Starting about four months ago, my nineteen-year-old cousin began having seizures.
They came out of blue. The first one happened right around New Years; we were thankful it happened with all of us around. But they haven’t stopped since then.
They still come. Randomly. In school, at home—whenever and wherever they want.
The doctors have done tests to find what triggers it. They say it’s stress and strain among other things. But they are still working to find a medicine that works best. And they haven’t gotten to that point yet.
This morning I heard a scream downstairs, and ran.
My cousin was on the kitchen floor with my mom and dad. My grandma and brother ran downstairs and my aunt hopped out of the shower. We all kept the dogs away and laid her on her side and got her a towel. If you’ve never experienced it, you can’t even imagine how scary it is to see someone go through that—especially when it’s someone you know and love.
Over the past few months, she has been positive about it all. “The doctors are working on it,” she’ll say with a smile. “Everything happens for a reason.” But as college inches closer for her, I’ve noticed that optimism is beginning to fade. She can’t get her license. She feels sick or lightheaded more times than not. The unknown is constantly circling her. Always, when will it happen next?
As she woke up and slowly noted what had happened, she began sobbing. As did myself, and a few of us.
Everyone kept telling her “It’s okay, don’t cry”—myself included.
But then I took her hand and told her—
you know what?
It’s not okay that you can’t go somewhere without being scared. It’s not okay that you’re constantly living on edge. It’s not okay that your life is different; that it’s been altered without any warning.
I told her to cry and be upset.
Which probably wasn’t the best thing to do after someone’s literally woken up from seizing on the kitchen floor. Note taken.
But you know what I was getting at.
We need that sometimes.
We need to cry—to actually, physically have that release. We need that momentary freak out. That time to say to ourselves: “This is not okay. Nothing is okay. This is not fair. And I hate this.”
Because we’re human.
And when it’s not okay, we shouldn’t have to pretend like it is.
We can’t give into the the darkness that indubitably surrounds situations and circumstances like these, or else we’d be down for good. But the point is to have that moment, to get it all out, and then to pick up and keep going.
A lot like my very first lesson.
It’s definitely hard, but it helps to have faith in something or someone, and to trust in whatever is happening. You have to believe that you’re going to be okay—but you should also be able to have your moment to be angry and frustrated.
My cousin is the sweetest person in the world. It frustrates me because she doesn’t deserve this.
But now that moment is over.
I’ve acknowledged those feelings, and now I’m going to be right by her side as we continue to hope and pray for the best, find the good things in this, and keep moving forward.
Appreciate everything and everyone you have. You never know how lucky you are until you do.
Please keep Kayla in your prayers! Thanks :)