Last week, I shared my first essay on Ravishly in honor of Mother’s Day. The piece was an homage to The Golden Girls and how binge-watching the series with my mom helped us bond. Well, I’m just as excited to share another essay — with a family theme, of course! This time, I got to write for SheKnows again on how my disability helped me bond with my mom!
It sounds paradoxical, right? It did to me, at least at first. I mean, how could something like my disability be viewed as something so…positive? I’d certainly never really thought of it like that in the past. We’re always so quick to rattle off the laundry list of the horrible side effects of disabilities and how all they do is wreak havoc on everything in life. And while that’s true (I’d sure know all about that!), there’s also a subtle magic that I’ve discovered.
My essay “Why My Disability Strengthened My Relationship With My Mom” ran last week and I was so happy to be able to show it to my mom in time for Mother’s Day.
Here’s an excerpt of the essay, in which I talk about how my strong bond with my mom is one of those beautiful subtleties…
Through all the scary medical procedures and uncertainty that came along with growing up with a disability, we were truly there for each other. She’d comfort me in the hospital and make me laugh when I was feeling down. When I was 11, I contracted an infection in the hospital and had to be there for 31 days. Surprisingly, my mom managed to find a way to make the extended stay tolerable, whether we were going up to the top floor of the hospital at night to look out over the Chicago skyline or taking trips to the cafeteria for an afternoon lemonade. I shared this experience with my mom, as stressful as it was, and she’s one of the only other people who know what it was like.
That’s not to say our entire relationship revolved around my disability. We definitely had our ups and downs apart from my medical adventures, but one thing I was always sure of? My mom was in my corner — this is something I never doubted. Whether she was always there with an encouraging word or a stern piece of advice, I knew she had my best interest at heart. Especially after my father died suddenly in 2003, we leaned on each other for survival during some very dark days. Watching the way my mother journeyed through grief gave me the strength to keep going and helped me get to where I am today.
You can read the full essay here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo