Sometimes Words Aren't Necessary

When Jayde-Rhiannon was a baby, I often reminded Chris not to become too comfortable in her stages. Knowing as soon as we did, she would indeed move on to the next phase. Years later, I have forgotten my own advice. It is evident to me that I have become accustomed to her new normal. It is 3:45 a.m., and there is a brief lull; it deceives me into believing the worst is over. A year ago, I would have known better. I quickly reach for the Clorox spray and paper towels. By 4:05, her bathroom is clean. I am ready for bed. The sound of her in my bathroom makes it abundantly clear that I am out of practice. There was a time I could sense our all-nighters before they occurred. I do not miss that sixth sense. However, I miss my vibrant redhead, with her sparkling blue eyes, which did not contain a care in the world.

She throws off her hoodie; her once chilled frame is now dripping. Her long hair is pulled back, cascading over her shoulders. She is curled up in front of the toilet. In the middle of her misery, her barely audible voice cries to me, "It's not fair." Though that seems to be the theme this week, she has summed up this journey in three words. I have no words to respond, only tears. Even without her outburst, every pore in my body feels her pain and sadness.

Tuesday, she passed her learner's permit test. It has been one year since her last syncope episode and only six months until she turns eighteen. She and I have anticipated this day for months. I was excited to post photos of her holding her learner's permit. It was no surprise when she aced her test. Unfortunately, there was an unexpected twist; the state denied her permit. She must have another physical, with her doctor filling out additional forms. Afterward, the state will reevaluate its decision. She was surprisingly calm at the disappointing news. While I was frustrated, internally eager to scream out, "It's not fair!" Knowing me so well and sensing my frustration, she calms me, "Mom, it's ok."

Her journey has opened my eyes to a world filled with unfairness. It is a world where children have more resilience, determination, and hope than most adults. It is 6AM, and she is soundly sleeping. I realize I am still physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. However, I have no doubt that when she finally awakes, her early morning cries will be mostly forgotten, and she will attempt to be her determined self.


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