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  • Crystal Leonardi

It is Written

Sitting in Sebby's darkened recovery room at QCH on the week of 7th February 2022, I once again faced familiar emotions and a new sense of appreciation for how far we have come. I wrote this piece during the night as I watched over Sebastian's heavily medicated and sedated body, bruised from surgery. I willed him to wake, and look up at me with his charming smile once again, unable to sleep in case he woke and fearfully realized where he was.

It is Written

by Crystal Leonardi


It is written in the lines on my face. It is written in the way my eyes feel sad. In the way my face is relaxed but tortured on the inside. In the way my heart has been broken but still so full of love.


I am a mum of a child with cancer.

The diagnosis shattered my soul.

The trauma broke my spirit.

His strength glued me back together.

His recovery restored my faith.


As I watch over my baby in his hospital bed, the familiarity of our surroundings ignites each of my senses. My body is confused and my emotions are conflicted. I feel safe but scared. I am grateful but downcast. I am trusting, but hesitant. The way the door clicks when it shuts, the pungent smell of alcohol wipes, and the heavy heart I carry when encountered by sick children at every turn, bring a familiar flood of emotions, remnants of 2020.


As we embark on a new wave of treatment, I feel prepared to stand up and fight and ready to lay down and begin to dream. The build-up to this moment has been months in the making and now that we’re here, the emotional weight has me falling on my sword, barely able to maintain my strength. I feel tired, I feel trapped and I feel sad, once again. The sudden reminder of this ongoing health battle was delivered like a brutal blow to my stomach, winding me, leaving me gasping for air. Like pressing pause on the healing my heart has worked so hard to accomplish.


I’m anxious about when he wakes and is confronted by his surroundings. Wondering whether his mind will remember, certain that his intuition will. Realizing that this new setting is far from paradise, bringing trepidation and fear to his body, I have no doubt.


It is written in the fear in his eyes. It is written in the scars on his torso. In the tremble of his body. In the brave face that breaks my heart and fills it back up again.


Every single time.

It is written.

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