Since I have told you a little about me and I have explained HD and explained how it affects my family, I thought I would take some time to tell you about my personal family.
I am happily married with a very supportive husband. For all future posts I will refer to him as DH (Dear Hubby). We have an amazing blended family. We both were previously married and we both have a child from our previous marriages. From my first marriage when I was very young I had my first child. She is almost 21 and just gave me my first granddaughter. I will call her DD1 for (Dear Daughter 1). From my husbands first marriage I have a wonderful step-son who is also almost 21. He is in the Air Force and we had custody of him for most of his upbringing. He is the only one of my children who doesn’t have to worry about HD affecting him since he is not my “biological” child. I will call him DS1 for (Dear Son 1). DH and I have been together since 1996 and have two children together. Our third child is our daughter. She is a freshman in high school and a great kid with a wonderful personality. I will call her DD2 (Dear Daughter 2). Our last child is our baby (well not really a baby). He is our son who is in middle school. He is 13 and just another great kid. I will call him DS2 (Dear Son 2). Oh and last but not least we have two great dogs! We have a miniature schnauzer who I will call “Maddie” and a Beagle Harrier who I will call “Domino”.
As far as family goes I feel like I hit the “family lottery!” I am very blessed. The support I get from DH is absolutely amazing. He came into my life when my Dad was into the beginning stages of HD. He learned along the way and he never chose to walk away. I have had so many breakdowns over the years where I have just told him he should leave. He never does. I remember when I knew he was meant for me. I was having a “mental breakdown” so to speak. I had been taking care of my Dad (I used to live with my parents to help take care of him) and I just lost it. I was looking at my “maybe future.” I remember crying to my husband and saying, “You aren’t going to want to go places with me dancing all around and not making sense.” (not that my Dad was ever a burden to me) I remember DH looking into my eyes and saying “Yes I am going to be with you. Do you want to know what I am going to do when everyone is looking at you? I am going to dance right along with you forever!” That sealed the deal. I knew then he was in this for the long haul. This wasn’t just about me. We have 3 children (2 of them his) also threatened by this disease if it affects me. This became a crusade for us. That was the last time I told him he could leave. I know anything can happen but I don’t think he will ever walk away from me. For that reason right there I am so very blessed. There are so many people who don’t have that lifeline. I am thankful everyday for DH. He gets me through the bad days and is right there with me on all of the good days. 🙂
My children are the blood in my veins. They are my pulse. They are the reason I get up out of my bed everyday. I can’t explain how much I love these four amazing creatures I was blessed with. They also lived and watched my Dad deteriorate for quite a few years. They watched their “Papaw” go from a man they could speak to into a man who couldn’t speak a word. They struggled to still understand him most days. My dad could be in the worst moods ever and when one of his grandchildren walked in his face would brighten. He lived for his grandchildren. I wish they would have all known him “before HD” but I am thankful that the man they knew was still a very sweet and loving man to them. I don’t think they will ever really know how much they meant to him. I pray that they don’t ever have to be a caregiver to me. It isn’t so much for the fact it means I am free of the disease as it means they won’t ever have to see what I had to see with my Dad. Not to mention, it would mean they were free of the disease. I always pray, “God please give me one thing. Please don’t allow HD to progress to my kids. Please.” I want them to live an HD free life. I think that is another reason I don’t want to test. I don’t want them living my daily life of, “Do I or Don’t I?” I have thought of testing and if it is positive not telling them but that would be very hard to do I would think. It is just something I change my mind on all the time. I just want to protect them from everything. It’s just the mom in me.
Then there is my new very precious addition. I will call her GD1 (granddaughter 1). She is only a month old and she has turned my world upside down with joy. DD1 and her boyfriend live together in an apartment with GD1. They live across the city but I still get to see her about 1 or 2 times per week. This is beyond perfect for me. I am trying to learn my boundaries. I want to be helpful but I don’t want to be overbearing and telling them they aren’t doing things right. Parenting is a learning experience and I think DD1 and her boyfriend are doing a fabulous job for being so young! Grandchildren are truly an absolute gift.
If there is one thing I have learned in my over 23 years of marriage and parenting it is this: No one is a perfect spouse. No one is a perfect parent. We all make decisions in life and sometimes they are great and sometimes they are not-so-great. Take the great decisions and repeat them with consistency. Take the not-so-great decisions and learn from them. Turn them into great decisions. Life is a learning experience everyday.
Well, I just wanted to take a moment to explain a bit more in-depth about my wonderful family and support system. Some days are wonderful and some days are bad. Some days are pull your hair out nutty! Every day is a blessing and I don’t take these days for granted.