Last week was my birthday. I love birthdays but this one was special. My mom, dad, sister and her boyfriend all flew in from the east coast to be with us. A family friend threw me a party to which 35 of our friends attended. The oldest friends there joined our Army family in 1987 when we moved to Germany. Our newest friends we met just a few short weeks ago. They are all our ‘family’. I felt so loved knowing that I had the support of those 35 and SO many more. The party was superb. Things started settling down. My sister and her beau flew home. Dan went back to work. I was sitting with my mom, dad, and the kids at the dinner table. I mentioned that I would be going to see my cardiologist on Friday. Mary Ann burst into tears.
“What’s wrong baby girl?”
“I JUST LOVE YOU!”
Worst moment yet. We’ve been lucky. Up to this point Mary Ann didn’t seem to know the gravity of the situation. She’s always known that mommy’s heart doesn’t work quite right but, never shown fear. Not until now. I pulled her into my lap, cried where she couldn’t see me and snuggled. I can’t get it off my mind. My daughter knows that something is wrong, that I’m not ok, and she’s scared.
So I wrote what you just read about 6 days ago. I felt like I couldn’t end my post there but wasn’t sure what to say. I did go to my cardiologist on Friday but I didn’t really say much about it to Mary Ann. We didn’t hide it from her but we weren’t blunt about it either. My goal over the next few weeks is to rack my brain about how much honesty is appropriate for this situation. I never want to lie to my kids about things like this because I think it only causes resentment in the future. On the other hand, she is three.
I thought I would take a second here to jump up on a soap box. Behavioral health services are not only for those with a clinical diagnosis that needs the services of a psychologist or psychiatrist. For military families with Tricare, you are able to have 8 sessions with an in network provider with no referral. I have started seeing a therapist here who helps me with some of my anxiety surrounding my transplant. I am excited to have her on my team. Now I can turn to her for more ideas of how to help Mary Ann cope with our family’s situation.
How honest are you with you kids about topics that are a little out of their league?
Courage, dear heart. ~C.S.Lewis