Tag Archives: Family

This is why I believe in affordable healthcare

16 Jan

View story at Medium.com

I’ll always remember the screams in the other room and that sound marked a divide: my life before my Dad got sick and the after-life. I was 19 years old, and my greatest concern at that time was whether I should have bought those pink puma sneakers that I had encountered the day before — the coolest shoes at the time.

I ran into the laundry room and saw my Mom on her knees, “your Dad’s been fired,” she said. In disbelief, I asked why.

My Dad was a hard-working man, from a lower-middle class Jewish family. His father, my grandfather, was a vendor, selling programs and beer at concerts and Cubs games. Beloved by all, my Grandpa helped to provide for three kids, with two of them going to college.

My Dad was a teacher turned business-man, who got swept up in the 60s and believed in social reform. He believed in this country, before he turned bitter, and he believed in people’s power to impact good.

He was always disappointed that I was not more socially active, but outside of that he adored me. Being a father was the absolute, greatest joy of his life, and he devoted his life to raising me — giving me hours of his time in a way that I didn’t see replicated by anyone else’s dads.

However, at 19 I found out that he had been having seizures, “adult-epilepsy,” was what the doctors said, and he wasn’t responding to any of the drugs that they were giving him.

He had a seizure at work, while leading a meeting. A week later he was fired. When we took the company to court, his boss stood on the stand and lied.

Adult epilepsy turned into TIAs: small strokes that eroded his short-term memory, so that when he got a new job he was unable to remember anything that he had learned — and so he was fired again.

Soon he wasn’t permitted to drive, and then he had open-heart surgery, and then his blood wouldn’t clot, and then his kidneys stopped working, and then he was sitting there pen & paper in hand, doing worksheets meant for second graders — in an effort to retain anything.

Meanwhile, we had health insurance. In fact, we had some of the best health insurance available, as my Mom was a nurse. Still, the bills piled up. For every procedure there was a dollar amount attached to it.

I felt helpless — I offered to transfer colleges (to an in-state one). I got a job and started paying my own bills and buying my own books. It didn’t feel like enough.

I sat in waiting rooms with my Mom, both hospital and administrative, making sure my Dad got the care that he needed, while making sure our family didn’t go broke. All the while making sure I was able to complete school, so that I could at least have a chance at contributing to the society that held our patriotism in its fist.

And, I will never forget how many times my Dad, my Daddy said to me, “I’d be better off to you and your Mom dead,” and I would push back my tears, smile, and tell him how much I loved him — I would tell him how wrong he was.

But, he was draining the family: emotionally and financially, and there was no denying it.

Having someone you love slowly deteriorate over an eleven year period is a certain kind of hell that no one deserves. It is a constant drowning, and the only way to keep living, is to grasp onto anything, any hope, any resilience and this will keep you afloat.

To take this family, any family, and put financial stress on them is a level of cruelty I cannot understand.

Making sure my father took his 42 pills a day was hard enough on my Mom, and then she would sit there at night, with her pile of papers, and figure out how we would pay for it all.

My family is one of many families, and we were luckier than most. White, educated, insured with other family around to support us. But, in the waiting rooms around the country there are families who have less and need more through no fault of their own.

I know Obamacare, or better put, the Affordable Healthcare Act isn’t perfect; that a lot of work needs to be done there. However, right now there is nothing to replace it, and we cannot let those who are supported by it suffer and drown.

One of our unalienable rights, as citizens of The United States is, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and taking away a person’s healthcare with no replacement, takes away any hope of all three. For without health — nothing else is possible.

How Lancelot can enter any hospital tale

16 Aug

Uncle John’s Band fills the room, and I can’t look at my Father. He’s wearing a diaper and his breathing is like a death rattle emerging from deep within. He’s been this way for hours. We have said our goodbyes two days before.

“Daddy, I love you,” I say, and he goes, “I know.”

A part of me still doesn’t believe him. How can he know? How can he know that the distance between us is because I can barely stand to be around him? I don’t know this man with a cane – I don’t know this man who does 2nd grade word problems to help with his memory. How can he know?That looking at this man makes me want to take the fetal position and never get up again – that if I did that I’d be an utter disappointment, but at least he would know how much he was loved.

