Before it was all on us adults – and Ruby. Ruby was old enough to understand, and if not, we were there to listen and talk to. Every time Elisa was in the hospital, us parents played ball, conveying our feelings and doing what needed.
As said, taking Elisa to the hospital is so routine to us that it’s more of an annoyance than painful procedure.
There she is again, looked after by nurses and doctors who we know very well. She’s got chest infection: she is prone to have those.
First, it did not hurt much.
Then the terror on the youngest cry shook me, awakening me to see the situation with fresh eyes.
Before, Melody was too young to understand. She was easy to distract and she took comfort in continuing routines.
She is fooled no more.
She can clearly see her sister is not here and wonders why. She asks after her, not understanding why Elisa cannot come home. She misses her father, who is looking after Elisa during day hours. She knows something is not right.
She was quiet when we walked on the long hospital corridors. When we found her sister, she looked confused. There was too much going on in the room, nurse doing observations on the patient that is Melody’s big sister, a carer giving a report on Elisa’s being, Daddy asking for cuddles. Melody hid away behind furniture, found carers snack stock and helped herself. She couldn’t make sense of the situation, so she made distance to it.
It pains me to see her sisters confusion, her longing to have her family back. Her reactions to this is a unwelcome reminder of how this is not okay, how this is so unfair. Every day we endure apart, the more it hurts. In a way it is odd; Elisa’s record stay in the hospital is 101 days. So it “shouldn’t” hurt this much.
I keep fighting tears.
“She will be okay,” Dan keeps saying, misreading my emotionality for being worried for Elisa. I am, but I know she is going to be fine. She is on the mend, her colour is already better, and she is happy.
“I know,” I say frustrated, “but this, this is so unfair. Going in and out of the hospitals like this.”
“It is her life,” he says.
“It doesn’t make it more fair now, does it.”
Even though it is only the third night apart, I try not to make any assumptions about when my first-born could be discharged from the hospital. We just.. have to take it a day by day.
you have to be at your strongest
when you are feeling at