Children don’t always have filters – especially at age 7. Sitting around the dinner table tonight, my son Harry turned to Genevieve and said, “Can you die in surgery?”
My own heart stopped for a moment. My daughter was sitting next to me and I looked at her trying to find my own words. I may still be recovering from the holidays and admittedly, it took me a moment to formulate an answer. Before I could jump in, Genevieve spoke up. In a calm and strong voice, she simply said, “I didn’t die last time I had surgery, I won’t die this time.” Her voice did not quiver in the way that I know my own would.
Harry seemed to accept her answer and did not have a follow up. Al and I still felt the need to speak and told both of them that Genevieve is being seen by some of the best doctors at one of the best hospitals. My parents chimed in their agreement. Both Harry and Genevieve looked at all of us as if to say, “so what?” The question had been answered and neither of them needed any further declarations. Our words were just not necessary.
So, now I am the one left teary. I want to be confident. I want to believe that she will be fine. That she will not die. Truthfully, I am terrified. I have sat through “consent” and signed the papers and I will be doing it again in January – as I look at the calendar, I can see that I will be doing it one month from today assuming that we escape another delay. I am well informed on all that could go tragically wrong. I have also watched friends say goodbye to their own heart warriors – so I know what is possible.
I am blessed with family and friends who truly love us and believe that she will be fine and that we all will get through this. Over the next month, I will be leaning heavily on them as I am definitely struggling. They see her spark, her life and they tell me that they know she will do great. I want to believe – I really do. There are just some moments that I am overwhelmed by all the thoughts of what could go wrong.
She is my baby girl, my mini-me, my magic child. I need her to be here.