Though, that’s all done now. A week before I noticed that he was silent, sitting at the edge of his bed with his feet planted on the floor. The TV was on, but I could tell that he wasn’t really watching. It rang out like empty noise that was meant to distract – not entertain.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, and as he usual he responded with, “nothing,” and I didn’t believe him because despite everything he still couldn’t admit to me when he was in pain.

I wasn’t sure if he fully realized what he was doing. How long he sat there like that. I wasn’t sure if I should try to talk to him or leave him alone. Our conversations were stilted, and at times they seemed to take away all of his energy.

Months before I had witnessed his writhing body laid out before me, and while my Mother screamed at me, “tell him a story,” and I began to tell the story of Lancelot – not the knight, but the handsome, womanizing, almost-lover that I had become friends with in the North of Colombia. I had no idea what I was doing, but I went with it.

Under most circumstances, I loved telling the story a Lancelot, and it wasn’t just because of his name. He pulled me into a corner in a dark club in Taganga, infuriated with my inattention toward him and demanded, “but Samantha, who do you like? You seem to like everyone,” and I wanted to explain to him that what I liked was being free.

Outwardly calm, but deeply panicked, I couldn’t stop the story’s telling. My Father murmured, “morphine,” and I said, “Daddy, it’s coming, don’t worry. You know what’s really funny? Well, maybe not funny, but umm, when I met Lance I was traveling with another guy..who was my friend, of course. But, um, I was annoyed with him. Ever heard of helicopter Moms? He was kind of like that, and when I saw Lance what I was really seeing was an opportunity to get rid of him.”

All the while I kept thinking, “I’m a terrible person. Not only did I ditch that guy and use Lance to do it, but now I am telling the story of Lancelot to my Dad whose every nerve is tensed in excruciating pain.”

So, I paused and wracked my brain for any other story, and all I saw was nothing.

Everything was covered in this mist, and I couldn’t even see my own recent experiences. I gripped my Dad’s hand, and plowed on, moving onto the part where Lancelot bought wine and cheese, and we laid by the pool, flirting, until I slipped and hit my head on the concrete in an attempt to be both sassy and sexy. After a bottle of wine, it seemed okay to stalk off, in false indignation, on a slick surface.

When it came time for the apology behind closed doors, I paused again. I couldn’t go on with the story, even the beginning wasn’t really parent-appropriate: the nightclub, the traveling with a man who I ended up leaving. It was all in my first months of backpacking, and it was a delicious chaos that I had never permitted myself.

But, here I was, standing in an equal chaos, and in response to my Mother’s demands to distract, it was the only story that lit up in my terrified mind.

She kept screaming at me, “what’s wrong with you? Talk to him, you’re not helping – can’t you think of anything?” and I wanted to lean across the table and scream at her, “how are you making anything better?” I wanted to weep for my life, which took me far and wide, and yet always yanked me back to where I began.

Eventually, the morphine kicked in and my Dad fell asleep. I looked at the white walls and laughed to myself; it was all so absurd.

In the silent room, I took in the white: the sheets, the pillowcases, his gown and the walls, and I knew that each room contained another person who was wearing the same thing. Some had families and some didn’t, and we had been there so many times over the years that the staff knew us. That they were witnesses to our families’ story; that they probably knew us better than our closest friends because they had seen our pain.

I looked down at my Father, “my Daddy,” and again I was wordless. Overcome, I knew that nothing had come to me because everything was nothing in the face of this – that Lancelot needed to enter into this moment because I was trying to save my Dad through a story.

Through my fully lived life; that was rich in experience, many of it joyous, adventurous, and I drove myself into the ground at times with it all because when the time came I knew I wanted to grip each moment into my hands and offer them up as worthy.

Looking into the grim reaper’s eyes, and whisper, “I’ve learned.”

I’m back, at the page, and it feels good

4 Aug

I walk through the streets of New York and feel the throbbing energy pulsate up through my feet, and I smile, like a never-ending summer; like the melting heat that I can smell, and I know I’m in love.

It’s a ripping kind of love, an earned love – it’s not easy or quiet. In fact, it never shuts up.

People don’t stop talking here, and we all can hear each other. There isn’t enough space for our words to breath, so we’re all on top of one another, complaining, but we love it.

In English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hindi and Portuguese, we’re all here standing together on the goddamn subway – stuck underground. Eventually, though, we all emerge, streaming out into the streets, bumping into one another as we rush to our next destination.

