Monday, September 10, 2012

Too hard to let go

When we are in the "ups", the little things shape our world.
Smiles. Crayon drawings. Laughter. Music.

When we are in the "downs", the fog rolls in to cloud our minds and stifle our hearts.
What ifs. Worries. Guilt.

Only parents can understand the power of parental guilt, the heart-squeezing fear of doing something utterly wrong. When rational thought attempts to break through the clouds to let in some light, the guilt can smack it back with tremendous force. I believe there is no greater power on the face of this earth.

Good parents raise their children to the best of their ability. We vow to protect our babies, watch over them, and make the absolute best decisions for them. Even if the decisions were right at the time, the doubt can creep back. And it hurts. More than anything in the world, it hurts. Others can scoff or judge or think we are overly dramatic, but no one is in our shoes. No one knows.

I have been awake for too many nights lately, wondering, thinking, worrying. Despite simple instructions to "try this and wait", I slip. I find myself watching, evaluating, and analyzing every glance from my baby's blue eyes. Is she adjusting to bifocals correctly? What can she see? Why is her eye turning in a way I have never seen before? Can glasses make her worse? Why was the second eye surgery declared a success, only to find her eyes turning in again six weeks later? (This hurts most of all.)

Apparently, medical advice does not always come with clear instructions.

I know, I know... they told us what to do. "Try this and WAIT". I will myself to stop thinking about it. I plead with my brain to ignore it for two more months. I use every strength in my being to shove it out of my mind. Sometimes I can do that. Sometimes I cannot. Sometimes I can do it, but my husband cannot. When I am feeling confident and free, he has a guilt day. We vowed almost ten years ago to be a team for life. So what he feels, I feel. What I feel, he feels. We find ourselves picking each other up on good days, but dragging each other down on bad ones.

Last night was a bad night. When I finally slept, I had a nightmare. A massive black widow was in our room, hissing and crawling on my husband. The choice was up to me - I had to decide what to do. Kill the spider and risk a fatal bite to him? Let the spider go and know it will be lurking in our home? Even in sleep, I feel as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders. And I do not know what to do.

I am a smart person. I have a powerful brain and know how to use it. I know there are numerous "what ifs" out there, all more devastating than this. I cannot deny that we are blessed in thousands of ways. I absolutely remember that she is only four years old and we have time to figure this thing out. But the unwavering power of the dark side is shocking. Brain and heart in a boxing match? Total knock out. Sorry, brain.

I cannot describe how difficult it is to let go and trust when the light of your life is the one affected.

I wish it was me instead.

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