In June 2008, my father was diagnosed with cancer leading to a leg amputation; during surgery he had a stroke. Then I learned while he was in rehabilitation that daddy also had congestive heart failure, COPD, and dementia. Then our son Joel’s convulsive seizures increased from two per year to three a day. These crises only increased the stress for our sons Ethan, who has silent seizures, and Garrett, who has cerebral palsy and Asperger’s.
What are we to do? After a family meeting, we moved forward with my parents moving in with us, quitting my job to become full-time caregiver, and having Joel seen by specialists in a neighboring state in order to eliminate his seizures, which we did, leading to brain surgery in June 2009.
All of this took me to the point of needing respite of some form within our home, so that I could be available to each of our family members. After thinking about what I loved to do in the years past, I realized that I wanted to pursue my love as an artist. Thus, the eighteen-month time period allowed me to develop my skills with mixed-media and makeup arts through online access to the point of not returning to the office when my father passed in August 2009. I am now a full-time Mixed-Media and Makeup Artist. I have the flexibility to continue the care of my sons, as well as my mother who now needs someone to care for her.
God took one situation that held almost unbearable crises and gave me a second chance to reinvent myself even in my mid-forties. I look forward to the next forty years or more doing what I love: to teach, lead, and create.
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