I erased July today.
I bet you're wondering what that means. That month had sat there for so long in my pantry scribbled across my dry erase board that the words remain shadows underneath - not unlike the shadows that dwell under the surface of life itself.
Yet, tonight I finally erased it. I quickly wrote December 2019 at the top and had what I would describe as a complete emotional meltdown afterwards. I cried for well over an hour straight.
The month of July 2018 sat there on that calendar for seventeen long, agonizing, life-changing months. For me, that was the month my life crumbled into a million different pieces and I made a decision that would change my life and my son's life as we knew it forever. A lot happened that month but overall my son's scare with a subdural brain bleed really changed the course of my life, what I wanted and how I wanted to move forward.
But July 2018 just sat there. A literal physical reminder of when things went wrong and my path changed forever. I'd catch myself looking at it every time I went in and out of that pantry never quite understanding why I couldn't just be done with it. I'd think to myself - "Just erase it already. It's that easy." Yet, there it sat for another 518 days.
JULY 2018: the month I decided to change my life as I knew it. It's hard to explain what it all means without drudging up old hurts, resentments, bad feelings and general sense of loss that came with the decision I made that month and year. Erasing those dates and the events of that month this evening was cathartic on numerous levels.
I've spent every day since then working on myself and trying to be a better person than I was the day before. There are very few people who know how hard the bad days are or the thoughts that race through my mind as I lay in bed at night worrying about what lays ahead for my son and I.
I used to share all the things on this blog. The good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately in doing so - you share intimate details of your life with friends (and strangers) and inevitably there are one or two people who take what they *think* about your life who feel entitled to be cruel or hateful about MY life choices. In fact, my last entry was 9 months ago when I received a piece of "anonymous" mail that was unkind. It made me want to stop sharing but I cannot let the cowardly thoughts of others stop me from doing what I love. Writing has been and always will be my outlet. I cannot let others take that from me.
I have to stop being afraid. This is my life. This is my blog. I will speak my truth and I cannot let the thoughts of others worry me. I can only do my best.
I am not the same person I was then and I hope that these last and final days of this decade continue to show me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I have days where the tears fall and loneliness wells up in my soul. Yet, on those days I have people who hold me up. People who say a kind word or who invite me over on holiday when they know I am alone.
Life as I knew it changed in July 2018. I have spent the last 17 months being Erin when for so long I was just "Abe's Mom". I didn't even have an identity. I didn't have a name. I was just this entity that existed to do for others - do for others - do for others that I never got to be just ME. It took me a long time to learn that I can be BOTH Erin AND Abe's mom. I am one person but I can be two different things.
I have spent these months reconnecting with old friends who I lost along the way and I have built new relationships that have been life-changing for me on so many levels.
I have fought hard Abram's entire life advocating for him both with doctors and for a diagnosis but also at the state house to change LAWS to give my son his medicine. All of that work is finally paying off on so many levels as I have been able to join an advisory board that helps keeps children with disabilities in their homes and I have accepted a new part-time position with a non-profit that is close to my heart.
I am not exactly where I want to be but I am happy with who I am and what I have done. Hard, life changing decisions can be soul-crushing journeys but in the end, things are as they should be. I am on the right path. I have to remember to keep my head up and acknowledge the grief and the heartache when it comes. It's okay to cry and feel everything as long as you remember that tomorrow is another day. Life is too short to be miserable and it's definitely too short to wallow in the what-could-have-been mindset. It is what it is. Feel what you need to feel, let the tears fall and get back up and dust yourself off.
I erased July 2018 today. Its shadows are still here but soon a new decade will begin and I am certain that life as I know it will change once again. Through the growing pains and heartache I am on the right track. I am so glad that I could finally erase that month in which I held so much contempt for. Goodbye July. You are officially gone forever.
Hello! My name is Erin. I am Abram's mom, a tireless advocate for UBE2A Deficiency Syndrome and a fierce proponent for medical cannabis.
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