Advice, everyone has plenty.
There are many words of advice when you go through just about anything. If you are just about to or just have had a baby you’ll hear all about what’s best for newborns, how to feed them, how to swaddle them. If you just got a new job you will get all kinds of advice on how to manage your time, what is proper work etiquette.
When Timothy had his accident, we got all sorts of advice. Part of it was that a lot of people did not realize just how bad things were. One lady was quite persistent that we should use coconut oil. Some people suggested Essential Oils. I honestly don’t remember all the words of wisdom we got, partially because most of it was useless to us. I’m not saying that to be rude, however when your child is fighting for his life, most advice just goes unheard.
Somehow, Advice Never Stops Coming
We are now just over a year post-accident. It’s been a he** of a year. There are still tons of struggles – daily, weekly and monthly hurdles to jump over. This will be a lifelong battle. No, I’m not exaggerating when I say that. We are past the initial trauma, but besides continuing to deal with therapy, we will deal with the emotional aspect of it, and the fact that a sweet little boy will have scars for the rest of his life, which shatters my heart. When talking to people, most don’t know what to say – which in all honesty, is okay, because it means they haven’t experienced what we have. However, there are certain things that should not be said.
Be glad s/he is still here.
(Or really anything along those lines). Those six words make just about every feeling the parents have feel invalid. Of course we are glad he is still here! Every other parent will be too, but it makes those feelings of trauma, hurt, sadness feel like it doesn’t matter. Like those feelings should not be felt. Yes, we focus on the fact that he is here.
However, things are still hard. Our family (and those other families) went through something tragic. Something you will never understand unless you have been there – and I pray that you never will. The memories are there, they’re real. The pain is there, it’s real. Fact is, our lives have been forever changed. Fact is, he will forever be changed. No, you don’t understand. Which is okay. We won’t want you to understand, because that means you’ll have been in similar shoes.
So yes. I am glad he is still here. Every, single, day. But I don’t need to hear that from you. Parents like us don’t need to hear that from you. Please take this very real journey into consideration when talking to us. Also, please don’t be afraid to talk to us about it.