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The Migraine Thief Breaks My Heart

My oldest niece has been accepted to the college of her choice. I’m so, so proud of her and excited for the adventures awaiting her. And I’m crying because I missed her middle and high school years. Debilitating chronic migraine robbed me of the chance to watch, and help, my niece grow up.

Much of what migraine has taken from me I can still have — the career, time with friends, travel — but kids don’t stop changing. There’s so much I wanted to do and be for my niece and her sister and brother. Yes, they know I love them and that I’d visit and call more if I could (at least as well as kids can understand the havoc chronic illness wreaks on an adult’s life), but I wanted to be present as they grew up. I wanted to watch them mature from kids to preteens to teenagers to young adults. I wanted to be an adult they could call for help navigating the perils of adolescence.

The opportunity hasn’t completely passed me by. I truly believe I’m on a path to more migraine improvement. My oldest niece is 17, the younger one is 15, my nephew is 13. Many chances remain for me to be in their lives, especially if I do continue to feel better. Still, I’ve missed so many years, so many pivotal experiences, so much growth and change.

I’ve said that I don’t think I could survive these years of horrendous migraines without my innate optimism. I can always find the silver lining. Not today. Knowing I may have good times ahead cannot make up for all that I’ve missed with these kids I love so much.

My heart is breaking.

3 Responses to The Migraine Thief Breaks My Heart

  1. Virginia Smyres says:

    Your heart is NOT breaking, your heart is FULL! Full of love, and much love being returned. When you come up we’ll have a family session with pictures and stories and you can catch up on what you may have missed. I have been looking at the picture of the beautiful angel with the black eye and the pint-sized fisherman holding up his HUGE, heavy fish, and Susannah on her grandpa’s lap! I felt so guilty that I was not able to be with the grandkids more when they were small. I felt I should have been available to help their mother (but she did a GREAT job without me!)
    XXXOOOXXXOOO
    Mom

  2. Katie Burke says:

    I love you.

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