Updated: Feb 17
A cupful of love stirred by thunder.
Miss Tay met me in the kitchen early this morning. We talked while I made a steaming pot of freshly-ground Black Rifle Coffee Company’s dark roast, Blackbeard’s Delight. Yum! The aroma, the conversation, the sweet anticipation of the first sip. PJ’s, fall morning, sunshine, Miss Tay, and fresh brewed coffee. It’s a new day. It’s a beautiful start. It’s a happy adventure awaiting.
For those of you who don’t know us, my daughter, Taylor (aka Miss Tay) has special needs. She began life with Chromosomal and Cardiac abnormalities complicated by a laundry list of medical conditions: congenital and circumstantially developed. No worries. She’s also a rock star. Crushing every stone in her path and conquering every storm with humility, love, hope, bravery…an amazing, real-life, super-hero of love. She is unapologetically uninhibited and perfect in her imperfections. Yeah, we love her.
At times, during new storms, we are reminded that Miss Tay needs a little extra TLC. For example, Taylor has a fear of weather-related storms. She is obsessed with weather reports. Daily. Even after watching the morning news, she still may need additional clarification. When unsatisfied with her own research, she will throw out multiple confirmations of mine. But we can still laugh during the rain. Later, her interrogation might continue with, “You don’t think so for rain?” Clearly indicating that she already knows the chance predictions. It is important for me to keep my radar on high alert for the early sounds of thunder. That way we can navigate any escalation of anxiety together. Witnessing her conquer her calm over the storm...priceless. It's truly amazing, her unmatched way of being able to step forward without hesitation. When Miss Tay is over it…she genuinely is.
Anxiety has triggers. We all have them. They come in unimaginably varied and numerous forms. Sometimes we recognize them. But no matter how educated or experienced I become, I’m still caught off guard at times. For example, allergy season. It happens every year multiple times and yet I can hear myself repeating, “It’s really bad this year." For me, allergies can trigger an asthma attack. Chest tightness, lung cramping, inflammation pain, shortness of breath, and sometimes panic. Allergies compounded by a rainstorm…the worst. Atmospheric pressure that comes with storms, humidity, and other effects can trigger a physical response in my lungs. It’s been professionally explained to me different ways. Doesn’t matter. It’s real, it’s painful, but I still enjoy the incredible sights and sounds during a mild storm. I wonder at times if Miss Tay isn’t experiencing some similar discomfort. My lungs are extra vulnerable as a side-effect of spontaneous pneumothoraxes (spontaneous collapsing lung). Traumatic experiences in my life healed by incredible medical professionals and invasive procedures. This resulted in the removal of a portion of my affected lung and forced scarring to adhere it to my chest wall for future support. That life-saving removal and scarring comes with added pain as asthmatic cramping pulls on my chest wall. Likewise, Miss Tay has experienced collapsed lungs, bouts of pneumonia…But trials and tribulations are not the point here.
So, what is the point? Awareness. Accept that we all have unavoidable and under-lying storms. Some of us have physical and/or emotional well-being complications. Taylor’s fear of rainstorms can be as small as nervousness or escalate on rare occasions to a compromised health condition. I still feel vulnerable when a manageable asthmatic attack surprises me. Some things make it a little extra difficult to breath on our own sometimes. It takes an incredible, loving, hopeful, and brave soul to reach out to help another in need.
I’m on a mission to make joy the very foundational core of my being, even when I can only muster a dull sparkle of silver lining out of a particular storm. “I’ll take it!” proclaimed Miss Tay as we discussed the merits of this heavier blog. This is her simple synopsis to the incredible value of any fragment of joy. When it comes to true matters of the heart…Taylor’s a super-hero of love. I’m a woman who loves her unconditionally with a deep-rooted mission to hold her hand during the storms. And, at times, I remember to acknowledge when I need the hand holding too. If the love and joy we create in our life can be handed off…well that makes Miss Tay and I very happy. Remember, life’s a canvas. Keep it real and fill it with joy as you find your happy in every adventure, regardless of what the forecast brings. And, when you hear your voice of thunder, hang on. After the storm ends, you can carry away the silver lining and leave the rest behind.
Love, Bonnie + Taylor