You’re not alone. I know you feel that way because no one is telling you anything or explaining anything to you. I want you to know, I understand. I understand because I was there many times before. I was you. I see you, sweet girl. I see your body shaking with fear; I see the tears streaming down your face as the prep process you’ve grown accustomed to and learned to hate goes on around you. I see you flinch when the nurse takes your arm and prepares to start an IV without telling you when she’s actually going to stick it in. I know how that feels. The familiar and dreaded process is bad enough when you can see. And even though you have most of your sight in your left eye still, you deserve some type of warning before anyone touches you. It’s just common courtesy. I see you cringe when the words “It’s time,” are spoken, even if the nurse speaking them has been nothing but nice to you. I see the fear flash across your face as the gurney moves forward. I know the thoughts going through your mind as you get closer to a destination you don’t want to reach. Your thoughts are racing with questions, ‘why again? What did I do to deserve this?’ The answer is nothing. You did absolutely nothing to deserve this terrifying routine. No matter what anyone else says, I want you to know you are NOT to blame. The hand the O.R nurse has extended, I want you to hold onto it tightly. Hold on tightly because she’s being sincere in her actions and in the gentle way she speaks to you. She cares. I know you can’t see the expression due to your vision loss and the mask she’s wearing, but trust me when I say it’s one of compassion and concern. Her words say it all. “It’ll be okay, sweetie. You’re safe. I won’t leave you. We’ll take care of you.” Those words are sincere, even though you’re too scared and angry to take them at face value. I can see the tears continue to stream down your face right before you’re put to sleep. I hear the soft prayer you utter, crying out to your Heavenly Father for protection. I’m here to tell you He has NOT forgotten you. I promise. He loves you and He’s there with you. He has you and He won’t let go. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you you’re too old to cry or grow up. Crying is a release and you need to do so. Don’t be ashamed for expressing yourself. I wish I could tell you this surgery is the last one, but I would be lying, so, I’ll say this instead. You will soon get a reprieve. I can safely say that. It won’t be for three years, but it will come. Just keep holding onto faith and the kindness strangers show you in your time of need. Before you know it, you’ll reach the reprieve God has in store for you. And when you do, it’ll last a good long time. In fact, I can safely say, it’ll last fourteen years. I know it seems like a long time. I also know you’re probably thinking, ‘why can’t it be now?’ The truth is I don’t have an answer for you, little one. I know the phrase, ‘You’re too old to cry,’ hurts you more than the IV started on you earlier that day. I know because it hurt me too. I know all you want is for someone to hug you and say, ‘It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be afraid.’ If I could, I’d have held you myself. I know that’s what you need. I know because I’ve been in your position more times than not. Just know that God is in that O.R with you, just as He is with you everywhere else you go. Even though people criticize you for showing fear, don’t ever stop expressing yourself. It’ll make you stronger. I know you don’t know this yet, but you have more inner strength than a lot of people. It’ll come in handy when you most need it. Rely on it and never be afraid to use it. That’s why God gave it to you. Above all, rely on Him. Rely on His strength, His love and grace to get you through the hard times ahead. I want you to remember that I know what you’re going through because I’ve been there. Mostly, I want you to remember you are loved. I love you, but most importantly, God loves you.
Your future self