I have two daughters.
I have one who loves to ride horses, and play with our sweet donkeys, and make all sorts of crafts.
She’s a fish in the water, and has such tenderness and compassion for even the smallest of creatures.
She is quick to apologize, and always ready to help out.
She is strong, and brave, and eats enough yogurt to fill a swimming pool. Her giggle is infectious, and I can tell when she’s smiling, even when she’s wearing a mask.
She has her Daddy’s eyes, and witt, and her Mama’s nose, and stubbornness.
Sometimes I don’t see this daughter of mine for days, sometimes weeks. Instead she is replaced with my other daughter.
This daughter of mine hits, and pinches, seemingly glad to cause pain. She throws things, and screams, and says such awful things that I am glad that no one is around to hear them but us, and the dog, who usually goes into hiding.
She tries to destroy anything good in our lives, and knows just what to say, that will hurt the most.
PANDAS brought me this daughter about five years ago. I didn’t realize then how cunning or sneaky she was, but oh is she ever. She tries her best to get me to forget my first daughter. She’s also great at hiding, and only coming out when she knows it’s safe to do so.
I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing. Many people don’t even believe that she exists.
It always amazes me to see how powerful something is, and yet still be able to hide so quickly.
I think of all the things that this daughter does, the one that crushes my heart to very depths of my soul, is when I see my two daughters fight. I watch as my first daughter tries to claw her way to sanity, doing everything she can to keep going, so that she can make her way out of the thick fog that tries so hard to envelope her.
Some days she makes it out, just in the nick of time. But other days she doesn’t.
PANDAS tries it’s very best to keep my first daughter in it’s riptide of terror, while throwing my second daughter to the shore, where she can rip through lives like a Hurricane going through a coastal town.
But, when PANDAS split my daughter into two, it never realized how strong either of us were. There are things that this disease has certianly stolen from us. Friendships, and team sports, and relationships, and health.
But I don’t think that PANDAS realized that when it tore my daughter into two, it released a lion from within both of us. A warrior, ready to fight.
Some days, I feel like this lion is more like a 18 year old overweight tabby cat, but she in fact a fierce lioness, ready to hunt, and she will not stop until nothing is left but her first and only daughter.
We can’t predict how long of a battle we are each in, and if you have a child with PANDAS, you are most certainly in the battle of your lives. Of your child’s two lives. But never, ever let the bad overshadow, and steal the good. Instead, let become the fuel for your fire.
Because one day, I believe we will be left with, once again, one whole child.