Cya CVA!

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Open apology to my children



This blog has focused mainly on the impacts this stroke has had on your dad and on me. I think it's time to acknowledge the fact that your lives will never be the same either. Just as it was unfair that this happened to your dad at 33, and to me at 30, it was unfair that the two of you at 8 and 4 had to deal with all of this.


I'm sorry. I could say that a million times, and it wouldn't even scratch the surface of what I feel.


I'm sorry that you had to see your dad collapse in front of you. I'm sorry for how scared you must have been when Gram woke you up in the middle of the night and packed you up to take you to her house. I'm sorry that I couldn't call you the day after the stroke; I was afraid that I'd start crying and scare you even more, which is a terrible excuse. I'm sorry for that, too. I'm sorry, Eli, for the fact that you had to do your homework in bits and pieces as I typed it up in emails to Gram.


I'm sorry I missed that whole week of your lives.


I'm sorry that when you came home, you had to see your dad in a hospital bed. I'm sorry that you were stripped of the concept of your dad as invincible so early on in life. No 8 and 4 year olds should ever have to grapple with the idea of their parents' mortality. I'm sorry that when you ask me to reassure you that the worst is over, I can't promise you that this will never happen again. The truth is, sometimes Mommies can't make everything better and I'm sorry you know that.


I'm sorry that you had to wait for hours in the hospital lounge, wearing your church clothes, while I tried in vain to track down your dad's doctor. Leah, I'm sorry that we missed half of your first swimming lesson because your dad's physical therapy session ran over. Eli, I'm sorry that you missed taekwondo because I couldn't get both of you to your activities that were taking place at the same time on different ends of town.


I'm sorry that to visit your dad in rehab, you had to walk through hallways filled with patients recovering from all sorts of physical traumas. I'm sorry that you had to learn about amputations, and paraplegia, and brain injuries at the same time you were trying to digest the reality of what happened to your dad.


I'm really, really sorry you even know what a stroke is. I would take that knowledge away from you in a heartbeat if I could. Eli, although I'm so proud that you want to be a neurologist, I really wish you had no idea what a neurologist was. I'm sorry that you've come to understand a half-dozen or so medical specialties. Leah, I'm sorry that your "sick" dolls will never again be sick with a cold or the flu like other little girls' dollies are. I'm sorry that every time you doctor your dolls, it's because they are recovering from strokes.


I'm sorry that dinner consisted of Lean Cuisine Chicken Fettuccine way more often than I care to admit. I'm sorry, Eli, for almost making you late for the daycare van to school so often that I got lectured by the daycare director. I'm sorry about all the time both of you have had to spend in doctors' offices this year. I'm sorry, Eli, that you gained part of your knowledge of the "facts of life" from a stroke support group discussion about intimacy after stroke.


I'm sorry that you've had to learn to be so patient while waiting for your dad to finish his sentences. I'm sorry that you've sometimes had to look to me to interpret his words for you.


I'm sorry that you've had to put up with some not-so-nice behavior from both of us. Your dad has yelled at you out of frustration. I've snapped at you because I was so tired. There have been plenty of times when we've been distracted and haven't given you our full attention, and that wasn't right. I'm sorry for that.


I'm sorry that both of you have seen me cry sometimes. I'm sorry I wasn't a stronger mom who could always hold in her emotions until she was alone.


I'm sorry that I can't protect you from all of this, and that I can't take away the hurt. And I'm sorry that the two people I love most in this world have had their lives forever changed almost before they began.


But I love you, and your dad loves you, and we'll all get through this together....




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Erin, a lot of children have to grow up with the realities of life. Not everyone can cushion their children and so we do raise a few stronger, nicer, more thoughtful indidividuals instead of pampered pets.


Ask the children of the War years, the children of the Depression and those whose families are split or torn away by accident, trauma and war and they will tell you it is okay. Life happens.


Our youngest was 15 when he saw the hospital situation, put off football training because his father had doctor's appointments etc. He is our most thoughtful and loveable son, still our mainstay in lots of ways.


Children need to face some realities in order to become good citizens. Yours just did it younger than most.



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I bet, in their hearts they know both of you are there for them like you were with the cancer when that happened.


They will understand more than you think. Kids now days are a smart bunch.

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I agree with Sue. My son was 7 when I stroked at age 34. I don't know what future holds but my stroke has made him kind, loving and compassionate kid. I am sure he will be getting lot of positives out of my stroke experience.




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Thanks for all the comments, guys. I know my kids will be okay and that there are things they've gained from this whole experience that they may not have learned otherwise. I was just having a melancholy moment and thinking of all the ways my kids' lives would be different had stroke not taken our family on. My kids were already amazing people before the stroke, I'm sure they'll be even more amazing now! :)


Thanks for reading!



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