How My Illness Helped Me Have a Closer Relationship With My Mom


Throughout the years I’ve been told that my mom and I share too much with each other and that sometimes being too close to one another is unhealthy. What people don’t know is that the bond my mom and I share is unlike any other mother/daughter relationship that has ever existed. Let me tell you why.

 

Growing up as a sick child is unique in itself. You experience things most children do not and are forced to mature at a young age. Much of your time is spent attending doctor appointments, lying in bed, and just trying to get through the day.

And the person who was by my side, every step of the way, was my mom.

So mom, let this be a love letter to you. I would not trade one second of our time spent together and I will never apologize for the unbreakable bond we have.

Thank you for believing me when no one else did. My life was in your hands and you always had faith in me. The prayers we said together each morning before school were profound and powerful, and much of our strength was because the trust we together put in God.

Thank you for taking me to school, to doctor appointments, my favorite restaurants after those appointments, the pharmacy, the grocery store, cleaning up my room while I lay in bed, and more. Anywhere I wanted to go or needed to go you would take me there. A lot of the time was spent in the car or at these places and the conversations we carried are some of my fondest memories – laughing, crying, and everything in between.

Thank you for never leaving my side at the hospital. With every needle stick you let me squeeze your hand. With my head in a bucket you held my hair. With every visitor you brushed my hair and made sure I was comfortable in my hospital gown or jammies. With every scary conversation with doctors or surgeons you protected me.

With every sponge bath you embraced me with a warm towel. With every wake-up call at 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 6 a.m., etc, you got up with me as doctors did their routine rounds and checked my strength.

With every medical scare that occurred during this time, you comforted me.  With every day and night there, you slept on the windowsill bench, assuring me that I was safe.

Thank you for being patient with me when my frustration with this illness got the best of me.

Thank you for carrying me to my bed when I was too weak to walk.

Thank you for being a made-to-order chef when I had to eat all soft foods because I couldn’t chew.

Thank you for buying me clothes that accommodated the excessive sweating from medication.

Thank you for attending every school meeting, advocating for me and making sure I would graduate.

Thank you for studying with me, and helping me with projects and papers when I could barely keep my eyes open.

Thank you for holding me in your arms as I cried to you time after time, pondering the reasoning behind this diagnosis. Rocking me back and forth, consoling me and nurturing me in times of need.

Last but not least, thank you for understanding. It takes a special person to appreciate what I go through without you yourself actually having to go through it. But I know you felt my pain, my weakness, my anger, my frustration, my hurt, my victories.

You were there when teachers accused me of being lazy, when friends decided  I was no longer worthy of their friendship, when doctors didn’t believe me, when loved ones thought I didn’t handle things properly…You were there.

So mom, maybe people don’t understand our bond. But that’s OK. For such a long time it was you and me, only you and me. We have fought this battle together and there is no way I would be here today if it wasn’t for you (obviously, but you know what I mean).

We don’t need validation from others.

We have each other. Always have, always will.

I love you with my entire heart, mom. You are my best friend, my protector, my mentor, my role model, my source of strength, my forever. Happy Mother’s Day.

All my love,
Meridith

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