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My Grown-up Christmas Wish

Yesterday, I received the gift I hadn’t allowed myself to admit was at the top of my list.

Our youngest had a checkup with his specialist. We’ve had to take him at least every 6 months for his entire life, sometimes more frequently, to keep on top of his condition and make sure we treated things in a timely manner. (I’m being vague because this is the internet and I don’t want to put anything out there that will jeopardize his future. I know the health insurance rules are changing regarding pre-existing conditions, but still…)

Our children’s hospital is thick with memories of Elli. We lived there for weeks on end when she was born. We visited there every day for years. Then I worked there for five years. I’ve been down nearly ever hall in the place. The smells of betadine and blanket warmers and isopropyl alcohol trigger all the memories, the fear, and the adrenaline-filled uncertainty of the years caring for her. I’m thankful we had a top-ranked hospital so close to home, and we are forever indebted to the people who took such good care of Elli. But I wish we didn’t need it.

That’s my grown-up Christmas wish. I don’t want to go back. Swimming in those memories is exhausting the same way that grieving is exhausting. It is a form of grieving.

Yesterday, I heard those words. I had given up hope of ever hearing them (Yes, I know I just called on people to hope. I did so because I know what despair is.). My son’s doctors looked me in the eyes and said, “The good news is that everything looks great. The bad news is that we don’t need to see you for twelve months.”


This has never happened before. We have NEVER made it to once-a-year checkups. I couldn’t stop grinning when I heard it, but I also wanted to burst into tears of relief and joy. Barring unforeseen emergencies, I don’t have to take my son back to Children’s for a year!

This week has been full of such high highs and such low lows. I miss my daughter so much. I’m happy for my son. It’s tough to live both the ups and the downs, especially when they happen at the same time. But I’m so so so glad. I can’t help but feel like we’re long overdue for some good news.

Have you had any good news lately? How do you manage the highs and lows?

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