One of my favorite shows is How I Met Your Mother. It fills the void left by Friends, but with a group closer to my age [during the time I watch it. Does that make sense? When Friends was originally airing, they were older than me]. Instead of a coffee shop, they have McLarens. Instead of the Ross Rachel triangle, you have Ted and Robin.
I loved Friends. I still do, but last nights episode of HIMYM hit home for me in a way you probably shouldn't be able to relate to a sitcom. Lilly declares her father 'dead to her.' Which they illustrated with very amusing flaming red eyes and 'demonic' music and the 'dead' person poofing out of existence.
I too have a parent that is 'dead to me.' And as the holidays approach, I can't help but think about it. In Lilly's case, her father was never there for her as a child. In my case, my mother was there for me, but not for my youngest handicapped sister.
To my mom, everything is about her. To me, it's really all about Kacie.
Kacie was born when I was almost five. She arrived via emergency c-section a mere six days before my birthday. She had holes in her heart. She had open-heart surgery that day and again 16 days later. Tubes in her ears. Suffering from lower eyelids that turned in and rubbed her eyes, she had surgery to pull them out and have them 'stitched down.' She was on a ventilator. Life did not begin easy for this child. A disorder caused her to have an oversized big toe on her left foot. When she was two, surgery removed the extra bone and skin so she could wear shoes. She crawled around with a cast on her foot for over a month.
She was our 'million dollar baby.' Kacie also has Turner Syndrome. A genetic disorder that stems from a lack of completed chromosomes. Specifically, Kacie has mosaic Turners, where a portion of her sex chromosomes are missing. Only female babies are born with Turners. Turners occurs 1 in 2,500 girls. 98% of babies with Turners result in miscarriage.
Then, on top of that, Kacie is mentally handicapped. Which only occurs within 2-4% of girls born with Turners. I can't even begin to do the math to determine the probability of a child being born with all the problems that she has. But I'm guessing it's 1 in a large number with many, many zeroes.
My other sister and I grew up in the Children's Hospital, or at least it seemed that way. I became a tween fluent in cardiology. I knew how to mix and inject her growth hormone shots.
Both her childhood and mine were, special to say the least.
This is a rather long post that I will finish soon. It's going somewhere, I promise.