Rose and I had a lot of help during these years of struggle. Rose’s dad kept working through it all while I quit teaching part-time at the local college, then closed down my garden art business, later left my middle school job and lastly kissed that community college good-by for a second time. Rose’s dad has been the steadfast supporter, while I have fluctuated between fearless caregiver and emotional wreck. My husband is still working after thirty-eight years to keep our insurance. Hang in there Honey!
Rose’s big brother missed having a care-free childhood because he had to be strong and serious. I still send him silly photos on his phone to make sure he laughs once in a while. He is like his daddy. He will carry the load and stand straight up doing it. He has been there for Rose over and over again. Playing the role of goofy protector to keep her safe and laughing. I hope he surrounds himself with fun and joy as a man.
Our whole family has traveled with us on this journey; two aunts, four grandparents, a beloved uncle B and two cousins. Coming to parties and throwing parties. Showing up wherever we were with food and gifts. Calling to check on Rose. Taking her shopping. Playing games with her. Doing what families do.
Our church has been a blessing through it all. It is like our second home. We went there during the terrible times when we did not go anywhere else. Rose got to be around familiar folks. The other children knew about her seizures. These families supported us through the tough times. Our church friends brought in meals for our family and toys, games and coloring books for Rose. Three older gentlemen made it a point to call us every couple of weeks. “How is our girl?” they would ask. Ronnie is still around. Phillip and Blake are no longer living. Rose loved them dearly and took each one’s passing especially hard.
Rose has some friends that have stayed loyal through the years. Leigh Ann, Peter, Ingrid, Aly, Erick and Christina are still her support team. These kids are like family. We are so grateful to them for helping us raise Rose. These peers were especially important through the teen years when Rose’s parents were so ignorant.
All these people gave all kinds of support, but what I really needed was another mother. I needed a mother who had raised a child with epilepsy to tell me how the hell I was going to get us through this. I did not want that other mother to be going through her journey along with me. I needed a mentor. Someone who had lived through all the trials and tribulations and had acquired the skills to stay afloat. Someone with stupid stories and anecdotes. I just needed one other mother to reassure me that we could come out the other side of this terrible tunnel. I needed to see the light.
My forays on the Internet got me drug names and possible treatments. I did not understand most of what I read. I had no medical training. I wasn’t a chemist. I did not need all that jargon. What I really needed was another mother.
That is why started the blog, Seizure Mama and Rose. I was determined to be that other mother. So that some scared mama who was going through that tunnel in real-time could glimpse what life might be like at the other end.
When Rose calls home from the university, I tell her where our views have been. I say, “Another mother has found us.”
Hang on “Another Mother”, Rose and I are right here.