My dad pulled through surgery and has been living with CML for nearly 15 years. His diagnosis and recovery were the first of several health scares to come. He has amazing resilience, like a seawall holding out against the waves, and I’ve gotten a little better each time, too.
When I get *that* call, I know I’ll be at the hospital all day; I arrange for my in-laws to pick up my kids at the bus stop and feed them dinner.
I know the hospital will be either freezing or boiling; I dress in layers.
I know my mom won’t leave my dad’s side; I toast an English muffin, add some peanut butter, and throw it in my purse for her to eat.
I know where to park; I pick up cash on the drive because only the first hour is free.
I know I’ll have questions but there will be few answers that day.
One time, when I was Googling medical terms and trying to make sense of my dad’s latest blood-test results, my mom shared some wisdom with me: It’s not our job to figure out what’s wrong or how to fix it.
It’s our job simply to be there. To love my dad and tell him so. To fetch ice chips. To place a pillow behind his head. To scratch an itch on his leg. To dim the lights when he wants to sleep. The doctors and nurses have their jobs to do, and we have ours.
BrightStar Care is honored to feature Leah’s unique story, an experience shared by many adult children as their parents grow older and caregiving roles begin to reverse. Follow Leah’s journey here.
All names, including the author’s, have been changed to protect identities, and Leah has no affiliation with BrightStar Care.