Over the last 6 weeks someone or the other in my family has been sick. It’s nothing serious, just common cold, congestion and mild flu-like symptoms. But yes all of us have been feeling sick, including my 17 month-old darling son. Those of you who have been parents to a young toddler know that having a nasty cold at that age is never easy. You are always congested and the pediatricians don’t believe in giving you any kind of medication before the age of 2. So we have been having using natural methods like using the humidifier and applying baby vicks vapor rub etc. In-spite of all that, he has been up several nights, uncomfortable from the cold and congestion. For most parents this is not a cause of worry. But being a bereaved mom to a 5-year-old, I realized I will never ever be a normal parent again. Normalcy went out the door on September 1 2012. ( the day my seemingly healthy and happy 5-year-old got diagnosed with the worst pediatric brain cancer there is). Those sleepless nights with my son, brought back several memories that my brain had tried so hard to bury deep inside. It brought back thoughts of the month prior to her being diagnosed.
Right from the beginning, Zoey always slept with us. She would be sprawled out, right in the center of our king sized bed. She was a good sleeper as long as she was on our bed. But those nights, the month prior to her diagnosis, she woke up with occasional night terrors. We did not know what was causing this change in her ? She had no other symptoms from that tumor then. She would go back to sleep right after as long as I was there to cuddle her in bed. I took her to her pediatrician, only to be told that it could be because she was insecure, since she was our only child for so long and we were expecting her sibling. Later on, we found out that the pressure from the tumor in her brain, was making her uncomfortable at night.
So in the past few weeks, the nights when I held my son in my arms , trying to comfort him, I felt this irrational and unnerving fear creep in out of no where. My mind started racing with all the “what ifs”. What if this isn’t just a common cold ? What if it’s something more serious ? What if his pediatrician is wrong ? What if ? We were told, Zoey getting DIPG ( Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) wasn’t hereditary or genetic or because of what we fed her or exposed her to. Also the odds of something like this happening again in the same family is extremely rare. But then I don’t trust the odds. My daughter was one among 300 kids out of the millions that are born every year. What are the odds of that happening ? It still happened and took her away. So don’t talk to me about odds being in my favor. Because they just aren’t.
You would think losing my full-of-life child so suddenly to an unknown cause, would teach me a thing or two about letting go and knowing that I cannot control all outcomes in life. You would think, watching my life take her last breath helplessly would teach me to love without attachments and fears. The saying “if you love something, set it free” …. Well as a bereaved mom I live that saying every second of the day. I had to set free the baby that I had prayed and hoped for and nursed to life for 5.5 years.
However when it comes to my surviving loved ones, be it my child, my spouse, parents etc my brain and my heart don’t seem to let go. The fear is always there lurking …..waiting to creep in and take over. Someday I hope to be free of this fear…. But don’t see it happening anytime soon.
Love u and miss you, my baby girl. Maybe only you can help me truly let go of my fear and insecurities someday…..Just maybe.