The Worst Pain

The worst pain is not the pain in the soles of my feet. Though that is quite unbearable.

It’s not the pain in my joints, my neck, my head.

It’s not the pain that feels like every cell in my body is crying out.

In fact, the worst pain is not in my body at all, though I experience it much more often than I can stand.

It’s the pain I feel when my children are in pain. When the meds haven’t worked (yet). When I’ve done all I can, rubbed their tummies, their limbs, their foreheads. When I’ve gotten the ice packs and the hot water bottles. When I’ve sat by their sides for hours on end, each of us wishing for sleep. And a lack of bodily fluids to clean up.

How I wish I could take their pain on myself. Absorb it. Suffer so they don’t have to. I would gladly do so. But instead I endure the agony of their pain, doing the best I can and wishing I could do more.

And I finally know how my mother felt, all those hours she stayed by my bedside and I think I should phone her in the morning. Just because.

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