what really matters

Thank you all so much for the good thoughts and best wishes. There is no worse nightmare than to sit in your child’s hospital room, wondering what will happen next. My husband and I are both physicians, so we know how quickly things can go wrong, no matter how excellent the medical care. We know how quickly patients can crash and burn. When it’s your own son in danger, you feel helpless and terrified, and you know that you’d give up anything, anything, just to keep your child safe.

We’re relieved that he’s now out of the woods.

My son’s a strong young man, and he’ll be fine. He’s a private person, so I’ll just say this: we adore him, and he knows it. And the next time he thinks about traveling to an exotic place with mosquitoes that carry exotic and potentially fatal diseases, we’ll urge him to visit Pennsylvania instead.

25 replies
  1. NewMexicanAnn
    NewMexicanAnn says:

    Well, actually, New Mexico’s not bad either. 😉

    So sorry to hear about your kiddo, but I will keep him in my prayers.

    I’ve landed in the hospital only once since I was born and believe me, I sorely wish my mother could’ve been there, but she’d already passed away. It’s very good that you were able to be with him since having a mom nearby is almost a necessity instead of a luxury at a time like that.

    God bless you all!


  2. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    Glad he’s feeling better!

    Pennsylvania’s okay, if you want a taste of country… but I’d suggest someplace SAFELY exotic… To me, that’s London, Paris, or someplace not inhabited by infectious mosquitoes!

    Is he too old now to be grounded? 🙂

  3. struggler
    struggler says:

    Can’t imagine the experience you’ve just been through Tess, but it sounds as if the worst is over and your son will make a full and complete recovery. Must be the best news you’ve had for a long time.

    And can I just add that I think you’re back on top form with THE KEEPSAKE – haven’t quite finished it yet, but I’m really enjoying it. You can start smiling again!

  4. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    No matter how old a child gets, he/she still needs “mommy or daddy.” Thank you for letting us know that your son will be ok. We will continue to pray for his recovery.
    On a different note, the B&N near my job is on their third order of The Keepsake. They sell out faster than snow cones in The Sahara. Congrats, Tess. Another best-selling book. We are so proud of you!

  5. Mary Duncan
    Mary Duncan says:

    Glad your son is out of the woods, so to speak. And is there really any safe place? If it’s not mosquitoes, it’s ticks or killer bees. Or worse. It’s no wonder most people don’t enjoy the great outdoors like they used to.

    Anyway, I finished The Keepsake and loved it! The twists at the end were great!

    What’s next on the writing horizon? Let me guess, mosquitoes?

    Keep the faith.


  6. lwidmer
    lwidmer says:

    Tess, I’m sorry to hear this. My own son was in a hospital with a severe case of the flu just before he turned 5. It was heartbreaking to see this little thing so weak and helpless, and I was a wreck. What had I done wrong? Was this my fault?

    Glad to hear your son is doing better. My husband spent years in the Amazon. He believes that malaria and mosquito-borne diseases are treated best in the countries that are used to treating these things. That’s all well and good if you’re still IN that country.

    My prayers to your family and hugs. He’s out of the woods. Amen.

  7. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    I’m glad to hear your son is doing well.Tell him to avoid Rhode Island also-we have West Nile and EEE just about every year.
    Many years back my daughter had a life-threatening condition that required emergency surgery and we were holding our breath til it was over.She bounced back fast enough to take mid terms 3 days later.It’s good to be young!
    When I was in college I took a course in parasitology and got an A.Later on when I shipped out for Vietnam,I was sorry I had learned so much about liver flukes and other little creatures that abounded there.

  8. baa
    baa says:

    Tess, I logged on for the purpose of checking the status of your family emergency. I’m just a fan, but reading your first paragragh, I started crying! I could barely read the second paragraph! THANK GOD!
    I’ve traveled to many industrialized and 3rd world nations and I always tell fellow travelers two things: Mosquito repellant and previous financial arrangements made with an air ambulance company just in case. (I prefer National Jets, Ft. Laud, FL because of their medical team. They’ve done some incredible saves: traumatic amputations, diving accidents, spinal cord stabilities, MIs, etc.)
    I am so very relieved and hope the recovery remains permenant.

  9. 6798maria
    6798maria says:

    Tess, Say Hi to your son for me and tell him he’s very lucky to have parents that love him so much..I also wanted to tell you that I just finished reading the keepsake (2 hrs 40 min). it was superb. I love Maura and Jane, I can’t wait for the next installment. God Bless….

  10. therese
    therese says:

    Oh wow! Good health blessings to your whole family!

    And now I feel silly for being a basketcase when I saw a tick on our dog yesterday. Fortunately my daughter was visiting and took care of it. 🙂

  11. Yasmine
    Yasmine says:

    I’m so glad that things are stable, and I hope it’s smooth sailing from now on.

    Book tours mean nothing when compared to your loved ones. 🙂 Your readers will understand.

  12. Nathalie
    Nathalie says:

    Hi Tess,
    glad to hear your son’s getting better!
    It’s amazing what a mother’s love and care can do for someone.

    Being a 21-year-old college student, I consider myself to be an adult on most days. But after having a large part of loose cartilage removed from my knee last week, you wouldn’t believe how happy I am to have mommy help me get dressed in the mornings.

    I’ll be hopping over (crutches and all) to my favorite bookstore tomorrow, demanding they order a copy of The Keepsake for me. Your fans over here in tiny little Belgium sometimes have to wait a while before we can find your books in stores, but they’re always worth the wait.

    Hug your son for me, and take care!

  13. putney1968
    putney1968 says:

    Nothing strikes fear in my heart more than the threat of illness or injury in a loved one. That being said, I confess to have been a bit of a risk taker in my youth, and I think I am the better for it. Now if I could just get my kids to understand…..

  14. april
    april says:

    Glad to hear he’s out of the woods. I’m sure it was a difficult time for you all, and I’m sure he appreciated your support.

    I have to admit that, as a child, I have a bad habit of not calling my parents until I have a diagnosis. This happened a couple of times in college. I didn’t even call my parents until after we were at the hospital when I went into labor even though I knew I was in labor the entire day.

    My mom, when it comes to all things medical with her family, is not the calmest. She was an X-Ray Technician so she has hospital experience, but she’s useless when it’s her own family.

  15. T.Jones
    T.Jones says:

    Glad to hear that your son is ok. I know it can be tough when it’s a loved one who is sick.

    Lots of love from Illinois

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