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To My Young Daughter, From Your Mom With a Chronic Illness

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My Dear Daughter,

I’m sorry for the times I said I couldn’t play and for all the play dates you wanted to have that I couldn’t arrange.

I’m sorry for the fear I see in your eyes every time I say I need to go to the hospital. I’m sorry I can’t promise you I’ll be back soon or give you a timeframe of how long I’ll be gone.

I’m sorry for the disappointment when we don’t celebrate a holiday or an event like other families do because sometimes I’m not around because of a hospital stay.

I know you have so many questions on your mind, and I’m sorry for not giving you the answers you wish for. I know you think, “Mommy knows it all,” but in this case, I don’t.

I know you don’t understand why I spend so many days in bed, why I can’t do the many things I used to do and why Mommy changed. That same Mommy used to travel with you to foreign places and used to wake you up and tell you let’s have an adventure.

I may not have answers, but I want you to know that through my weakness, you learned to be strong, and through my fears, you learned to be brave. In a way, I showed you how to keep pushing even when everything around you knocks you down.

But at the same time, you have taught me more than all the books and schools could ever have. You taught me to stand up again after I fall, you taught me to face my fears and keep going on, you taught me to never look behind, you taught me to not look at what made me sad but what made me happy and you taught me to take disappointment with grace and a smile.

Although I’m the adult and the parent, I need you more than you need me in a way. I need you to wake me up every day, I need you to smile and scream and fill my life with noise and I need you to make me busy and push me to be the adult in charge.

Because on my darkest days and at my weakest point, you give me the strength to keep going. You’re the reason I stand up and say I should try again.

I love you and thank you for being my support system (even if you still don’t understand what these big words mean.)

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: August 15, 2016
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