Gratitude Challenge Winner: Linn

By Linn Rieger

The hardest person in the world to forgive is yourself.

In early December we took our youngest son to the ER. He’d been complaining off and on about an upset stomach for awhile, but it’s flu and cold season so we figured it was nothing. Boy were we wrong. Our little man was diagnosed with Toxic Megacolon and rushed to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. 

Blood transfusion, antibiotics and steroids and two weeks later we were home just in time for Christmas.

What should be a happy time is now full of guilt. Why didn’t I take him to the hospital sooner? Why didn’t I listen to him better? What was I thinking? 

Forgiving myself is hard.  Sitting in the hospital, or traveling home to be with my oldest son at night were times filled with being guilty. I had spent evenings waiting for the kids to be in bed so I could have some me-time. I didn’t want to play a game one day because I was too tired from work. I spoke sharply to my sons because I was having a bad day. 

How can I forgive myself?

I’m going to have to. We need that bubble bath or guilty pleasure tv show. We need to recharge our own batteries. We need to take care of ourselves in order to be better parents, partners, human beings. I know this in my head but it’s hard to tell my heart. 

My little guy has to go back to the hospital for more tests, but he’s recovering nicely. He’s got a long road ahead and so do I. 

My head is telling my heart to forgive myself. We’re working on it. 

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