Having Her Back (Day 167)

The first time Lily's shunt failed in 2019, she was unconscious when she left for the operating room. It was surreal to hand over my not-awake, critically ill daughter and go sit in a waiting room. I remember weeping with joy when I heard her telling all her stories to her ICU nurses, as I raced to her room after recovery. 

This second time, Lily was conscious, but sick. Still, the pain of being forced to be separated from her--handing her over to a team of strangers who were going to operate on her, was surreal. I really can honestly say that I have no idea how we do it. I have no idea how I did it when she was just 14 months old. 

I hate giving her up.

Everyday, Lily seems more of herself again-more energy, more positivity, more joy over life. She is such a bright light--a wise, kind, sweet, genuine kid. I am so glad that her continued struggles as a brain tumor survivor have not taken away who she is.  She wrote a poem this week for English class--a hopeful, joyful poem about summer. She took the afternoon to write out thoughtful thank you notes to each of her teachers at high school--I can tell you that I never once did that as a teenager. 

I love having her back--having her hopeful, thoughtful, kind spirit at my side. She is my oldest--and especially during summer vacation, my partner in crime. Lily plans special pizza lunches and surprises and outings. Tomorrow, she is taking some of her babysitting money to take Nick and Chloe out to lunch and she thought they'd go for a walk around the lake--just the three of them--something special to celebrate this crazy year. 

Lily sees her siblings, too. Tonight, she came with me to pick up pizza for dinner and she told me that she knows Chloe and Nick are also having a hard time after her surgery. 

I told her, they are just happy like I am, to have her back.