Having lived in Illinois, Indiana, California, Colorado and New York – I am keenly aware of the different styles of living that each city and state possess. And, I’m aware how each environment both attracts a certain kind of person and shapes their perspective.

And, a fierce rooted love lights up in my heart for New York because there is a sliver of space for me to be all that I am – and, if one is willing, there is room for you too.

And I think, “Isn’t this the kind of country that we want to live in?” one that believes there is room for everyone even if we’re straining against the seams?” A country that believes we can get a little closer, squeeze together, to make more room for another soul who has the right to, “pursue their own happiness,” and whatever that looks like for them?

It is in the arid expanses of space, conforming and white-washed, that we can forget all that exists outside our own environment and perspective; we can forget that a tapestry’s beauty lives in the varied colors that are woven together.

But, I get it. I get it more than I say – and I haven’t said much, as of late. There was a silence that descended upon me after my Dad died – the words left me, and all I could think about was, “move forward.”

I had nothing then: jobless, homeless with a few thousand dollars to my name. It was January and bitter cold. There were no travels ahead, only an entire life to rebuild, and the determination to do it.

Now, a year and half later I can revisit the page, and in doing so, I’d like to champion communication, I’d like to champion bridges – not walls.

We are scared, and we have every right to be. We are divided and that makes sense to me. I don’t comment on politics because I have seen so many different perspectives – I have lived in them.

I have sat in small towns in Indiana and listened to the reasoning, I have heard spur-clad cowboys in Colorado, and I put my face to the sun in Dolores Park, in San Francisco, and heard from people all over the world commenting on our nation.

But, at the end of the day for me it is New York, it is the subway – the most efficient and obnoxious form of transportation. The great equalizer.

It is the brown child laying it’s head on what I believe to be its Mother, it’s the French couple discussing things I cannot understand, and it’s the Asian schoolchildren, giggling, and that white guy staring into his phone.

America is a dream – one made from Utopia, and for those who don’t know what that means it’s nowhere.

But, don’t we need to believe in what we cannot see; that can potentially not exist? Don’t we need to believe that we can leave our childhood homes with almost nothing to recreate our lives? Isn’t that what is “great” about the “United States,” that we, at times, have provided space for people to come onto our shores with a few dollars and a dream and believe that they can make something better for themselves – which can benefit the country as a whole?

Isn’t that the true spirit of being an entrepreneur? How can I approach this in a new way? How can I make possible something that doesn’t yet exist?

Creation is not a solitary act – bringing any being into life takes two people, two perspectives, and that is just a beginning.

The ending is where we stand alone. This I’ve seen. I watched my Dad take his last breath, and I wasn’t with him; he was by himself somewhere, a place that I might see myself one day.

That is the fear – that is the uncertainty. That is why I run down the street, knocking into others because, “I’m not going to let anyone else steal my cab,” that is the nature of the beast, and that is why I love New York.

It is a place for beasts and for compassion – the dual sides of our nature is wrapped around every mode of living. The man who carries the homeless woman’s walker up the stairs, and the person, slamming their hands down, screaming at a car, as if it will respond.

But, I don’t want to live in the screaming. Make space for it? Yes. But, I’d like to believe that at the end of the day, most of us want to be the person who’s carrying that disabled, impoverished woman’s walker up those fucking stairs.

Emerging, into the cloudless, August day – knowing that intangible, idealistic myths are the very story of creation.

A being of energy, of light, some all-powering God, spent seven days making this earth – and then we bit the Apple, we are the creation and the Fall.

(Wo)man will always bite the apple, and that’s okay – so there’s no need to reach for that tempting snake who promises you a paradise that you already live in.

The subway will arrive eventually, though never on time. And, all of us, standing together, fighting for our square to stand in will both smile at one another and push each other out of the way, struggling, hurrying, reaching towards our next destination – which ultimately will end up being our last one.

So, maybe, let’s slow down, and take some time to get there. Let’s make space for our different perspectives and modes of being – let’s create in a way that serves us. Let us believe that we have the courage to go off, with very little, and make much of it.

My Father’s Battle

21 Feb

I know that every time I walk away from my family I am leaving a Father who’s slowly dying.  I knew this when I chose to move to San Francisco in 2008, I knew this when I left for South America and I know this as I type this from my studio in Boulder.

