Last Wednesday night, Aaron and I were watching a DVD. I heard a sound coming from him as he sat in his favorite chair. I looked over to see his head arched back in that all too familiar way, his arms raised above his head, and his face starting to contort into a seizure. Surprise seizures like that are always a shock, no matter how many times we see them.
I jumped up and removed his glasses, grabbed some paper towels, and noted the time for our log book. Gary was upstairs by then, so we just stood beside Aaron to be sure that he was all right. A two minute seizure is typical for him, but sometimes it seems to take forever as we wait for it to be over.
Aaron’s seizures are most often at night, though more and more are occurring at other times. Night seizures are actually more dangerous, other than the risk of falls during day seizures. And nocturnal seizures prevent us from seeing the postictal stage, which is the time after a seizure when Aaron is recovering from the effects of it. During the night Aaron just sleeps, but during a seizure when he is awake we are there to see him coming back, so to speak……becoming aware of his surroundings and of us again.
It was between 10 and 15 minutes after this seizure that Aaron’s eyes opened and he lifted his head from the back of the chair. It takes some time then for Aaron to register anything. He still can’t talk for awhile after his eyes open, and he doesn’t respond to things we might tell him to do. He’s just really out of it for some time.
On Wednesday night I sat on the ottoman where Aaron’s legs and feet were resting. I rubbed his legs and talked to him. His eyes were huge as he just stared at me. He kept those big eyes glued on my eyes, and I just looked back at him as I softly talked to him. He didn’t respond……only stared with that blank gaze.
I decided to move my head from side to side. I moved to the right, and Aaron’s eyes moved to the right. I moved to the left, and again his eyes followed me. I repeated the moves, and so did Aaron. I smiled, but he just continued staring.
I sat there looking back at Aaron, assuring him that he was fine. But I was thinking of how I would hold little baby Aaron in my arms as he fed, or as I rocked him and sang to him, or we just snuggled. I remembered how he would follow my eyes and my face with his precious little baby eyes, fully trusting me as his mama.
My fully grown man of a child…..still my Aaron……was following my eyes in much the same way that he would follow my eyes as a little baby in my arms. Just as he trusted me as an infant, he was still looking to me and trusting me in those moments following his seizure.
I tried to blink my tears away before Aaron became alert enough to notice them. I didn’t want to scare him……plus Aaron has no appreciation for tears. He would call me a cry baby when he could finally talk, of that I was certain.
But I couldn’t blink away the memories of Aaron as a baby as we continued to sit there in a kind of stare down. I was like any excited mother after the birth of her firstborn. I felt that no woman ever, past or present, had ever felt as blessed as I felt when I held and examined my perfect baby son. I was so thankful and so full of joy at this precious gift Gary and I had been given!
Never ever even once did I dream that I would be sitting on an ottoman staring still into the eyes of my son, but this time my adult son who had just had one of many hundreds of seizures he has had over the years. Why would I have ever looked down at my baby boy and thought, “I wonder if someday Aaron will have Epilepsy or autism?”
We all wonder if our children are going to be healthy, but a healthy baby like I had lends itself to a confidence that health will continue. So when Aaron was older and we started noticing some differences in him……and definitely after his first seizure……our reality changed, big time!
But what didn’t change was our trust in the God we know. Gary and I knew the character of God. We had walked with Him long enough to know Him well. And that knowing led to instant trust……trust that our Father knew what He was doing, even if we didn’t. It doesn’t mean we didn’t cry, especially me. It doesn’t mean that over the years we haven’t been very tired, very discouraged, very worried, very sad.
But God always, always, always reaches out to us with a personal touch from Scripture…..a still, soft voice in our hearts……a comfort that can only come from the Holy Spirit…..a peace that truly passes understanding……a promise that we have read a zillion times but suddenly is just for us at that moment.
Just the day before that latest seizure, listen to what I read in Psalm 138:2. I love the New Living Translation of this verse:
“I praise Your name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness; for Your promises are backed by all the honor of Your name.”
God doesn’t make groundless promises. His promises are backed by ALL the honor of His name. And that’s all we need. We don’t need explanations or answers or reasons or guarantees. The honor of His name is enough, totally enough. He is sovereign, in charge, and full of love for Aaron and for me and for Gary.
So I thought of all this while Aaron was staring at me and I stared back. I had a little prayer meeting there, with some praise for His unfailing love and faithfulness…..and for His dependable promises.
God and His promises are there for all of His children, just when we need Him. I’m so thankful for Him and for His certain plan in my life and in Aaron’s. He has proven Himself more than enough for us more times than I can count.
I got up from the ottoman finally, and began to get things ready for us to head up to bed. Aaron still stared at me. Finally I could tell that he was coming around…..was more alert.
And of course, many of you would be able to guess the first word out of his mouth when he could talk again.
“Mom?” he said.
Why was I NOT surprised at that?!