At the doctor together
My parents and in-laws have always jumped in over the years to help us when the assistants have not been available or Agnes' hospitals stays have turned our lives upside down.
As a result they have an unusually close relationship with their grandchildren.
But they also have an unusually close relationship with us.
We share a very strong bond.
Our love for Agnes and her siblings.
But also thoughts and emotions about how our life turned out.
I wish that we would have had the courage to talk with each other about the difficult and stressful things that happened in the beginning.
But it seemed impossible.
Maybe because parents instinctively want to protect their children from pain.
And because children want to protect their parents.
While we received help getting though it by talking with psychologists and other parents in similar situations, there was no-one who considered the needs of Agnes' grandparents.
We often felt that they did not understand or have the energy to appreciate the seriousness of the situation.
So we invited them to one of Agnes' doctor's appointments.
Once they had the same frame of reference as us parents, it became easier to talk – about everything.
And the more we talked, the clearer those dark skies became, and the focus became our love for Agnes.
And just as we feel good when she feels good, I imagine they feel good when we do.
/Anna Pella, mum to Agnes and author of the book När du ler stannar tiden (Libris 2017)