Of course, we are all slowly dying, though we don’t like to think about it.  People, in jest, always say, “well I could get hit by a car crossing the street,” but the truth of that is it’s actually true.  Anyone’s life could end in the next five minutes, and probably somewhere in the world someone has died as I’ve typed this blog.

I first experienced loss when I was nine.  My best friend, Rebecca, got hit by a car and became mentally retarded.  She experienced a living death that I did not quite understand.   As a child, life felt like it was forever, and there I was standing across from my disfigured friend trying to be brave.

From that point on I lived with a fear that haunted me for years.  I was afraid to leave my parents because I thought that they would die if they weren’t in my sight.  I refused to be separated from them, and they began to get angry; they didn’t understand my need to be sewn together.

Eventually we went on vacation, and I began sobbing in a restaurant in Florida, “Didn’t they know a Hurricane could come and sweep us away?”

My Mother took me aside and said, “Samantha if you don’t knock it off we are going home.  And if we are going home, you are going to be locked in your room for the rest of the year.”  That’s when I began hiding my fear of loss.  I sang songs to myself, carried trinkets of comfort and wore a watch so I would always know the time.

Years began to pass and I got older.  Suddenly, I wasn’t a child anymore, but an unhappy teen who desperately wanted to life live on her own terms.  Loss slowly faded from my mind because I had so much ahead of me.  Everyone around me was focused on the/ir future, and I could not wait to get started on mine.

I did what I was told to do.  I got accepted into a good, if not prestigious University, and created a happy life for myself within my student bubble.  I made friends, volunteered with children, got a job at Hollister and maintained a high GPA.

When I turned 19 things began to change.  I was home for the summer, from University, and heard my Mother’s scream from the laundry room.

“This is the worst thing that could have happened to us.”  That is how I found out my Father had epilepsy and had lost his job because of it. Epilepsy turned into degenerative strokes turned into congestive heart failure turned into lupus anticoagulant turned into something I don’t even know the name of.  Now my Father takes 42 pills a day.

Every employer I’ve ever worked for has seen me fall apart over my Father.  Each time I was convinced that he wouldn’t live long and his Doctors agreed with me.  One of his doctors recently told him “it’s a miracle that you’re still alive,” though I think his determination to live is what’s really miraculous.

We are always faced with choices in life – both obvious and subtle.  I’ve found that the most important choices are usually the ones that are most difficult to make; these are the choices that define our lives.

This past summer I flew back to Chicago to take care of my Father and my family told me that I should, “Go LIVE!”

This is how I cultivated the courage to quit my job, with no back-up plan, and travel South America.  And I knew then, as I left, that I was completely liberated from my fear of loss; that even if I felt afraid (and I was terrified) that it wouldn’t stop me from living.

The reason I’m sharing all of this is because me living with the daily possibility of loss is no different than anyone else; it’s just my possibility is more obvious.

My Father’s suffering causes me pain, and I know that losing him will hurt more than I can imagine.  But I know he fights to live because he wants to; that’s his choice.  I support his battle to the best of my ability, but if I sacrificed my opportunities on the alter of his health he would stop fighting.

Happiness starts arriving in our lives when we make space for it; when we have the courage to be true to how we believe we should live no matter what we might lose.  After losing so much, more than I can share in this too-long blog; after living with loss since childhood, the only thing I am certain of is that we must go on.  That no matter what happiness is always possible, even in the midst of tragedy.

A Tribute: What My Grandpa Inspired In Me

12 Dec

When I was 23 years old I picked myself up off the bathroom floor, bleeding, and made a vow to myself to change my life.  I knew then that I was becoming a person I wasn’t very proud of, and I knew that I could do better; that I was smarter and stronger than the circumstances I found myself in, even though there were things that happened in shadows and behind closed doors that had lead me to that very moment.

I don’t know how long I lay in that position but I do know that everyone I had ever loved lay there with me.  Some people had caused me to be there, while others had already walked away because they didn’t want to witness it.  However, the majority of those that I loved had no idea I was struggling.

Yet, one face rose above all other’s and it was my Grandfather’s.  The man who had loved me since birth; who read me the Sunday comics and told me any dish I didn’t want to try was especially made for Samantha.  Who tucked a giant Mikey Mouse in his bag when he returned from Florida so I could leap at it’s obvious discovery.

