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Friday, March 24, 2017

Always a Musician

When we married, we had no idea how many twists and turns our life would take. Every marriage starts out with hope and promise. I'm sure I didn't know how complicated combining our separate lives into one would be. I was filled with the euphoria of a new love. Mark, a kind, gentle man, seemed to fit my life well. He was still attending a community college in our area plus, filling his time, in a band. Although I knew this was important to him, I don't think I knew how much Mark's music would be a part of our journey together. What I've learned, a musician, is always a musician. When Mark has taken breaks from that life, I don't know, if during those times, I appreciated what a huge sacrifice it was for him? As I age, I understand better how much his soul needs music, to not only enjoy life, but mostly, to truly thrive! I believe his busiest times, playing many gigs, with a variety of musicians, are his most joyful. In the beginning I may not have truly understood, but as we age, I realize, Mark's involvement in bands doesn't take from me, it enhances our life together. In my acceptance & understanding of this, we have bonded & our marriage has strengthened.
This Sunday, 28 years ago, we told our families and our friends that we planned to marry. We had, in our eyes, been engaged since February 14th, but had chosen to keep that to ourselves. So on Easter Sunday, 1989, we announced our engagement and our Wedding date. It's hard to believe it's been 28 years, and then again, it feels like forever. The lessons learned in my marriage have been many. I'm always working to be a better spouse and partner. Recently, someone pointed out to me that Mark and I are good at not making a big deal, out of every little thing. I know Mark is quick to forgive, I'm still working on that. We have grown in many ways, picking up each other's, hopefully, better qualities. There were times I just didn't understand Mark's need for practicing, every single day! I even felt slighted by it, like he chose his music over me. Now, it's just part of our daily life.
I'm proud of how far I have come in understanding Mark, as a person and a musician. There were and will be, times of not understanding, but as we've grown, those happen less and less. He's a musician, possibly, before anything else, sharing his gift and showing love in his own special way. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Proactive Overthinker

Tough conversation;  Would you sterilize your daughter if her getting pregnant would jeprodize her life?
These are things I overthink.
I know I would have to make a choice to abort, if God forbid, Teale were to become pregnant.
Mark and I have debated this much, but today I asked the question at my support group. I often attend a group on Saturday mornings, all the adults are caregivers of someone with special needs. These peeps normalize my life, they "get it." They have lived through or thought much about the strange things we, as caregivers, have experienced.
They don't run or judge, when someone asks a very difficult question, they sit back, breathe and talk it out.
Today, we talked it out. We talked about my daughter, we talked about their sons. We expressed the fear of our children bringing another child into the world. We also talked about how, in my situation, Teale could die from a pregnancy or the baby could be born with multiple disabilities because of the many medications Teale is on.

In many ways, being proactive is the right choice. Why put any of us through a painful choice like abortion. But, then there are the great strides being made medically, every day. What if Teale could be "fixed" someday? What if her brain damage could be reversed and she then couldn't have children because I had made a decision to sterilize her?

It's heartbreaking but a real reality that Teale could, at some point, be sexually active. My gut says she won't choose to be, after all, she is barely receptive of physical contact. I'm not a bury my head in the sand type of person though, so I accept things change. The other sad reality is that she is vulnerable and she could be violated. With my being a proactive person, I'd rather deal with this now, before any tougher decision must be made. I am a pro choice person, who personally would not have an abortion.

When I had this conversation with Teale's previous OBGYN, it seemed like it was a possible and probable choice to sterilize Teale, but then she retired suddenly.

Now I will have to find a new doctor, who understands my heart. A doctor that doesn't see me as a monster, but as a Mom, trying to do the best she can for her daughter. I deeply love Teale, her mental and physical wellbeing are my only concerns.

So, I ask, would you sterilize your child? Would you judge me for wanting to?