Today almost feels like insult to injury. How is there any way we can celebrate today without Lyss? My birthday was hard for me, but a day designed to celebrate mothers just two months after losing a child feels unfair. I'm upset today so I can't imagine how my mom must feel. So this piece is a letter from me, on behalf of both Alyssa and I, to my mom.
Alyssa and I could not have had a better mother in any world imaginable. I am so sorry that you have had the stress of worrying about our health, but I hope you know that Alyssa loved you more than she could've ever put into words. You were her best friend, her biggest fan, and her biggest advocate. I know I can confidently say that it bothered her to her core that you had to worry about her so much for so many years. I also know she was so worried about how you would handle all of this. She was so scared to leave you, but I am so proud of you. I'm so proud of how you've handled everything and kept your head held high. She is beaming with pride in Heaven looking down on you.
A weird part about siblings with a chronic disease is that one is inevitably going to be healthier, especially when considering the fact that females with CF tend to be sicker than males. This means that one child is naturally going to require more effort and worry, but I hope you know I've never felt unloved or that you focused on Alyssa more. I've taken my care into my hands so much for that exact reason: so I could relieve a good amount of that burden in whatever way I could. I know you worry about me so much and – as a father of my perfect son, Duncan – I'm realizing as I get older that I have to let you be my mom sometimes. I'm thankful to have you worry about me so much because it shows how much you care. I try so hard to be compliant and adherent to alleviate that stress. You seeing me sick is one of my greatest concerns and it is one of the most important reasons I fight so hard.
I have no words to thank you for being my mother. I will never be able to thank you for everything you've done for me in my life. I am truly so genuinely fortunate to have you and dad in my life. I hope to always make you both proud in everything I do. I promise to always fight for myself and for you guys and in honor of Alyssa.
Today sucks and there's no way around it. I know that Mother's Day will be hard every year from here on out. How do we navigate this day in the time after Lyss? Do we try to start new traditions? I don't know. I hate that this day pushes all of that grief right into the forefront of our mind yet again. But I hope you can reflect a little and find some solace in knowing that Alyssa's quality of life – and everybody's who knows you – was made infinitely better by having you in it. She knew that and I know that was probably the hardest part about all of this for her.
I love you, mom.
Your kids forever,
Lyss & I