“Mom are you okay,” she asked in a voice so loving and gentle. I could hear the concern, the fear, the worry. Is today the last day I see her? What do I do if she’s not okay? Why does she have to put me through this? Those are words that echo through her beautiful lips. I hate to feel her anxiety. I hate to traumatize her, but I have to stay alive for her. So I respond everything is ok, I will be done soon. 

I heard someone say trauma is dis-ease in the body and when it’s not healed it becomes disease. I can attest that is a fact. At 31 I was diagnosed with FSGS which is a nephrotic syndrome that causes kidney failure. I was given a long list of medications, and committed to taking them everyday in hopes of saving my kidneys. Fast forward 12 months later, nothing worked. I ended up in an emergency room because I couldn’t walk. My feet were swollen and my body was exhausted. I knew what was to come and I knew I had to do whatever I needed to do to make it back home to the 3 lovely kids that depend on my strength to keep them going. The next day, I was in surgery getting a tube in my chest that would be hooked to a machine that would clean my blood and release excess fluid from my body. I felt instant relief and became dependent on this machine to keep me going. 

Dialysis has been a curse and a blessing because with it, I live to see another day and without it, that day could be my last. So how do I tell my child not to worry? How do I reduce her fear? This is not a choice I can make. I can’t pick her over me, and I can’t pick me over her. So I have the courage to say, “Everything is okay.” I have the heart to believe that a higher power has a plan that would be best for both of us. My love for her will protect her. And courage will keep me going.

One lesson I learned is life is a roller coaster, and sometimes your up and sometimes your down. When the ride goes up take that time to enjoy the scenery. The ups are the best times because they prepare you for the downs, for the fear. Courage is when you can hold your hands up and enjoy the whole ride. 

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