A couple of months ago a fellow heart mom friend of mine’s heart warrior was admitted into the hospital unexpectedly. We are close friends and our children are friends (well actually the oldest have arranged to be married) so I offered to take her older son over night.
This little man, is absolutely sweet as punch and so respectful. He has the most curious of minds and he pairs wonderfully with my inquisitive daughter, Mya. He also includes and plays gently with Charlie. We were most happy to have him spend the night.
The night went great as the kids played well and they all slept soundly. All awakening by 6 a.m.!
While the kids were eating breakfast, I gave Charlie his meds and inhaler. This was a new device to our friend, so he asked what it was for. To which Mya replied quickly, “It helps him breathe so he doesn’t die.” I stopped about dead in my motions.
What was even more painful was his nonchalant response, “I don’t want my brother to die.”
And more gut wrenching to me was Mya’s equally nonchalant response, “I don’t want my brother to die either.”
They proceeded to converse about their siblings and being sick. And they didn’t flinch. They spoke about hospitals and medications and recited anatomy like it was common language. A normal part of everyday life and they knew nothing else.
They are 4 (well Mya turned 5 that day)! It was painful, troubling, astonishing, and enlightening. They grasped so much, so quickly. They’ve lived with it daily. They feel it always. They understand the real and raw reality of Congenital Heart Disease.
A 4-year old should not know that. They should not face those fears.
Too often a sibling gets pushed aside to care for the “sick” child , to attend his appointments, to get his meds, to you name it. Too often their lives are turned upside down and sideways while spinning in circles off of a cliff. And yet they love. They love through never ending appointments. They love through fear of heartbreak. They love through the disappointments. They just love.
They grow without judgement. They understand differences. They are kind, caring, and unique.
They are brave beyond their years. They hold Jesus close to their hearts. Their prayers are developed and often involve their siblings and their siblings heart warrior friends. They breathe compassion and hope. They live by Faith, better than most adults.
That day I was blown away by their conversation. It took me a couple of months to process it. I can now appreciate it for what it truly is. These two innocent children are connected. They are not connected by common interest, common friends, sports, church, or age. They are connected because they know what a 4-year old shouldn’t know!
They are connected by heart. They are connected because they understand each other. They don’t have to explain their brothers. They don’t have to hide their feelings. They don’t have to put on their brave faces. They can be themselves.
They can just be.