The job of a medically fragile child’s sibling.

I abandoned my child.

Now say it again.

I abandoned my child.

Say it again one more time.

I abandoned by child.

I say this to myself. I tell myself I had no choice. I say it to prepare my heart.

One of the greatest parenting advice I ever got is to always be open to hear how you failed your child when they are little after they are grown.

Woah. Openly accept all the ways I failed even though I was doing my best.

Do it openly. Do it without making excuses. Accept that at some point despite my best intentions I will mess up. I will make a negative lasting impression on my child among all the positive.

So I say it. I abandoned my child. I say it and know it’s true.

Not in the way you are thinking. She never went without, always had food and shelter and I was always a phone call away.

But I did abandon her. My middle child. My child with a heart of gold.

I’m sure there is a fancy word for it, but I’m calling it the syndrome of the sibling of a medically fragile child. A medical necessity.

When grandma and grandpa picked her up from daycare and kept her for days as her dad and I had to rush her sister to the hospital for an impromptu stay more times than I care to count.

Yes we called her, but we weren’t there like she expected. She got left behind time and time again. Not her fault. Not ours. Just a cruel twist of fate. But it’s there. The abandonment.

Even earlier the sweet solely breastfed babe who wouldn’t take a bottle. Left in the care of friends with a bottle and formula for TWO weeks as we fought for her sisters life. Again, not her fault. Not ours. Just another cruel twist of fate.

Abandonment. Can you imagine being that babe only knowing mom for 9 months to suddenly be without her for that long. Abandonment.

The birthday parties that got canceled and never rescheduled because a party just wasn’t important in all the chaos of a sisters failing health.

As far as abandonment goes this is pretty mild. Honestly, it is so much worse and unimaginable for many kids. I don’t want to discount or discredit that. Yet, that won’t take away my daughters feelings. It won’t change the fact. Abandonment can come in many forms. As I know from personal experience.

It makes so much sense that she would be my child who doesn’t like sleepovers, who doesn’t like to be away from me. Who needs a few extra cuddles. Who always finds me in the wee hours of the morning.


She needs to know I’m there. Because she knows the feeling deep in her soul of when I’m not. Even if she is too young to vocalize the feeling. It’s there. Her actions show it.

So my job is to teach her that my love is strong. It’s unconditional, it can’t be broken. It’s never changing and unstoppable.

Because the truth is, it will probably happen again. I’ll have to drop everything to rush to her sisters bedside.

Her sisters illness will leave her with her own scars despite the fact that won’t suffer physically.

She will be her sisters biggest advocate. She will love her and protect her. She will and has seen things she shouldn’t have too. She has become a nurse helper at such a young age.

She will have scars from it. She will also be better because of it.

She will love a little harder. Be a little kinder. Be a little stronger. Love a little more.


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    The job of a medically fragile child’s sibling. – Grace Lives Here

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