My dad has always said to me “I may not always be right but I am never wrong” and my mom has said many times “Mommy knows best.” We are all wrong at some point (obviously) and there have been times when my mom didn’t know best but in all honesty, both of my parents have been correct in everything they have said and did for me over the past 12 years. And if I remembered anything more than bits and pieces from before I got sick, I would probably venture to guess they always did the right thing or were well intentioned with my brother and I while we were growing up too. Do parents always know what is best for their child? If you have ever watched the news or read a newspaper, the answer is clearly NO. Most parents don’t always know what the best thing to do is. Many parents don’t have all the answers. After all, it has only been the past few years or so that I have realized that my mom and dad are just people. They are both human beings, just like me, who happen to be older and have more life experience. There is no “how to deal with a child with ulcerative colitis” handbook. There are resources available but for the most part, when an unexpected event is thrown your way and affects your family, I would venture to guess that as a parent it is one of the hardest things to navigate through.
We have come to expect a lot from our mom and dad and understandably so. After all, they are the ones who are supposed to protect us and keep us safe from the dangers of the world. Whether you have been blessed with parents like mine, or have parental issues, this is part of something bigger. We all need to have someone(s) who we can TRUST. Without trust in this world, life can be unimaginably difficult. I have major trust issues when it comes to people in the medical profession but other than that, I am a pretty trusting person and I believe that comes from my parents. When you have a chronic illness or cannot take care of yourself for whatever reason, you need an advocate. You need someone to be your voice. You need someone who you know has your best interest at heart and who knows you and what you want like the back of their hand. You need someone who you trust implicitly to take your life in their hands if for some reason you are unable to. Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you cannot speak for yourself or act on your own behalf.
“You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me”-Celine Dion
I have had far too many experiences where I was unable to speak for myself or couldn’t find the right words even if my mouth was moving. Thankfully, I am lucky enough to have two wonderful people in my life who have been my eyes, ears, and voice through everything that I have had to endure. I know most people aren’t as fortunate which was what got me into thinking about pursuing a career in patient advocacy at some point. I have such enormous respect for anyone who has been in the hospital alone with something that is actually serious. I honestly don’t know how anyone does it. I don’t know how people go through life without trust; without at least one person whom they know they can count on. Especially, when you are dealing with a chronic illness.