Monday, September 28, 2009


So this is one of those nights, when I start writing something in my head, and instead of writing it down I just hone it further and further in my mind, forgetting that it will be forgotten in the morning, or sometimes the meat of it, so I'll be left with tossing and turning and not getting any sleep anyway, but not writing it down. So here's the counter-intuitive action of just getting up and getting it down so I'll actually go to sleep.

I've been wanting to write for a while about Elizabeth's blog,, which can be found here, but I've been a little dumbstruck. She's a beautiful writer, and she shines through in what she writes, but the subject of some of her posts makes me a little emotional. So knowing that you're going to be emotional feels a little like driving into a heavy rainstorm, and the air's not working in your car. You know it will be intense, you're not quite sure you're going to make it to the other end, but somehow the defogger kicks in and the rain lets up and you're on the other side. So I'm having faith that the sun will come out, and I'll do this without making a mess of it.

Elizabeth and I did a reading together a few months ago, and found out we had a mutual friend. So, we had a great conversation, and I started reading Elizabeth's blog. Elizabeth posts about many things, and very eloquently about her daughter's epileptic seizure disorder. In fact, there is a walk on October 18th to raise money for it, and I'm hoping to join her team or give money, probably both. Now I've not had a seizure disorder, or anyone in my family who has, but my father was diagnosed with MS when I was 5, and eventually died of it in 2002.

And here is the rainstorm.

So, reading Elizabeth's blog I am humbled at how she deals with the disorder, and with her two sons and husband and managing it. I am blown away that she talks with them about it, that she honors their own childhoods; that they are children, allowing them to be that and also have a family member with a very serious challenging disorder--enlisting their help and support while providing it to them as well; and her unbounded love for her beautiful daughter, which shines through in every word.

I was a child watching my father have seizures that were a side effect of the MS, go through different medications, walk with crutches, then a wheelchair, and all in a strange atmosphere of anger, frustration, and silence. I remember being told of the diagnosis, but after that it was really the thing that ruled the house and most of my childhood. I'm not blaming my parents at all--I can't imagine having children let alone dealing with that and how helpless you feel in the face of it, but I can't help but think of how different it might have been had there been that kind of understanding or place to talk about what we were all going through. It was definitely a different time, and I just don't think the tools were there for people. The past is the past, but I've really been wanting to just salute? commend? praise? her for the amazing way she shares what she's going through. And I'm amazed at the online community and support there is--I don't think that was available in the 70's the way that it is now, and I love seeing it. It's been very healing, actually, even though the experience is over 25 years ago.

I had misgivings about writing this because it's a) a little personal, b) about my reaction, c) afraid my mother would read this and take this personally, which it's not meant to be at all , but I wanted to let Elizabeth know how helpful and healing (besides informational, angering, and many other things) it is to read what she is going through.

And yes, I could've just sent an email, but I couldn't ask you to donate then, could I? ;)


Elizabeth said...

And now the rain starts. You're an angel and you just have no idea how much this means and, well, now it's pouring.

Tanya Ward Goodman said...

This is wonderful. And so true.