In many ways, I don’t feel qualified to write these blog posts. There are so many things I barely remember about growing up with Alyssa and many of the things I do remember are fragmented or disjointed in my mind. But then I realized I don’t have to have everything perfect. I am just sharing our story.
Last week I posted about the beginning of Alyssa’s story—the part that I don’t really remember. Now I can tell you about the part I actually lived. I called them the crazy years, because in retrospect, it’s just a little bit crazy to think about all that we did. From Boston Children’s to Johns Hopkins, Ketogenic Diet to the Hallelujah Diet, small towns to big cities, California to Oklahoma, chiropractors, neurosurgeons, new drugs, surgery, and more… we’ve either considered or done just about all there is to do. So looking back is understandably a little bit crazy.
But at the time, it wasn’t crazy. It was normal. It was life.
I think that one reason it seemed so normal is because my parents, grandparents, family and friends all did their best to keep it that way. So in the middle of the crazy, we had normal.
When we drove to Independence, KS for doctor appointments every two weeks for two years, we always stopped to eat the BEST Mexican food in the world and maybe play at the park. On occasion, we even stayed for a night, enjoying the adventure of staying at a hotel.
Our trip to Oklahoma was additionally fun because some friends came with us. (I realize now that this amazing friend came along to watch us kids. At the time, I just appreciated the fact that her daughter was a lot of fun to have around). We went to a park and I remember picking hundreds of pecans that had fallen to the ground. Random, I know… but normal.
Flying to Atlanta every few weeks was not the longest trip Alyssa made for medical reasons, but it’s probably the longest trip she made frequently. One time, I went in my mom’s place… I learned about the treatment and had a blast touring Atlanta with my dad and sister.
During hospital visits, we made cards, visited Alyssa, and hung out with the nurses. In between times, we had our normal lives: doing school, going to the park, hanging out with friends.
I’m starting to realize how incredibly blessed I am to have had so many people supporting us.
So thank you to everyone… Momma, Dad, Gramma, Grampa, all my awesome friends, especially Jana and the Browns.
Thank you for giving us normal in the midst of our crazy.