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Transformation Story: Unconditional Love

Transformation Story: Unconditional Love

Health, is a blessing many of us take for granted until our health or the health of someone close to us begins deteriorating. Once it is affected, we realize it's importance. What if someone you loved had a lifelong disease, something that would never change for the better, only take turns for the worse... How do you think your life would be affected?

“My mom has MS. (Multiple sclerosis). She was diagnosed with it before I was born. Her disease kills the cognitive decision part in her brain. Basically, her motor skills, memory and decision making abilities are all kind of shot. She's there, but she's more like a selfish kid, than a mom.”

“How was it, growing up with your mom?” I asked her. She explained,“I actually thought she hated me. I didn't understand that it was the disease that made her that way, and that she had no control over it. She would shut me out and treat me bad so I thought I was just a horrible kid, but really she didn't even know that what she was doing was wrong.” This woman explains how she was passed from relative to relative to be taken care of since her mother couldn't. She actually cut her own finger so that her mom would notice her and have to talk to her. “The disease made her seem so selfish. I felt like I had no mom, and on top of that, she made really poor choices.” Because her mother's motor skills were effected as well, this woman encountered many traumatic experiences with her. “There were so many car accidents, she fell in the pool, she would fall down the stairs... I remember when I was 6, she fell down the stairs when I was home alone with her..she was carrying a laundry basket so I took all of the clothes that had spilled and put them under her head to prop it up because she wasn't breathing. I called my dad... I was so scared. I just wanted someone I could run to when I was sad or scared you know, someone who would hold me and talk to me, but my mom wasn't like that. I was always the one taking care of her.”

“Who was your support system during all of this,” I asked her. She said “My whole family, literally everybody.” Diseases can do one of two things to a family...either completely tear it apart, or draw them closer together. For this woman, she was lucky enough to have the second happen. “My grandma kind of stepped in as my mom, and the rest of my family was always there whenever I needed them.” She has an older brother as well, and he and her father were her rocks and role models.

Now that she is older, her relationship with her mother is very different. “With age comes understanding and I know that my mom can't help the way she is, she can't change, so I started putting my feelings aside and tried to make things easier on her.” This woman loves her mom to death. She will do anything for her. She drives her to her appointments, takes her shopping to get her out of the house, writes things on sticky notes and places them around the house so if her mom forgets things, she can look at the notes to remind herself.  She even rearranges the rooms in her home to make it easier for her mom to have things to hold onto as she is walking through.. “You know what I think changed me the most... watching my friend's mom die from MS. I realized I don't want to take my mom for granted anymore. You never know which fall will be the last fall, or how quickly her brain could start deteriorating..”

“So how do you think your mom's disease has affected you as  a person?” I asked her. “In what ways do you think this has made you a better person?” She responded, “Well I think it's made me more sympathetic, it's definitely made me stronger and know how to take care of myself..”   To end the interview I asked if she would change anything. Her response..“You know, as much as it sucks sometimes, I wouldn't change it. Without her disease, I probably wouldn't be who I am today.”

- A the word changes contributor 

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Transformation Story: Becoming a Better Person

Transformation Story: Becoming a Better Person

In one month my husband and I will be having our first child. I can’t begin to describe the whirlwind of emotions I’ve experienced over the past 9 months. There is part of you that is so excited to meet this new person but there is also a part of you that must let go of the old you. The old you that always put myself first, I didn’t have consider other people with my actions. I slept when I wanted, I drank when I wanted, and I ate what I wanted. Of course everything within reason but you had control over your life, I got up and traveled when I had the chance. All that changes when you’re pregnant, your body is not yours alone. You have to be considerate of this other precious life you are responsible for. Now that the pregnancy is almost complete I’m beginning to think beyond the physical responsibility and how to become a better person for my child.

Health

I’ve always been semi-health conscious, making sure I have vegetables in every meal and eating 7 grain bread instead of white. Small adjustments to get extra fiber and lean protein to maintain a healthy diet, but I do have my weaknesses. My husband and I enjoy desserts and fast food on a regular basis. We are not avid sportsmen so maintaining a healthy weight is a struggle. Now that we are adding to our family I feel an overwhelming burden to be a good example for our child.

You are your child’s first exposure to the world, he looks to you for answers and watches how you respond to everything. It’s not enough to preach about being healthy, I recognize there must be a general shift to becoming healthier. That means I’m eating my fair share of healthy snacks, buying organic or straight from the farm. This also means being more active and setting an example that physical exercise is essential to a healthy body and mind so I’ve hired a personal trainer.

Politics

Politics have never been a great interest I’ve mine. It never seemed that the people representing my community ever made a difference. This year all of that changed. I sat and watched how racist rhetoric was being justified and how violence against black men was so prevalent. This was not the country I was so proud of or wanted my child to grow up in. I knew then that my vote in the primary and general election meant something and I needed to get out to vote and campaign. I was responsible for the world my child grows up in and I could not afford to be a bystander any longer. Having a child is making me a better person by making me pay attention to how we treat other countries and foreign people.

God

How to begin to introduce the concept of God into my child’s life? My husband and I have different views on the matter but I think it’s something that should not be glossed over. First I will tell my son God is all around us and a part of each one of us. I will introduce to him nightly prayers to open up the dialogue of being thankful and forgiving. Eventually I want him to make his own decision on what God means to him and how he should go about praising him. I will introduce it to him and make sure I am a constant representative of the good person I know God wants me to be. This is more than going to church; it’s about not gossiping or being overly negative. It’s also about being forgiving and understanding everyone is not as close to God and has their own burdens. I aim to show him how to be closer to God with his actions and with mine.

These are all ways that I am becoming a better person for the sake of my child; please feel free to share how your family has made you a better person.

 

- A the word changes Contributor.

 

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How God Made Me Smile

How God Made Me Smile

I jokingly say to her, "do you have any jalapenos?" She said, "you know what, I do have something!" She came back with a small plastic bag with four hot peppers!!!
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Transformation into Modern Love

Transformation into Modern Love

Love, by definition, means a strong feeling of deep affection. That feeling is all around the world. It rests in faith, friendships, and families. But most of all, love is in those special connections that links two people into romantic unison. That oneness is what everyone knows as a relationship.
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