Last week was the Anniversary of my brother's death. He has been gone for 34 years. As I sat and talked with Austin's mom about this I couldn't help but think of where they were at, as compared to my parents. From there we talked about where my parents were at 2 years out, 32 years ago. The thought then came to my mind, I am 32. My birthday is near the end of August, well at 2 years out they had a newborn. Fresh home from the hospital, such a wonderful time. But, I hadn't really thought about the timing.
As I talked to my mom the next day about this she said, it was the lowest point in my life. Lowest point in her life!? Yes, you see when I was just 3 days old I went back to the hospital. When I was brought home I was seemingly fine. My dad went back to work on a Friday and my mom was home with me. She noticed I was twitching. My hands and feet at the same time as if it were clockwork. She took me to the doctor, the same doctor she took my brother to on a Friday. They too saw what was happening and told her they needed to call the lifesquad. The last time they called the lifesquad my brother was sent to the hospital from the same office. She refused transport, knowing where it had led 2 years prior and my Aunt Cindy drove us to the hospital. From there I was admitted. I spent 15 days in the intensive care unit. At some point in this stay I had numerous spinal taps, as they looked for Spinal Menengeitis. The same thing that took my brother's life. On the 2 year anniversary of his death. My parents were in the same hospital with their newborn, being tested for the very thing that killed him.
As I sat and listened to her I was in awe. I have heard the story of my hospital stay, I knew what had happened, but never had I realized it was this sick twisted timing. In the end - as you have guessed - I was okay. I had very low calcium that had caused me to seize. Special formula and hundreds of blood tests to keep track of it were the only thing I needed. But, what my parents went through is unbelievable to me.
As we sat and sipped our McDonald's coffee, just the two of us, I looked at her and said how is it only your body that has fallen apart!? This woman has been through so much, yet can sit and tell me my story, the one that brought us to where we are. The one that helped to form who I am and who I want to be. Sometimes we forget what exactly has happened to bring us where we are. Having Austin's family has brought back so many memories for my family. Watching them has not only been hard, but opened so many windows into the memories they have. It has been a blessing in so many ways, for Austin's family and for my parents. And for me to be able to be on the outside looking in at these 4 people, who I love, respect and admire more than anyone, living this eternal nightmare. I often wonder how we all ended up together in this. I know it was more than coincidence.
The other night we had Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary party, through it all they are still standing, still together and still smiling. Austin's family came to that party and I am pretty sure that in 32 years they will be right there. Eerily enough in 32 years they will have been married for 40 years......