Learning to Let Go

 As I observe my little sister, a combination of adoration and envy washes over me. After an evening of floating in our pool, my nephew is peacefully sleeping in her arms. You can sense his pleasant contentment without worry or concern. I glance at Jayde, fondly remembering those days. Recalling the moments when her only care in the world was driving her Barbie car around our back yard. 

When our children are young, we hold onto them simply because we can. Letting go is a gradual process. I remember the ritual with Brady. Now, Jayde is on the verge of eighteen, I find it difficult to believe this is where we are in our journey with her. I realize baby steps are necessary at this juncture. Not just for me but also for her. Last weekend, she slept over at a friend's house. A milestone in many ways. Around 11:30, I received a text, "I miss you." When she arrived home Sunday afternoon, I received a hug, and an "I missed you" whispered in my ear. It felt good to be missed. 

Even though I knew she was safe with people who respected and understood her illnesses, it was not an easy night. After she was home, it made me sad to notice the dark circles under her eyes, the apparent exhaustion, and hearing her voice that she was really dizzy. Fully comprehending this was the price for an evening away from home.

A few weeks ago, Jayde and I discussed her boyfriend, Brett, joining us for IV therapy. My reasoning: if he wants to be a part of her life, he needs to be privy to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Last night, I explained to Brett, "Tomorrow, I need you to be a quiet observer. Even on the best of occasions, these days are stressful-we do our best to remain calm." He questions, "Well, what if I see them doing something wrong?" This elicits a laugh from Jayde and me, "That is what I am for. I will handle it." Then Jayde chimes in, "And if she doesn't, then I do." 

Now, as the three of us sit in her hospital room, I wonder, what was I thinking? As difficult as these days can be, I do not want to share this time with anyone else. At least not yet. We are yin and yang. Even when Chris joins us, he happily follows our lead. I am aware Brett cares about her and desires to be there for her. It's endearing. I am also mindful that someday, someone else will sit in my chair, and I will fill the role of the quiet observer. Today is not that day. Today, I will savor being her momma, her advocate, and the yin to her yang for as long as she will allow. 


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