I still get taken by surprise when I realise how raw and close to the surface my feelings are about BJ’s cerebral palsy diagnosis. It has been 20 years for goodness sake; you’d think I’d have it together by now. But when I least expect it there is a swell of emotion that has its way with me.
Today it happened again, at a table filled with complete strangers. Fortunately we were all brought together because of our admiration for The Children’s Hospitals Foundations Australia, so there was some understanding in the room.
I felt a little wave of emotion when Leanne from the Children’s Hospital Foundation spoke of the work done by hospital staff but that wave soon turned into a swell. A father was the next speaker and he shared his family’s experience in the Sydney Children’s Hospital. His daughter was born with complications that required significant medical intervention.
Although his little girl was walking around the event with a big smile and enjoying the attention of Elsa, as he spoke I could feel his emotions were still raw. He was reliving a time which was harrowing in his life and a time when the staff at the hospital were everything to the family. As emotion cracked through his speech and he held his hand to his chest he looked vulnerable. As parents we are strong for our kids and as we go through the process we learn so much and become stronger but reflecting on the past can drag up lots of feelings. Most of the time we are too busy but memories can reignite vulnerability when you least expect it.
So there I sat at a table with strangers, tears welling up and falling without any consideration of my non-waterproof mascara.
Despite my ‘moment’, I had a lovely breakfast at The Grounds at Alexandria. I should have taken a photo of the poached eggs and smoked salmon but I’m emotional eater and I was emotional. It was begging to be eaten.
During the breakfast it was wonderful to hear of the equipment which has been purchased with the support of Huggies, the sponsor of the breakfast. I find it comforting to know that a company which I feel I had shares in for many years (we went through piles of nappies in our time) is supporting the kid’s hospital. The list of speciality equipment that had been purchased with the funds raised over the last 3 years was long and impressive. As we all know, the government provide funding but it is never enough. Caring for our children isn’t an area where we can afford to scrimp so the top up is much needed.
During the month of November Huggies will be donating $1 from every Huggies Nappies Bulk pack sold to Children’s Hospital Foundations Australia, up to $150,000. These funds will help to fund high priority pieces of medical equipment, specifically targeted at sick babies and toddlers.
I think any of us who have had a child cared for by one of the many children’s hospitals know that the staff are wonderful but they need the support and equipment to keep doing what they are doing.
Keep an eye out for the Hugs for Healing video series which will be rolled out soon. Have a box of tissues handy and waterproof mascara, or maybe that’s just me.
Thanks to The Children’s Hospital Foundations Australia and Huggies for inviting me along. If you live in Sydney and haven’t visited The Grounds at Alexandria you should. You can read more about my previous visits here.
I’m curious to know if it is just me or do you still get caught out with emotion sometimes?
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The sadness and anger never stops. My child is 30.
Hi Kerry, I can’t say that I have any anger which I am grateful for but I understand that not everyone has had the same experience as us. I try to spend as much time as possible enjoying time as a family and that certainly means the good times outweigh the difficult. Take care. Julie