Part of preparing for a major surgery was to tell the kids that I would be away for a little while. Ora is pretty young so we didn't even tell why I would be away. (She is used to me being away for three days at a time for work.) We were a little more at a loss with how (and what) to tell David. He is a little older and would realize that it wasn't just a work trip. He can also be very sensitive in general--he cried all night when my grandmother died recently--and his own medical issues make him more aware of these in specific. But when we told him he didn't seem to be affected. He said, "O.k," and turned his head back to the Youtube clip he was watching when we interrupted him.
We thought David would take it a lot harder and Ora not so much, but it ended up being the reverse. Maybe David really was worried, etc. and he hid it because of his age, he's a boy or his general demeanor. We don't know.
Ora on the other hand was clearly affected. She said to every person she saw, "do you know my abba is in the hospital?" She also told Kinneret that she wanted to be sick so she could stay with me in the hospital. When they came to visit me for the first time three days after the surgery, David was more interested in which cable channels I had. Ora, on the other hand, was very clingy. A few days later I was transferred to a rehab facility. This, of course, was a good sign, but Ora is too young to understand the distinction between a hospital and rehab facility. To her nothing had changed the next time she visited me. I was still confined to a bed in a hospital-like room in a building with lots of nurses and people in white coats.
Upon returning home Ora remained very clingy. Her empathy was especially pronounced. For a while she ran over any time I dropped something on the floor or needed something I couldn't pick up myself. If I tried to bend down she would tell me I that shouldn't be doing this. Ora also repeatedly offered to hold my hand as I navigated steps.
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There was one point when David was younger that we were informed he could be suffering from a serious condition that would require drastic medical intervention. Repeat testing proved negative and he didn't undergo that intervention. He is still tested periodically to make sure the condition hasn't been lurking in the background.
His medical issues and their potential sequelae lurk in my consciousness from time to time, but I had never though considered my own mortality until this point. For a while I grappled with the possibility that he'd go before me, now nature had reverted to its natural course. Of course I'd give myself as a kapara for him and keep nature happy.