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Dear Mama: Thank You for Standing With Me While I Battle Chronic Illness

Dear Mama,

I am sorry that you ever have to read this letter. I’m sorry that you were chosen to be the parent of a child who has not one but two chronic illnesses. I am forever apologetic that your social and professional life regularly gets paused for things we can’t control. Things like emergency room visits or urgent doctor appointments, trips to other specialists and, worst of them all, surgeries.

Mommy, I am sorry for all of the waiting and for the endless paperwork. I’m sorry I can’t just be your daughter and best friend, but am your patient most times too. No matter how much physical pain I am in it is always heart-wrenching for me to see you. I see you hurting internally but trying so very hard to hide it. I see you struggling to stop your tears when talking to yet another doctor. I see you not do things you want or need to do because of me. I know the physical pain you’re in as well from lifting me off the ground once again. Your child is grown, she is supposed to be working, out of your house and not dependent on you anymore, but that is not our story. While your friends are babysitting their grandchildren, you’re stuck at home babysitting me.

This open letter to you isn’t just to apologize but to thank you. Thank you for choosing to stand with me. Thank you for all the things you take care of when I am not able to. I want to tell you because I don’t say it enough that I appreciate you. And I appreciate you putting your life on hold for me. Thank you for fighting for me when I’m too tired to fight for myself. For every surgery, doctor visit, emergency room visit, meeting and all the paperwork I am eternally and forever grateful. I do not know why God chose us for this journey but I am so glad that he chose you to walk it with me. As hard as it’s been, the memories made along the way have been tremendous! Thank you for those as well.

mother and daughter in the hospital

For my chronic illness warriors, I hope you have someone in your life as I do for support. If you do, please don’t take them for granted. Make sure to thank them and love them with all your might. I love you, Mama.

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