Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Unsung Heroes: The Siblings

When we think of pediatric liver disease and other life-threatening illnesses, we focus (and naturally so) on the child battling the disease. We pour all our time, energy and care into that one child. But what if we have other children?

Many of you who follow the blog who've experienced the journey of liver disease have more than one child. You know better than anyone else what those children feel in the midst of separation. As parents we want what is best for all our children but we're not always able to provide it. Husbands have to work; mothers are likely the ones spending the bulk of the time at the hospital. So what about the other kids, the siblings?

I treat each of my kids as a special gift from God. They are equally valuable and precious in my eyes. The fact their brother or sister happens to have special needs or require long hospital stays doesn't change that. In fact, the other kids are heroes themselves.

I've found that no matter their age, the level of compassion these kids have on their (mostly) younger siblings is amazing. Just because the sick child seems to be getting more attention doesn't dampen the love their siblings feel. If anything, it increases how much they care. 

When Sarah was battling a terrible bout of varices prior to transplant, each interaction between her and our other three kids was beauty to behold. They may experience the pain of distance from their mother and other strains, but they rarely show it up front. They are really so much more adaptable than adults when it comes to this. 

This willingness to adapt and to keep loving is what makes them heroes in my book.

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