When I was 7 years old, my Daddy was very, very sick.

It all started with a collapsed lung.  He was having trouble breathing.  He was shaking like a leaf.

Mom kept asking him if he needed to go to the hospital.  He kept saying no.  I guess either Mom kept nagging til he gave in or it got so bad that he knew he absolutely had to go because we loaded up in the car, with Mom driving and went to the ER.

I was in my jammies.

Ready for bed.

I was in the backseat with my favorite blanket.

Scared.  I remember being so, so scared.

We got to the hospital and he was taken back immediately.  There was no waiting.  This was the most dire of emergencies.

I sat in the waiting room.

In my jammies.

Ready for bed.

I wrapped myself up in my favorite blanket.


Not really understanding what was happening.

After what seemed like hours, I was able to go back and see Daddy.  I remember the doctor telling Mom that they had to insert a chest tube to drain Daddy's lung and it had to be done with no anestetic.  The doctor said that Daddy might have died if they would have given him anything to ease the pain.

There was blood on the floor.  Daddy's blood.

I cried.  How could he still be alive with this blood on the floor?  He was laying down.  Tubes coming out of him and machines all around him.  Eyes closed.

I was so scared.  I couldn't say anything to him.

He was admitted.

Mom and I went home.  I think I even went to school the next day.

Mom spent as much time at the hospital as she could.  I remember more than once getting off the school bus and having to sit outside on the porch because no one was home.

I was scared.  I didn't understand what was going on.  I wondered why I had been forgotten.

No one told me what was wrong with Daddy.  No one talked to me.

I did, on occasion, get to go see him while he was in the hospital.  I would go with armfuls of drawings that I had made for him.  He always made sure that they were hung on the wall.  Right where he could see them.

I was afraid that he would forget me.  That's why I made so many drawings for him.  He couldn't forget if there were reminders of me hung up everywhere.

I don't want Kaylee to be forgotten.  I don't want her to be in the dark about everything that is going on with her Daddy.  I don't want her to be scared and feel alone.

I am trying to keep her in the loop.  I try to talk to her about everything.  I try to get out of her how she feels about it all.  She won't open up to me.

And that scares me.  That's how I was at her age.  I felt like the people who were supposed to love me the most were leaving me behind.

I am trying to do for her what my Mom didn't do for me.

Being on the other side now, I completely see and understand how Mom got so completely wrapped up in Daddy and his sickness and trying to take care of him.  I get it.

I just wish she would have remembered me.


Oka said...


I bet your school has a psychologist that could talk with Kaylee. Maybe even refer her to some kind of support group.

kris said...

Oh my god, babe.

That you know first hand what it is to be your daughter? That is the most amazing gift. If I believed in a God (and I do not), I would be a little freaked out at the path your life has taken. Your experiences with your father have led you to be the woman you are with this man, father to your daughter and husband to you.

Talk about the circle of life.


What a gift of empathy you have to give your daughter.

If she needs someone outside of your family to help her accept the gifts you have to offer? Find that someone. You and your daughter have much to share.


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