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I pray you never know a fear like this one

By Ashley MatteiPublished 3 years ago 4 min read

When you fear something you gain appreciation over something else. It’s a given. If you fear death you appreciate life in some small way in the least. If you fear losing someone, you do everything you can to keep them because you start to appreciate some form of having them. Or if you don’t or can’t do everything you can to keep them you at least admire the small things about them, the things you are afraid to lose.

Months ago a friend of mine lost her daughter to a condition that my son has been battling since he was 2 years old. This condition brought us together about 4 years ago and it was then that our kids became friends. Through the time we knew one another we spent a lot of time together including holidays, birthdays and days when we just needed one another. That included the kids. They needed one another. Kids back home, they don’t have a clue what they go through and when it comes down to it they just add a sense of instability and worry due to bullying or flat out ignoring. My son and her daughter, they understood one another. They knew what it was like. They cared for one another. A “routine” surgery that both of them have had multiple of took her last breath on a warm day in June of this year. She never even made it to her teens. Her Mom regrets every moment of that day leading up to it especially signing that consent even though she knows it was best for her. You see, there is NO cure for what our kids have. Only treatment. And treatment is surgery. Surgery is a temporary fix but without it could be fatal. But this surgery was the least riskiest of those we have to face, those we have faced. And in a split second it took her away. It took her from her Mom, it took her from her Dad, it took her from her brothers and her sisters and everyone who cared about her. In a split second this so called “simple routine” surgery turned their entire world upside down.

Standing with my son in her home 10 hours from where we live, looking around at her other kids and at her family. Holding her in my arms as she came out of her bedroom after the services. My heart was shattering and my body was aching. I was standing in the middle of my worst fear. A living nightmare. My friend was living a nightmare.

Tomorrow my son goes in for that surgery. Today I can’t even look at him without pulling up my mask to hide my tears. I trace his fingers with the tip of mine and drill the memory into my brain so I don’t forget how soft and smooth it is. I stare at his face when he watches a movie and counts how many times he blinks in a minute and looks at the swirls of golden honey mixed into his dark brown eyes. When he asks me to cuddle with him my heart drops and I get right in close holding back the tears so he doesn’t notice.

Tomorrow is going to hurt. Tomorrow is going to physically hurt. Tomorrow is going to take all of the strength I have to let him go to that OR. How do I know this? Because I am sitting here holding back tears as I type this... my mask already soaked from previous tears that have fallen from my eyes. I have traced his fingers with mine and tried to engrain in my mind what his skin and touch feel like so I don’t ever forget it. PTSD is real and we can experience that through someone elses direct trauma when it is in relationship to our lives. Everyone says to think positive. I am. I am trying so hard to think positive. I am doing my best but the reality is there. It’s here. No surgery is simple. No surgery is routine. Not anymore. It never actually was. We just never thought it would happen to us. But it did. It happened to our friend. Our family. And now they hurt and will hurt for the rest of their lives.

Tomorrow is fear. Today I feel that.


About the Creator

Ashley Mattei

I am a 34 year old Boy Mom times 3! My wife and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary in October! Writing is a passion for me and I believe the best stories are told through experience!

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