I heard Heidi’s tears from the other room tonight and asked her what was wrong. She came around the corner red-eyed and said she missed Mommy. I held her while she explained that she keeps seeing things that belong to Tiffany, and they make her sad. These seven weeks are taking their toll and even the strongest are showing the weaknesses in their armor.
Heidi has always been our valiant family warrior. She is fiercely loyal and burns for her family. She abhors strife in her family. She’s very protective. When she was small enough to be in a high chair, I’d come up behind Tiffany, growl and bear hug her. Heidi would provide the soundtrack yelling all manner of protests for me to leave Mommy alone! When she walks she bobs her head from side to side. She makes me smile.
Heidi also internalizes her feelings. Heidi is most like Tiffany emotionally. She is easy stung and takes things personally. She is eager to please and make peace. The last thing she wants to be is a burden to her family. And this is why we watch her so closely right now. When we were still at Medical City, Heidi went home with Grandpa and Grandma one night. I found out the following morning Heidi was discovered in the middle of the night crying by herself. When I asked her why she hadn’t gotten anyone, she said she didn’t want to wake anybody up. Heidi thinks of herself last. So we’re working extra hard with her to draw out what she’s feeling so we can grieve with her.
It is hard for me to watch my six and eight year old daughters deal with such a maturing event. They love their little sister and miss her much. My heart hurts for them.
Some more healing will come in a week when we bring Claire home. Both girls are helping us prepare her room and space. They are eager for us all to be under the same roof again. It’s not the cure all, but it will be a much needed salve.
Claire still has some work to do before she’s homeward bound. We’ve been working in getting her feeds to a normal schedule and had a setback today. She lost her dinner – and then some – tonight after finishing her last feed. We suspect the amounts are too large for a single feeding and overtax her little stomach. We will moderate tomorrow and hope she does better.
Otherwise, Claire continues to show signs of increased awareness. Her malice toward the hospital grows every day, and she looks forward to the time she escapes to the outside each day for her walk. We’ve started encouraging he with tales of finally going home. That usually calms her down.
The week ahead will be busy. It’s the last full week before discharge. We have a lot to accomplish both here at home and at the hospital. More family comes in on Tuesday. Our friends have been brilliant the past few days bridging the gap until in-house guests arrive.
Thank you for your prayers and support. They continue to sustain us.