The past year has been truly difficult for Daddy. In September 2010, he had his kidney transplant and the surgery was successful. Unfortunately, there were all kinds of complications that happened afterward: blood clots, digestive system issues, infections. It felt like he was in the hospital for most of 2011. He would come home for a few weeks and be back in soon afterward.
When I look back on the year, it is not through my eyes as his wife. Instead, I can only see the year as Gracie and Lucas did. The older they become, the bigger their world is. When they were a year old and Daddy was in the hospital, they had me, Abue Rosi, and Abue Juve every day to distract them and fill their days with happiness. When they turned two, they missed him and asked about him, but they were easily distracted. At 3, they asked so many questions about Daddy. What was he doing? When was he coming home? Why was the doctor making him stay at the hospital? They had so many questions and it was increasingly difficult to answer them. How do you tell a 3 year old that their Daddy has an illness that is not going to go away and has the potential to get so much worse?
I think the last 5 months have been the hardest. This summer, Ed was out of the hospital for about 9 weeks. We were together every day and it was really fantastic. Then, in August, Ed went in to have a filter removed from his leg. During the procedure, the camera that the doctor was using to locate the filter punctured his vein and caused him to bleed internally. I was there when the doctor came in to talk with him. Ed almost died.
It is unbelievably hard to write that statement. We almost lost him. I held Gracie and Lucas tightly for the next few days, uncertain what life held for us. They had so many questions this time, but this time, they were scared. They had just spent weeks with their Daddy and their love for him was/is huge. There were tears and worry that I would go away too. Daddy was in the hospital for months this time and since he's come home, he hasn't been the same. He's had more complications and his frustration at not being able to be an active father increases every day.
Three days ago, Daddy came home after having been in the hospital for a week and a half. Tonight, he returned to the hospital. Each time, it is harder for Gracie and Lucas. Each time, I see them become more anxious and afraid. I wish I had answers for them and that I could reassure them that Daddy will be well soon. The truth is, I have no idea what is next. No idea whether he will be well tomorrow or at all. I'm scared and I have no answers. All I can do is hug them close and make sure they feel as safe as possible.
On Facebook today, someone posted a quote that stuck with me and I'm going to hold it close:
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
I hope Daddy knows how strong he can be.