This week marks the one year anniversary of my son’s first seizure. It’s not an anniversary that we are celebrating, obviously. But it has been long enough now that it’s hard to remember a time before seizures, but when I do…when I see a picture from the “before time”, when I talk to someone who hasn’t seen him since he started having seizures…it’s hard to make the connection between then and now.
His seizures started around the same time we moved from Colorado to Pennsylvania. The geographic difference makes it seem as if it was a different family back in Colorado. Their son didn’t have any seizures. The family in Pennsylvania, their son has seizures that are still not under control. The Colorado family was hockey and balance bikes. The Pennsylvania family’s son struggles to find his balance at all some days. The Colorado family had an infinite number of possible futures. The Pennsylvania family is mostly trying to manage day by day.
Most of the pictures of the Colorado family are gone from the shelves. They were too hard to look at. We didn’t see our son in those pictures, we saw another child living another life. After a year, that other life stopped being our present and started to become our past. This is our life now.
After a year, though, we’re slowly making new memories and celebrating new victories with new pictures that are making their ways in to frames and on to the empty shelves. This is our life now, and we’re finding ways to live it. We’re getting more help for him and for ourselves. We’re starting to go out to dinner, both as a family and on dates. We’re finding friends. We’re playing teeball. We’re going swimming. We’re going roller skating. We’re exploring our new home and making the days that we have count.
For all the differences…for how unconnected and disjointed that the two families seem to be, they do have one thing in common. The Colorado family had a tough kid that wouldn’t quit and that, somehow, kept a heart full of love through really difficult times. He lived fearlessly.
The Pennsylvania family’s kid is the same way.