflowing, with relief that my daughter has improved, and with gratitude for all of you. Tomorrow will be a better day, but today has been better too, in large part because of you Sparklers.
Thank you, one and all. Thank you, more than I can say.