Dear Tattered Angel,
After hours of tossing and turning, attempting to find a position on the downstairs couch to support restful sleep, I find myself wandering the darkened halls of the house as the silence of the early morning is lost in the howling of random high gusts of wind as they speed past the house, rattling the windows, clanking the blinds against their frames. With the date of your next surgeries set and quickly approaching, I find myself unable to slip into deep sleep once again. As the clock clicks away the hours of the night, I pace the halls to pass my time as I struggle to once again to accept the fact that you must face these difficult trials at such a young age. Often times, I stand in the doorway of your bedroom gazing upon you as you lay sleeping in your bed, arms tucked in close to your face, decorated with the innocence of a sleeping child. My mind is filled with days gone by of a happy memories of a talkative toddler running from one place to another in search of her next adventure when all at once these images are replaced by the sight of my sweet little angel lying in a hospital bed, with face and arms draped with clear plastic tubing, as tiny tears escape as she quietly proclaims, "Mommy, I hurt." It is becoming more of a reality that we must once again travel these difficult days and nights filled with a casted two year old as you struggle to once again to heal yourself and conquer the odds.
These past six weeks have been such a blessing and a curse. It has been such a delight as the weeks have erased many of the symptoms of displaced hips once very evident as you struggled to move about the house. Now with only one of your two hips repaired, it is very difficult for anyone to notice any irregularities in your running, walking or activities of the day with the exception of the occasional tippie-toe to compensate for different leg lengths. At the same time with six weeks of freedom, I am sure this next surgery will be that much more difficult to accept for a toddler who demands daily baths or hours of standing on a chair in front of the kitchen sink claiming to mother, "I do the dishes!" Our daughter who now currently can not hold still for a second, will once again be challenged to learn to crawl, then walk, and finally run once again. By the time we complete your treatment you will have had to struggle to reteach yourself to walk a total of three times. Even with these setbacks in your development, a determined toddler quickly recovers the ground she has lost erasing the effects of months of being placed in restrictive casts and blending into the sea of normal children once her cast is removed.
Although we have already traveled this road successfully once before, it does little to aid with accepting the images of unsuppressed memories of previous treatments, coupled with the my inability to suppress the nighttime nightmares of my crying angel that snatch me from sleep, troubling my mind and filling my nights. As your date for surgery grows closer, the sleepless nights will get longer until at last we hopefully reflect on this next surgery with the same success as your first, and with time we will once again celebrate the simple daily motions of walking as you say, "I did it! All by myself, daddy!"