Monday Reflections: Lingering Monster

A fun-filled night out with friends.
A few good smiles and laughs.

Some heartbreaking news.
Some sorrow-filled tears.

Whatever the reason.
Whatever the cause.

The memories still haunt.
The monster still lingers.

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I’ve been seizure free for 15 months now. It’s a length of time that I thought I would never see again, but I finally did! As the distance of when my last seizure occurred increases, you’d think the fear would have slowly faded away by now. This is not the case.

There is no certainty that the monster will never strike again. There isn’t a lifetime guarantee, and there is a lot of fine print to read.

The decisions I make everyday are not made lightly. If I want to stay up late and have fun with my friends, I need to carefully consider the consequences and take steps to minimize them.

When things become overwhelming and the heartache is very strong, I need to remind myself to focus, cope, cry and move on.

Whether the moment is created by extreme happiness or sad misfortune, the monster can still be triggered. That cloud of fear won’t ever be gone, but I need to step back and just breathe.

Neither of us chose this, but neither of us need to go through this alone. One can’t always be strong, and I’ve stumbled a lot more times than I’ve let on. But I’ve found a place where I can listen and be heard, and you should find yours, too.

Finding your place can make a world of difference, and today I reflect on that.

Epilepsy Foundation of Texas: Support Groups

To my Game of Temporal Lobe Fam

Epilepsy is much like the weather. It’s unpredictable and always changing. A sunny, 85 degree morning can quickly turn into a 58 degree with scattered thunderstorms afternoon.

With epilepsy, you can never predict what will happen next. You prepare for a picnic. Lightning strikes, and you have to watch the latest documentary on Netflix.

The weather is very unfavorable when we really don’t need it to. But through sunshine and rain, each of you have been right beside me.

Whether you were there at the beginning or met me along the way, I want to thank you for supporting me.

Thanks for putting up with my nonsense. Thanks for listening to my randomness and laughing, even when my jokes weren’t funny.

You gals and guys are the best! It’s because of you that my Walk to END Epilepsy this past weekend was such a success.

From the bottom of my purple heart, thank you, my ever-growing epilepsy fam!

 

 

Seizure free for one year!!!

Memories of the past three years float around in my mind. As I sort through the trying and sunny times, it’s almost impossible to put all my feelings into words.

There is heartache for the loved ones I’ve lost along the way. There is fright and frustration for the storms I’ve had to face.

There is embarrassment for all the silly things I’ve managed to do. There is love and gratitude for the kindness and encouragement my family and friends have given me.

There is a sense of accomplishment for sticking it through. And there are fuzzy, warm motions stirring inside today, and I can’t help but smile.

It’s hard to believe that 365 days have come and gone, but the day is finally here!

Today, there is a purple sunrise, and it simply feels like a dream.

I’m one year seizure free!

Monday Reflections: One in twenty-six

Twenty-six people living ordinary lives.
Some learning to walk for the very first time.
Others with wrinkles around their eyes.
All filled with dreams waiting to be realized.

Then, one of those twenty-six is caught off guard.
Their greens turned red. Their ups turned upside down.
Their life taken away by a silent, electrical terrorist.

One in twenty-six people will hear three life changing words.

You have epilepsy.

I’m the one in 26.

I will always be tired.
I will always have a foggy memory.
I will always be a tiny bit moody.
I will always wonder why.

But I will never give up.
I will fight for the next one in twenty-six.
I will be there to offer a helping hand.

 

Living with epilepsy isn’t easy, but it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve learned how strong I can truly be, and how I can make a difference. This past month, I was able to offer some advice to a girl who had just been diagnosed. Being able to help her make sense of everything and guide her through this difficult time has made every painful moment worthwhile. If I had decided not to get back up all those times I thought I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be able to offer her solace today. Sticking it out is difficult, but never impossible. Today I reflect on that. 

Tuesday Ramblings

Everyday we learn new things. Our surroundings make us look at things in a different way. What we hear shapes our thoughts and opinions. Whether we learn something good or bad, everything we perceive is processed. Visual, acoustic and tactile perceptions are encoded and become part of our short-term and even long-term memories.

Last week, I learned something VERY important. Okay, maybe it’s not that important, but something worth mentioning. It’s the last piece of solid advice my old boss passed down to me. So what is this great piece of wisdom he bestowed on me? Well, here it goes.

Everyone hates Mondays. They are terrible because the fun has come to an end, and we must carry on with our adult responsibilities. Plus, who can possibly love a day that marks the conclusion of happy times?

On Tuesday, everyone has just survived Monday, but the long week is still ahead. Friday can’t even be seen in the distance.

