Bits and pieces of this song remind me of how I felt and what I was thinking back in December all those nights, at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, overlooking the lights of Ann Arbor.
Seizures are terrifying.
You watch a person (or a pet) slip away from you. You see them lose control over their bodies. Depending on the type, you watch that hue of blue creep over their entire body as they struggle for oxygen. Even though they've always made it through before, you still wonder every time if they will come back to you. Those minutes feel like they last a lifetime.
I've never experienced feeling so helpless before until the first time my daughter began seizing in my arms. My heart goes out to all the parents who have gone, and are still going, through it. I know that feeling - when you shut down and do the necessary steps. When you portray control, pretend to act calm, and somehow keep a steady hand, while your heart races and time seems to freeze. You do nothing, but wait...in a gut-wrenching desperation...for their eyes to come back to you, for their skin to regain color, and the shaking to cease. You wait..and wait...for what feels like an eternity for the sound of those sirens - the sound of coming help.
And I know what it feels like when it all seems okay. Those nights you can't sleep because you are worried you won't be there if it happens in the dark. The times you wake up in a cold sweat after another nightmare. You read the stories about SUDEP and your stomach gets sick from the fear of it happening to your son or daughter.
You are constantly on guard. There is never a break. It lingers in your subconscious. When it's happened more than once, you can't help, but feel as if you are always waiting, always preparing, for the next one.
It's a terrible feeling - to have something dangerous and awful continuously happen to your child that's out of your control. If you could trade bodies and have it happen to you instead, you would do it in a heartbeat.
When it's your child, everything else stops. It changes you. It changes your life. What kept you strong before is pulled out from under you. Your priorities shift. If you haven't grown up yet, you definitely have now. Forgiveness comes easier. Your heart softens. You let go of minor issues because you realize what's most important.
We all have times in our lives when bad things happen.
And then there are those times when really bad things happen. You can be bitter over it. You can ask "why me?". In my case, it was, "why her?". You can let it harden you.
You can allow it to better you. You can pick up the pieces and learn from it. I pray every day her last seizure was truly her last - that her diet continues to keep them away. I never want to see her have another one. Experiencing them, however, changed me as a person for the better. I'm a better mom. I'm a better human being, because of her. I am NOT thankful for her seizures, but I AM thankful that God taught me a lot through them, through her. It broke me...for the better.
So here's to finding some kind of good in the worst kind of bad, to learning from your experiences - from all that life throws at you. To being brought down to your knees, to finding peace amidst confusion, and healing in the heartbreaking moments. Here's to finding answers in the quietest hours at night and holding on to Something bigger (and stronger) than yourself to make it until morning.
Whether good or bad, allow what happens today to make you better than who you were yesterday.
(Reposted from www.elizabethannewiley.com)
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