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To the Children of a Mom Living With Chronic Illness

To my little darlings,

I am here watching you both sleep. It’s 5:06 a.m. and I’m awake because I’m in pain. It’s peaceful here with only the sound of you breathing, the cat purring at your feet and the tapping of my fragile fingers on the keyboard. As I watch over you both, I think of all the things I wish and hope for you and your futures.

I wish that medical professionals will believe you when you tell them there is something wrong. I wish that when you tell your teachers you’re not feeling well, they will believe you. I wish that when you tell me and your daddy that you need help, we can do that and to the best of our ability.

I hope that as you grow up, we can do everything in our power to prevent you from experiencing the type of pain and anguish I go through almost every day. I hope I can be a good enough mom for you both. Most of all, I hope you won’t grow up to hate me because I was too sick to play or get up out of bed. I hope you will understand that I didn’t get up out of bed because I was saving my energy to do something fun with you another day.

I pray you will grow up and live a normal life. I pray you will get the best education, in life and in academia. I pray you will find a job you love but never feel like it is work. I pray you find love with man or woman, and they will accept you with all your flaws and imperfections. I pray that you appreciate them, as I have appreciated your father for loving me, despite the difficult days. I pray they treat you the way your father has so graciously treated me.

I know that should you experience any of the obstacles I have faced, you will be far more equipped to deal with them than I ever was. I know you will be strong and determined as you have been in everything you do so far. I know you will have days where life is just too damn hard, that there seems to be no end to the uphill battle, but you will continue on. I know that when you should decide to become parents yourselves, you might know this guilt I feel now about passing on these “faulty” genes. But please remember — this is not your fault. You cannot control your genes as I could not control mine.

You begin to stir next to me now. No doubt you are looking for what you affectionately call “mama” as you nuzzle at my chest. And you, my love, at the end of the bed sighing in your sleep as if your dreams are giving you relief.

I want you to know that I love you, deeply and unconditionally. I hope you know I’m trying every day to be the best mom I can be, and I pray you will live a healthy, happy life.

All my love,

Mum

Follow this journey on The Zebra Mom.

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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