The man who filled photo albums of every silly play that I was ever in and who kept his old baby blue 1950 Thunderbird for years so we could drive around in it.  Who special ordered clay for our art projects and  who gave me my first camera.

He was the one who made me a necklace with one of his prized coins from the 1800s and was the first person who taught me the meaning of volunteering, taking me to the preschool where he gave his time and then filling with pride as  the children, “followed her around like ducks.”

He was the one who celebrated my love of books with recommendations and special editions and kept every letter I ever sent him.

His love for me was unquestionable, but even more importantly, I knew he believed in me.  It wasn’t that I felt the weight of his expectations, but that he had so continuously nurtured my curiosity, creativity, intelligence and passion for life.

I knew that I could not give into lying on the floor or any challenges that life had gifted me; that I had to get up because I could only face my Grandpa by looking him in the eyes standing up – even if I couldn’t at that very moment.

So I crawled out of the bathroom, and into the very slow, and humbling, process of transforming my entire life.  A month later I was on a plane, in a new city, and everything was so much harder than my 23 year old self could have predicted, but naivety is one of youth’s blessings.

Suddenly it’s years later, and I’m at another, less dramatic crossroads. Again my Grandfather flashed through my mind.

Per usual, he was telling me a story about a young man who rode his bicycle through France.  He said that, “he always wished he had done something like that,” and I knew in his way he was giving me advice about what he dreamed for me.

I hadn’t realized that I had carried that story with me for years, and when it came time to make a decision, deep in my heart I knew leaving SF and traveling was the right answer.

But now he’s gone and I’m so far away that I can’t attend the funeral.  A part of me cannot help but see this as meant to be because it was his stories, his traveling of the world, his sense of adventure that he cultivated in me that got me here in the first place.

So this is what I can do for him.  I can tell all of you that my Grandfather was the type of man that got people up off the floor; that gave them the support whether financial, or otherwise (though volunteering) that they could make something more of their lives.

That he opened up the world for others, through his art and stories,and that he fueled those he touched imaginations.

That there was no question of his love, integrity or friendship, and that he was easily loved and respected in return.

That the world is less without him and more for having him here.  And I know that any good I have inside of me, any inner strength, or anything that I achieve has been nourished by the person that he was and the gift of his love that I will always carry with me.

The Realities of Home While Traveling

14 Nov

You keep moving because you have to.  You can’t stop to think about the call you received in the beautiful hostel in Otavalo.  Ten dollars a night to sleep in a gorgeous wooden hacienda with beds to sink in.  Plush chairs hang from the ceilings, and a small indigenous woman, wearing a white Mexacali blouse serves you fresh fruit and muesli for breakfast.

It is outrageous to be receiving such a call in such a place, especially after a 20 hour bus-ride.  To be smacked in the face with unhappiness seems indecent.

But this is the life you do not talk about; the one with ill parents and a dying Grandfather.  You don’t discuss the night you drank an entire bottle of wine and coughed until you puked in Medellin after the four hour conversation with your Aunt.  You can’t explain to your new friends what happened in the past, why you can’t return, despite the fact that the world would probably send you back if they knew the truth of what was going on at home.

The morning after you find out your Grandfather is going into hospice care you hike up and around a stunning lake in the picturesque Andean countryside where rolling green mountains make you want to sing the Sound of Music, and so you do because this moment is your reality now.

Does it make what you can’t return to ache less?  Does it make you less guilty for being able to be where you are?  Does it make you understand why when your life, your own personal life, is unfolding your family’s is falling apart?

No.  And you want to dump the contents of yourself out to your new friends, the entire story of your life so they’ll understand why you can’t return, but you know that’s just inappropriate.

So you think, “breathe, breathe,” as your pounding heart reacts to the 3,000 meters above sea-level and the ache in your legs starts to feel good.

Because what’s behind you, or existing with you, doesn’t take away from each and every encounter, friend and wondrous moment that is going on presently.  And each and every momentous moment doesn’t lessen the pain; it’s just there.

So the two co-exist and sit with each other.  They stand with while you gaze upon the stately, colonial Churches of Ecuador, they are with you while you Salsa in Quito, and both joy and guilt cradle you in the hostel that smells like a molded cat.

It is in this hostel when you receive the email from your Father asking for your return, “how can you stay away?” he writes  “if you do not understand then I have done a terrible job raising and my life does not mean much anymore.”

