Life with medical challenges can be a rollercoaster.
But throughout my own life and as I’ve watched others’ journeys as well, I’ve often seen one similar constant.
Behind each one of us who live with these challenges, more often than not, there’s one person who’s by our side through every doctors’ appointment, therapy session, surgery and everything else this life throws at us.
This is especially true in my case.
If there’s doctor I’ve shook hands with, she has too. Every therapy clinic I’ve spent hours in, Mom has spent just as much time in the waiting room. If I’ve been stuck in a hospital bed for weeks, she’s been on the cot right next to me. Every single night.
Growing up, when I would sit on a doctor’s table and hear the word “surgery” and panic, Mom was the first one I looked to before I let the waterworks flow. And when I couldn’t get ahold of myself, we would sit in the parking lot and sometimes cry together.
MRIs are still one of my least favorite things on this planet. Every single one I’ve went in, she’s always been right there.
And yes, when I was really little, she was inside the MRI tube with me, holding me.
In high school, when I would sit through meeting after meeting trying to figure out the logistics of getting around campus and the accommodations I needed, Mom sat in even more meeting without me, fighting for what I needed.
And when my parents dropped me off at college, she set up my dorm perfectly.
When I got a flat tire on my mobility scooter, she was the one to drive 2 hours to Gainesville, in the middle of the day to bring me my old one.
When I was struggling my first semester, questioning if I could make UF work or not, she was the one to drive to Gainesville, buy me lunch and assure me that I could do it.
If I find myself in a situation at UF that I need help problem solving, she’s my first phone call.
She’s the one who tucked an extra crutch in the back of my dorm closet just in case one broke.
This summer is probably the truest testament of all we’ve been through together.
In a hospital for a month, there’s no other roommate I’d rather have.
I miss our hospital movie nights where we would huddle around my laptop together.
Every morning in the hospital, she’d wake me up with a bagel and coffee. And then make sure I knew when my therapy sessions were for that day.
Every day, she made sure I was laughing.
And trust me, we had lots of laughs. First over her trying to learn how to use Snapchat and then driving me crazy with it. I can’t forget the time she accidentally pulled my remote/call button out of the wall and set off an alarm that sent two nurses bolting in, right after she had told them probably ten times: “We’re very low maintenance.”
Oh, and I can’t forget the time she “ejected” me from my wheelchair on accident and sent my coffee into the air, giving the entire hallway a good laugh.
Or the time we found that Fantastic Gymnastics game and spent literally hours trying to play it.
My stomach hurt most days from laughing with Mom in that hospital.
Mom, simply put, you are my superhero.
Thanks for walking every step of this with me and sometimes, carrying me through it.
I wouldn’t be as far as I am without you.
I know we have our moments but you truly are my best friend.
God sure knew what he was doing when he made you my mom.