Knock Knock Unexpected is Here to Greet You!

Abrielle - Maumee, Ohio
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change

Expect the Unexpected!

1. Does life ever take you by surprise?

2. Is there anything in the past you wish you could change?

3. Do you believe events in your life have characterized you?

Abby Lieber

Stacy Osbourne

Arts And Sciences

11 November 2008

I have been taught to expect the unexpected and I learned this the hard way. I was six years old and only into my third month of kindergarten when my dad got the call during a Halloween party, “Your wife is in labor!” I remember that night perfectly, my sister and I were dressed up as Indians and my entire family all 7 of us looked pretty decked out. We had to rush her to the nearest hospital which was St. Lukes and at the time they didn’t even deliver babies. It was a pretty chaotic night. Then they were having trouble getting my baby brother to breathe, he almost didn’t live. Around 8:30 the next morning we had a new baby brother, Alec. Another addition to the Lieber family was very exciting. We were all really happy and everything was perfect, but it didn’t stay perfect for too long.

A few months after Alec’s birth my mom became severely sick. I was pretty oblivious to everything that was going on. I was only about seven years old and I didn’t realize how serious her illness could be. She suddenly became extremely tired and weak, many times I would see my dad carrying her to the bedroom because she couldn’t walk, she lost a lot of hair, and she developed these rashes on her face called a “butterfly” rash. I knew something was going on but along with my other siblings we liked to pretend it was nothing. My two older sisters and older brother told me she would be fine and I had nothing to worry about, so I just let it go. About a year later the doctors diagnosed my mom with Lupus. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. This occurs when the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. My mom has unusual antibodies in her blood that are targeted against her own body tissues. It was very shocking news and turned my family a little crazy. We didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen. The doctor’s said she would have been diagnosed with lupus sooner or later but the birth of my little brother triggered it. Things were already beginning to change after the news, my mom cut her long locks and she began taking about 12 pills a day. It wasn’t easy to adjust to.

Years passed and her disease had its ups and downs. I witnessed a lot of effects that lupus had on not only my mom but my entire family. We all dealt with this situation in different ways. The older ones were very supportive and my younger sister and I tried to do anything we could to help out. Eventually the medication made her pain slowly vanish and she finally began to feel better. My family has always been extremely close and my mom has always been my best friend, we have always had a very different bond then the others in my family. Ever since I was a baby we would always do everything together. She and I have been through a lot. As I grew older I began to separate myself from my family and turned to my friends. This is typical for most high school students but at times I still feel guilty because my mom needed me most but I just acted as if there were no problems and everything was okay.

High school is what changed me the most. I was usually always home on the weekends with my mom during elementary and middle school but once I entered my sophomore year things suddenly began to change. My mom has always been understanding and she knows that as a teenager I wanted to be out with my friends having a good time, the truth is there were times I would’ve much rather been home. Growing up in a small city like Maumee kids are bound to make some stupid decisions, but we were just kids looking to have some fun. Some of the things we did though got old really fast and I began to miss being home. The reason I liked staying away from home is because the further I was away the less I would have to think about my mom’s condition. Though she was doing a lot better it still worried me. Her being sick became almost natural to me in time, especially while I was distracting myself with friends. I just liked pretending that nothing was ever wrong and life was perfect.

It suddenly hit me; I’ve been ignoring everything that’s going on in my life so I wouldn’t have to face reality. I didn’t want to accept the fact that my mom was really sick and there was nothing I could do to change it. I don’t like to face problems and I like to ignore them until I can’t anymore, that way I don’t have to suffer quite as long. If something were to happen to my mom today, would I be happy with how I handled it? Did I do everything I needed to do, and tell her all I wanted to say? I have learned a lot from my past experiences and I came to the conclusion that if you are faced with something that is threatening and scary don’t turn your back on it. Instead do everything you can to make the best out of the worst situations. My mom is doing great today, probably better than ever. Her hair is finally long again and her rashes are fading more and more and she actually feels herself again. She and I are closer than ever and I want to be there as much as I can for her because I believe life is guaranteed to surprise you in good or bad ways and it’s how you handle it that characterizes who you are.