You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You’ll never know, Dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.
When I was pregnant with Gracie, I used to sing that song to Jackson every night. It was a stressful pregnancy, filled with worry about the baby’s mysterious health conditions. My bright little blonde-haired boy was my sunshine, my reason for not collapsing with worry. He pushed the clouds aside for me during that dark time.
It is very, very stressful for Jackson when Gracie is in the hospital. His life is turned upside-down when I’m not here to cultivate peace. He worries about his sister, wonders what could happen to her, and he misses me so much. We were gone six days for the latest hospital stay, and he suffered. Even though the out-of-town family was here, which helped distract him, he did not forget the aching longing for his family to be complete. Now, after we’ve been home more than a week, he is still recovering from Gracie’s illness.
The first time Gracie had a long hospital stay, she was admitted on Jackson’s first-ever day of school. She should have been admitted that Saturday when I took her to the ER because her finger was dissolving, but they sent us home that day. Her finger continued to dissolve more over the weekend, and at her previously-scheduled appointment Monday, her regular wound care specialist admitted her. That Monday should have been Jackson’s special day. He went to school that morning for the first time in his entire life and deserved to have his mom there for him when he got home, waiting for him with a hug and a smile. He never got that—instead, his mom was in the hospital with his very sick little sister, where we stayed for several days. Because of that first long hospital stay, there is a place inside him that is permanently worried I won’t be there when he gets home.
Jackson has been doing a summer day camp this week, one that he was at several weeks last summer and one week already this summer. For the first time, he is not enjoying himself. He has been crying almost every day when we’ve gotten there to bring him up. He complains that the other kids won’t play with him, that no one wants to be his friend, that the counselors aren’t picking him for games, that he is lonely. Reading between the lines, though, I think he’s still reeling from Gracie’s week in the hospital. He is worried that we won’t be there when he gets home. He is afraid that something terrible might happen to his family. He thinks we might forget him in all the worry about Gracie.
I had a talk with him tonight to try to assure him that I would never, ever, EVER forget him. I told him that even if the worst possible thing happened, we would get through it. He told me that the worst thing he could think of happening to Gracie is she would have surgery. (Thank goodness his thoughts are not as dark as mine.) I told him that if she had surgery, she would get better, and reminded him that she has already had surgery and she got better. We talked about how in all these times he’s been at camp, no one has ever forgotten to pick him up. Then we talked about lighter subjects, silly things to help put a smile on his face. By the time he went to bed, he felt a little better.
He may never know how much I love him. He is my sweet, sensitive, caring, good boy. I just wish I could bring the sunshine back to him.