Dear Epilepsy..

Dear Epilepsy,

Unfortunately, you and I have been acquainted for far too long.

From the time of my first memories, I remember my ability to recite seizure protocol as the sister of a brother who battled hard with you.

From friendships during my school days, to working as a respite provider, to employment at a center that served individuals with special needs, to becoming a special education teacher, and now as a mom to multiple children who wear the diagnostic label with your name on it, I have stood witness to more seizures than I can count.

While part of me has grown used to your cruel grip on the ones I love, I will never become comfortable with your dark presence.

I may calmly stand by a convulsing child, simultaneously switching between speaking comfort and listing off instructions for those nearby, but one more piece of my heart splinters each and every time you rear your ugly head.

While I may seem brave, informed, and capable on the outside, my inside screams, “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

How dare you wreak such havoc on these precious bodies.

How dare you rob individuals and families of their outings and escapes.

How dare you steal away several days’ worth (or more) of wellness—sometimes in a matter of seconds.

How dare you extinguish normalcy beneath the weight of fear and unknown.

I hate you. I hate you so much.

But you know what?

You. Won’t. Win.

With every seizure, while part of me breaks, my will grows stronger.

You have changed me and wounded me, but you have also caused me to stand taller, roar louder, and charge ahead more bravely in search of answers, relief, and healing for the ones I love.

Because of you, I am constantly researching–learning the wonders of our bodies, medicine, nutrition, and science.

You remind me each and every day that quitting is not an option.

I will keep fighting for healing and freedom.

You have broken me and forced me to my knees, but that is where the grace of God has met me, lifted me, and whispered, “You have not lost.”

You have humbled me, teaching me that life is more fragile than I once believed.

You have taught me to press on in the dark and dance a little extra in the light.

Your despised presence in my life has forced me to be mighty when I didn’t know I could be and to treasure the beauty of the mundane I might have otherwise missed.

Because of you, my children who do not have epilepsy are more compassionate, more aware, and more educated than any other toddlers I know.

I hate you.

But I appreciate the lessons I have learned in spite of you.

I will not quit.

You have not won.

Whether my dear ones are free from you on this side of heaven or not, know that you are not the victor.

As much as I wish the case was otherwise, I’m sure we will see each other again soon.

When we do, know that, while you may seem to succeed for a short time, we will fight back.

The story of each and every person you clench is so much greater than the chapters you attempt to hijack.

There is much you are capable of stealing, but there is so much more you are not.

Where you leave ashes, beauty will rise.

Where you usher in chaos, peace will take over.

The preciousness of humanity and life itself is not up for debate and cannot be taken or undermined by you.

Try as you might, you will never truly triumph.

Until we meet again and with upmost sincerity,

Me

About Micah Pederson

I am a mom to two children biologically and many children through foster care. My husband and I have been married three years. Our foster home is a specialized home for children with medical or special needs. I taught one year of special education before deciding to stay home with our many children. One of my greatest passions and desires is to be surrounded by individuals with special needs, loving them, learning from them, and advocating for them in world that often does not understand. I want to be a window and a light to show the world how amazing people with unique abilities are and I want to be a radiator of hope, joy, and unconditional love.

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