Watching My Child Suffer

It is before 9:00pm and I am sitting in complete silence. This is a rarity for certain. Typically, we are in the midst of the "putting the kids to bed" circus and quiet is nowhere to be found. It is usually the time for baths and stories and prayers and cuddling. But tonight, Patrick is at home putting the little ones to bed and I am at the hospital with Bailey. It is her first weekend of chemo and this is just one of the many aspects of our new "normal." Last night Patrick and I both stayed, but today we were both exhausted and the little kids were missing us, so we are experimenting with a different plan for this evening.

So I sit. The room is dark, but for one small light over my head. It is silent, but for the hum of the machines. It seems peaceful, though I do not rest...peace is still elusive. The lack of sound is deafening and I must consciously control my mind or else the dark thoughts creep. My baby girl asleep, after a very long day of nausea and sickness. She is sore from her chemo port, she is attached to an IV, her stomach is upset and she has an immobilizer on her knee. At one point today she broke down in tears after an attempt at a simple task resulted in failure, "Mommy, why is everything so hard?"

To watch a child suffer...it is unfathomable. My own hurt cuts deeply enough. Watching her in pain? It is as though my heart is being slowly crushed...beyond repair. She is scared and sad and physically hurting and emotionally broken...and I can do nothing. Nothing. I try to comfort. I try to speak truth. Does it sound believable? I don't know because my voice quivers. How do I walk this little girl through her suffering? How do I protect her heart, her precious spirit? I want her to draw closer to Jesus. I do not want her to grow resentful and angry. But can I do this when I am struggling myself? I feel ill-equipped. I'm a mama. I'm supposed to take away the hurt...but in this...I cannot. I can only sit with her, hold her hand, pray for her as she walks through her own portion of this terrifying journey. I feel helpless and broken.

I sit in the silence and watch my baby sleep. No answers tonight.

I don't know how to do this.


mini and brother said...

I am praying that God comforts you tonight.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tiffany, I have been following your blog as well as your posts on caringbridge.

Do not doubt yourself, you certainly know how to do this and you are doing it, every day. You are strong and so is Bailey. You are not alone, spiritually or physically. When you are feeling 'weak' remember that you have many holding you up!

Shea said...

wish I could be there tiffany. Love you.

Jenny Watkins said...

sharing in your tears right now sweet tiff and praying too. thank you for being so real.

SWRunningMom said...

I found your blog through the 1,000 gifts website video link. This is exactly where I am. Our 4 year old daughter is 8 weeks in to chemo for a Wilms tumor. I'm in the weeds. I'm looking forward to reading your blog more. Best wishes to you and your family.