On Wednesday, everyone is like “Yass, it’s humpday!” We’re almost there, and the worst is far behind us.

On Thursday, you can see the finish line! Friday Jr is here, and freedom is just around the corner.

On Friday, everyone is FRIYAY! We have those Friday feelings, and the finish line to happy hour is finally here.

In conclusion, there is no point to Tuesday. It is by far the worst day of the week, and it simply sucks!

Monday Reflections: Monday Blues

I hold my breath and close my eyes hoping the pain will come and go. I try to go on as if it was just another day. There is no denying that the sunset has left and the sunrise has followed. It is another day, but it’s another day without you here. When I read the text message last night, disbelief is all I could feel. I didn’t cry. I didn’t get angry or ask why. I replied to my sister saying to let me know when the funeral arrangements would take place. I said goodnight and went to bed.

Today, I sit at my desk trying to hold back the tears. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming. You weren’t doing well, and the doctors said it would be a matter of days, but I wish they hadn’t been right.

I think about the last time I saw you and how now I never will. You grew up with my family. You were one of us kids. You were my brother’s best friend and a big brother to my sister and I. You made us laugh and helped us beat up our brother because he was too big. You were there to pick us up when we needed a ride from school. I still remember the white mustang waiting for us outside of school. Out of that small, two door car, two big, bald guys would get off to let us in the back seat. It was hilarious to see you both get out of such a small car.

As we grew up, you were there for all the milestones. My sweet fifteen, high school graduation, college graduation and wedding. Even through the difficult times, when my grandparents and great-aunt passed away, you never failed to pay your respects and give us a warm embrace.

Life is funny and has a way of bringing the smallest memory back to light. Each of those memories will make me laugh because of all the dumb things you and my brother would say. Those memories will also make me cry because your life was cut way too short, and we won’t be able to make new ones.

I’m not sure why things happen the way they do, but I do know you were a wonderful person and a great friend. Others might have thought you were a rough, tough guy, but those who knew you well, will remember the big teddy bear inside.

Missing Grandma

Four years have come and gone.
1,460 days have arrived and passed.

Time wasted no time to stand still.
The world just kept turning round.

For 35,040 hours, I’ve missed you.
For 2,102,400 minutes, my heart has ached.

I know you’re in a better place.
I know your pain is no more.

But I wish I could hug you one more time.
I wish I could see your beautiful smile.

Time hasn’t eased the pain,
But it also hasn’t erased the memories.

Those dear moments will keep you alive.
And Grandma, I will always love you.

This is for you, the one I never got to meet.

I could see your bright smile long before I ever saw your face.

I could hear your cries and sobs because you needed a diaper change.

I could feel your warm hugs when you needed my comforting embrace.

I could imagine all the memories we’d create through the years.

I could picture you reaching all your milestones.

I could. I could. But I didn’t get to.

I love you even though I never got to meet you, and I always will.

I’ll tell those that come after you how special you are to me.

A piece of you will always be in my heart, and I will never forget you.

When I give my last breath, we will finally meet.

In paradise, I promise to make up for all lost time.

I will hold you, make you smile and laugh.

Because that’s what mommies are supposed to do.

I wish I could say life is a bed of roses without thorns, but this would be a lie. My older sister was in her second trimester when she lost her twin daughters. My friend was just five weeks pregnant when she had her first miscarriage.

Besides being a mom to a kid with four paws, I have no children of my own. I’ve never experienced life growing in my womb, but I still feel a sense of loss. I can imagine my two eight-year-old nieces pleading for me to make them another tea party. I can picture their poor drawn color penciled Happy Birthday and Valentines Day cards, which would say I was their greatest aunt, or maybe even their best friend. Those cards would mean the world to me more than any beautifully crafted Hallmark card.

For all the moms who’ve lived this nightmare, I cannot say that I know what you are going through. I cannot say that I know exactly how it feels, but I do know that you aren’t alone. The world might feel a little more broken, but your family and friends are there to help you through it all.

Life is a bed of roses filled with painful thorns, but it’s still beautiful. Roses are wonderful, and need someone to tend to them. Let those who love you be your gardeners to help put yourself back together again.

Here and There

This is something I wrote back in 2007 when I was adjusting to college and being on my own for the first time. As graduation season comes to a conclusion, I feel the following poem is only appropriate. Going off to college means being surrounded by an unfamiliar environment that is filled with so much potential. It means meeting new, interesting people who will make everything worthwhile. While both are wonderful and exciting, there is still a sense of loss for the life we’ve left behind. Continue reading