I have been reading this book called Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. When I picked it up at the library I didn’t really look at what it was about etc. When I got home and I read what the book was about I wasn’t sure I could read it. There would be too many parallels with my life. Basically, it is about a little girl who has brittle bone disease. The mother sues the OBGYN for not catching it while in utero.
I was reading it today and came to this discussion between the OBGYN who is being sued and her husband. He starts talking about his brother who had committed suicide at age seventeen. He had found him. He goes on to say, “Back then no one knew the name for bipolar disorder, or how to take care of it. So for seventeen years my parents went through hell. My whole childhood was colored by how Steven was feeling…..” He then continues, “What if they had been told before Steven was born, that he was going to kill himself before his eighteenth birthday? Would they have taken those seventeen years to get to know him? To have those good times that came between the crises? Or would they have spared themselves – and me – that emotional roller coaster?”
I started crying reading this it really does hit home for me. I ask myself this same question. There’s no doubt in my mind that it wouldn’t have made a difference and I wouldn’t have terminated the pregnancy or anything like that but how would things have been different if we had known?
I think in terms of my relationship with Nicole things would have been much different. Have I taken for granted the time? Yes, I think I did… I feel I was always too busy for her and there was always something that needed to be done and I was always too busy thinking about that to really give her my whole attention. I was too hard on her and I always wanted her to do and be what I wanted her to be. I wish that it hadn’t taken a terminal illness to find this out.
I wonder what would happen if we treated all the special people in our life as though they had a terminal illness?
Have a blessed day!
Jane~mom to Nicole 17 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers, BHJS