You want him to understand all the things he can’t, you want things that you will never get, so as gently and kindly as you can you say that returning won’t fix or change anything because that’s the truth as well.

Before you lays Montanita, Cueno and the border crossing to Peru; before you lays the life of happiness that you’ve never stopped trying to weave for yourself, and you know, as you look at the fading past, and the dying present, only you can make this world for yourself.

That there is little mercy; that the tin shacks that sit on the rivers of Colombia still collapse in storms and that your little life is nothing to the mountains.

My Family Story

30 May

The reality of seeing your Father having a stroke is less shocking than one would predict.  In fact, you don’t even know it at the time.  He goes silent, he gets angry and sits very still, as if some blinding light has hit him and he can’t stare into it or move.

It is very similar when he has a seizure.  In the past you thought that people shook with their tongues hanging out, but your Father goes silent.  He has Petit Mal seizures, deep glitches that occur in his brain.  The neurons don’t fire quite right, or misfire, or slam up against each other so his brain is reshaped and every time you speak to him you know this was not the Father that you were born to.

He asks questions and doesn’t remember the answers, he can’t say certain words and when he walks he uses a cane.  He is 62.

The man that you grew up with was lively and easy to access.  He had endless patience for your endless questions and would let you style his hair with big bows and hairspray.  Each night he would be the “bridge” to your bed, and would get down on all fours so you could climb across his back.  Sometimes the “bridge” would shake, or sway, or dip and you would gently tumble off, so that you could cross it again.

Now you rarely have conversations with your Father.  He’s easily agitated and at times you are frightened to upset him because when he goes past the point of no return there is no coming back.  This is how you get disowned for the first time.  On a frigid Thanksgiving night with him screaming, “fuck you,” repeatedly and your Mother threatening to burn your adoption papers.

The next morning she stands there small before you with grief pouring out of her every pore, and she says, “I’m sorry, please don’t leave,” but you do because that’s all you can.

You know that your Father takes 32 pills a day, you know that your Mother is ill in other ways, but this time for a long time you cannot forgive, and you ache for that small nuclear space that was once filled.

Days, weeks, years pass and you do not return.  They come to you.  You look at your Father leaning against a wall on Market Street, and you know that you can only hold onto anger so long because if there’s one thing you’re certain of its their imperfect love.

The next time you come home with a boy and you call him the buffer.  You can tell your parents are disappointed he’s there, but you’re too afraid to come back otherwise.  Each day they wake the two up you up with a sharp knock and a high-pitched, demanding voice saying, “we’re leaving in five minutes.”

They both look lesser to you and you feel bad that you’ve been away for so long.  The shower seems dirty and runs with rust.  The brown and tan striped couch is covered with dog hair, and when you go through their books you find one entitled, “Borderline Personality Disorder,” with your Mother’s name written in it.

This is how you discover that she’s trying, which is all you really wanted, so you decide to try too.  You sit across from a grey-haired man who you pay to listen to you.  After you pour your heart out he says, “be kind to yourself.”

You make him laugh.  Then make yourself cry and then spiral into a deep depression of your own making because you can’t bear to see all you’ve bared.

This is how you end up crying at work, to your boss, to your Associate Marketing Director, in the bathroom and at home.  You have this flood of tears that goes on.  It’s not the first time you cried this way, but you didn’t think you still had so much to grieve, “I’ve done this before,” you think, “I’m sorry,” you say again and again to yourself really because that’s the only person you still need to forgive.

So you visit again, and your Dad, who now uses a cane finally says sorry to you.

He says, ” your Mother and I pushed you away.  We scarred you, I’m glad you’re here,” and some deep thing shifts because you never thought a sorry would come your way.  You tell your Father he’s not alone, you teach him how to Skype.  The first time he does it’s from his hospital bed in tears because he feels like he failed you.

You hide yours, smile and say, “It’s not your fault,” which is a line you had used earlier to another person who left, and you wonder how you always end up alone in bed across men who are sorry.

But now, in this moment, your Father is across from you, on a screen with tubes up his nose, and you know each time this happens it’s worse because now it’s Lupus Anticollangant, Kidney Failure, Strokes and Congestive Heart Failure – before it was just epilepsy.

He says, “I just wanted to see your face for a moment,” so that’s when you truly forgive his failures, and life’s failure, and your own because that’s the only way you know how to go on.