A photo of Larry Jr the night before his very first surgery, and a picture from pre-op clinic today. Tomorrow, he heads into his 109/10 surgeries. He is eager and ready to feel better. From NICU baby to young adult. He always amazes me. I remember having to dig so deep to have the strength to carry my baby to another surgery. Surgeries that were being done to save his life, heal him, ease his pain, improve his quality of life. I remember holding my baby and painfully handing him over to the anesthesiologists so they could carry him to the OR, when all I wanted to do was snuggle him tight and run for daylight out of the hospital and away from the surgeons and their sharp knives. Then as he aged, it was riding in the basinet. Then the hospital crib. Then the hospital bed. Standing there watching my baby disappear through the swinging doors. We began accompanying him into his surgeries until he was asleep around the age of 4. Larry Jr and I work excellently as a team. Larry jr always has had great control, doesn't freak out. Is always polite. Oh, there would be some anxiety and tears, but his coping techniques have always been phenomenal. About 2 years ago, as I was putting on the hazmat type suit that parents wear to accompany their children into the OR so they can be put to sleep, he turned to me and said... "That's okay, I can go by myself Mom." He's been going in alone ever since. Tomorrow, he heads bravely into another surgery in a hospital he's never had surgery at before, with courage and eagerness for a better quality of life. I will smile, hug, encourage him.... watch him pass through the double doors, then I will cry. Because even though he's a brave young adult, he's still my baby. I still see my baby. But I'm taking a page from his book. Like him, I'm eager and ready for him to feel better. Always our Brave Bear.
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