A lot of people write letters to family members before they have their surgeries. Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to my children.
My Dear Children,
Three times in my life I have decided to do something that I knew would alter my body forever. This included a planned trip to the hospital that carried some risk for me. I knew when I decided to do this, I would have to endure some pain. The end results were worth it to me. After each of these hospital visits, I brought to my home a new life. I was given the honor and obligation to take care of that person. Each time was a new beginning. Each of you came to me with a "scar" on your tummy that needed to be tended and needed to heal. You required special liquids to allow you to grow healthy and strong, until your bodies could handle solid foods. With love and care the person you were meant to be, emerged. There were times when I had to restrict your food, in order to keep you healthy. There were times I had to make you get up and go play to get some exercise when all you really wanted to do was watch T.V
I celebrated your victories, and I cried with you when life smacked you around. I was always behind you when you struggled and in front of you when you needed protection. I love you all.
Now, the time has come when, once again, I have decided to do something that will alter my body forever. It will require me to go into the hospital, and there will be some risk for me. It will include my endurance of some pain. It will result in my coming home, with a new life to care for. I will come home with a scar on my tummy that will require tending and healing. I will begin my new life on liquids until my body is able to handle solid foods. I will have to make myself get up and exercise when all I want to do is watch T.V. Sometimes I will have to restrict myself foods in order to be healthy. Eventually the person I was meant to be will emerge.
What can you do to help me? You can celebrate my victories, and cry with me when life smacks me around. You can stand behind me when I struggle, and in front of me when I need protection. You can love me as I love you.