A Note From Jeffrey
Tonight Dad was telling me how hard it was when Trudy was in the hospital. He doesn't think it was hard for me at all. I missed you. I saw her get all these presents. I saw everyone visiting her and babying her, and there was nothing I could do about it. Sometimes I feel so alone and left out and even unloved. I know I'm overreacting, and I know that some people have so much less than me, but it's not my fault I don't have any medical problems. I wish I did!
Jeffrey was nine years old when he wrote this. His letter serves as a reminder to all parents, teachers and health care providers. A reminder that siblings of children with complex medical problems have frustrations and fears. A reminder that the illness of one family member affects each family member. And a reminder that we should be ready to hear with our hearts and respond with our hugs to all those children like Jeffrey, wherever they are.
You may want to stroll over to check out some books about various medical problems. They were written for children, with the age range specified, and directed to siblings.
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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Asst. Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Last updated: November 14, 2004