My Husband's Simple Advice When Our Child Got Sick


“Look up.”

As simple as that. While we were in the midst of this journey, that was the advice my husband gave me. I can’t remember exactly how long we had been living the weird, distant lifestyle, nor where our son was in terms of his recovery. I just know I was having a difficult time managing all the stress, the medical information, the heartache and emotions, and I had to tell him.

After all, he was the only other person in the whole world who was on the same journey as I was. He was the only other person who knew exactly what it felt like to be away from home, in a completely different landscape, away from your other children and waking up every day fearful it will be your last with your sick child.  He was the only one who knew every little detail of what I had been through up to this point.

So I tried to get the words out, probably in a rush as that is what happens when you are so full of anxiety, fear, anger and loneliness. I probably got teary and let those tears fall in the comfort of his presence because that was the only time I was allowed to. In that moment I let down my guard and he could see all of what I was or wasn’t and what was fueling my train of thought. I admitted my weakness. I admitted my worry that I was failing as a parent. I admitted my ignorance in underestimating the severity of the issue. I let him see the broken pieces of me.

He understood. He was broken too.

“I find it helps to look up when you walk down the street.”

Really? It sounded so simple and trivial and kind of odd coming from him. He wasn’t one to be motivational, but in this moment he was.

Look up.

husband and wife sitting on stairs
Boyo Photography

Too often we get so caught up in our journey that we keep our heads down and watch every step we take with care. We keep our eyes focused on the road, our heads too heavy to lift. We forget to look up towards our destination and enjoy the scenery as we pass it — and we will pass it. We need to lift our chins, raise our glances and take a deep breath. We need to let the light from the sun surround us, hug us tightly, and give us the strength to carry on.

We need to look up.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

The author and her daughter walking on the beach

When I'm Called 'Amazing' as a Special Needs Mom

“Wow, you’re amazing.” I hear those words a lot from people. I’m baffled every time. How? I wonder. How do I appear to be so amazing? Special needs moms are often compared to superheroes, like we’re supernatural. Like we’re doing things that are unthinkable, unheard of. Some people believe we were the chosen parents, that [...]
Hannah Wingert’s son, Davy

To the Well-Meaning Doctor Who Stole My Hope

Dear Well-Meaning Doctor, You saw me struggling to hold it together in your office that day. My son, Davy, was 6 months old, and his many medical needs were taking their toll on me as I navigated my new life as a medical mama.  He hardly slept, cried almost constantly, turned blue and choked multiple times a day and [...]
Closeup of swings in the park of morning

What You Don't Remember When You Live With a Dissociative Disorder

Disassocation: noun ○ separation of normally related mental processes, resulting in one group functioning independently from the rest, leading in extreme cases to disorders. Every day I lose time — literally. There are days when I remember half of the day. There are other days I can barely remember three hours. When I was a [...]
mom reading to her two autistic children on ipads

When You Think About All the Things You Were Supposed to Do Today as a Special Needs Mum

By 4 p.m., the panic sets in. I begin to think about dinner, cleaning up, baths, stories, and hopefully bedtime, and I realize yet another day has passed and things don’t feel like they’ve changed much. When my children eventually settle to sleep, my mind will run through all the missed opportunities, all the forms I [...]