Columns

Finding the Unity in Disability

If I don’t have a topic in mind when it’s time to write a column, I read articles. I look into the lives of other siblings of special needs individuals, delving into the struggles, pains, and joys of their respective experiences. From this, I usually find…

Thank You for the Kind Words, but I Am Not a Hero

I am raising a terminally ill child, my daughter, Abby. This has caused many to call me a hero, warrior, or fighter, among other things. While these are flattering terms and to be taken as compliments, I do not necessarily feel like they describe me. One reason people have used…

Spending Quality Time with My Sister, Abby

I spent a lot of time with Abby a couple of weeks ago. Her caregiver was sick, so I knew I’d be spending several days with her. I had two options: I could be angry at Sanfilippo syndrome, which makes caregiving necessary in the first place, and fall…

The Day I Broke Down and Sanfilippo Won

It’s been a while since I’ve had what I consider a “depressive episode.” I had one this week. Some may argue that feeling low for a few hours shouldn’t qualify as an episode, and I’m not trying to diminish the severity of depression. However, the crippling…

Grieving My Living Daughter

My daughter, Abby, is 24 and has Sanfilippo syndrome, which will one day claim her life. I already feel like she’s gone, though. I had never even thought of the idea of grieving the loss of someone who is still living until now. It is a sad reality, but I…

With the New Year Comes Difficult Feelings

Jan. 1 always brings up difficult feelings for me. Even before Sanfilippo syndrome entered our lives, New Year’s was a holiday for reflection — which isn’t necessarily an easy thing to process. Each year, thoughts about what the coming year has in store and what next Jan. 1 will look…

I’m Struggling with Bitterness This Holiday Season

Parenting a terminally ill child carries emotional baggage. It can be subtle or sudden and feel like an extra weight to carry around every day. The feeling of bitterness particularly resonates with me and has developed over time. I am normally an upbeat, positive person. I am generally happy…