It’s like I don’t have a life any more. My heart aches for my life back. I try to
Make appearances of things being under control but they aren’t. I can’t go
anywhere with the girls (referring to my daughters). I can’t take them shopping
any more. They say they understand, that it is okay, but it is not okay to me. I
want to do things with them again. My life has been taken away from me…My
heart is breaking. I feel like a part of me is missing and that I will never
get it back.
It was hard to cope with what my life had become. I could not fathom how my illness had affected my daughters. I was so wrapped up in my own pain, my own hurt, and trying to survive that I didn’t pay enough attention to how this was affecting my young daughters and their lives. I had missed major events in their lives. I missed a college graduation ceremony, I missed shopping for a bridal gown, I missed being in the delivery room when my grandbabies were born. As I wrapped up the writing of Allergic to Life, I asked them if they would be willing to write something on how my illness and absence affected them. Before I share some excerpts, I want to say that I have healed enough to be able to do things I never dreamed of being able to do back when I wrote in my journal. While my life isn’t perfect and I still have many limitations, I have come to embrace my life as it is now. After all, I am alive and isn’t that what is really important?
From Sarah—My mom is my best friend and I almost lost her…By the time I realized how sick my mom was, she was being shipped off to an environmental clinic in Dallas, Texas, and I was living on my own working full time and going to school part time. I thought I would be okay while she was gone, but I was wrong. The center of our family had left and we didn’t know when or if she was coming back…When mom finally came home, she was a different mom than the one I had always known…She was cautious and reactive and tired.
From Laura—Before her illness, my mom’s creativity and resourcefulness made her a community leader, a good friend, and a great mother. From fixing a recipe or an unsuccessful science fair project to comforting my sister and me in times of teenage crisis, she was a master of making the most of difficult situations. She could simultaneously talk on the phone, make dinner, and solve a dispute between her daughters without batting an eye. When this illness came into our lives, I watched as it tried to destroy the very things I loved most about her…she became less patient, more forgetful, and unable to put together a simple recipe.
These pieces that my daughters wrote still bring tears to my eyes when I read them. I am so grateful that I have them in my life and that they have adapted to all my quirky and different ways of living with courage and grace.
Allergic to Life can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Signed copies may be purchased at Kathryn’s website.
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