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I know that I’m lucky to be blessed with such supportive parents. They have to drop whatever they’re doing and run me to the hospital or doctor more than I would like to admit. We spend hours reading and rereading site after site begging to find more information, new home remedies, relatable stories. My mom and I stalk the IHMF Facebook page for their daily Hemiplegic Facts and support group pages for threads that we can add our input to. We blow up my Dad’s phone with articles he should read in his nonexistent free time, while he blows up my Columbia neurologist’s phone for my weekly infusions. No matter how tired, how busy, or how stressed my Dad is, at the end of the day he comes upstairs and spends more nights than not sleeping on the couch with me at the end of every rough day. For three years we had every medical hunch checked out and walked out of countless doctor offices sick to our stomachs, still empty handed. My mom and dad have my back through every low time and every high.    
 My little brothers never complain when they have to keep the lights off and the volume nearly silent because I’m having a rough night. I feel incredibly guilty every time my mom and I have to skip a game that my brothers are so proud of. I only made it to two of Parker’s basketball games this year. Two. Yet he never complained that we weren’t there for him. I do let him ramble on about all the ridculous calls, so that helps a little.😉 Parker was so stoked to turn 16 and get his license, yet he respected me and downplayed it since he knows I don’t get that luxury. Sweet Graham brings tears to my eyes when he worries so much. I know this crazy stuff scares him and nags at him more than I’ll ever know, but I am so so proud of him. I may not have big brothers but my little brothers take care of me better than I could’ve imagined. Parker and Graham have had to grow up much faster than fair for them.

 My grandmas both put so much time into helping nurse me back to health. Sis and Dama spent a whole week in Chicago with me and didn’t mind one bit. Dama spent hours making sure I was comfortable while Sis brought the laughs, Lily and braided my hair of course! Even though I’ve been Spencer’s least favorite niece for years, he took me Chicago sick and all. I was so glad he was with me! Taking care of me is a group effort. I’m so thankful for my relationship with Vanessa. Anytime I have a question or need help understanding something, she is the first person I go to. I had a complication during a hospital stay and she was the one person I wanted to talk to, I trust her more than almost anyone. My Uncle J would do anything in his power to help me, but I love and appreciate how easily he can make me feel better by laughing and taking some weight off my shoulders. And while nothing is better than Lily and Jax therapy, they obviously don’t understand. But I think that’s the beauty and relief in spending time with them. When I have a seizure they tell Jax that I’m napping. One day, I was trying to convince him that we both needed a nap. He looked up at me, with those eyes I love so much, and said “Hadley you take a lot of naps”. Oh the honesty of a four year old! I refuse to believe anyone has a family more supportive than mine. 


     But you know what I love about my family more than all of that? They treat me like a normal 18 year old whenever possible. My mom and I, sometimes too similar for our own good, still have yelling matches on the regular. My Dad and Parker joke that they have to send us to separate floors of the house and take cover. 😂 Kudos to my momma for dealing with my overly emotional teenage self! My dad still wants to harass any boy that breaks my heart and let’s me curl up with him in my Daddy’s girl moments. Then again, last week he was yelling at me for a stupid tweet and bickering with me over a fight that I had to have right then in there. Teenage girls are just SO much fun, right parents?!

 Graham is nine years old and it never fails that whatever he’s bouncing around doing is annoying the heck out of me. No Graham, asking me 15 times to watch Star Wars isn’t going to change my answer! Parker is just absolutely ridiculous, honestly. He loves to spend forever in the after-midnight hours telling me jokes that have him hysterically laughing and me rolling my eyes at the immaturity I swear I no longer possess. (Jokes on me, I’m still plenty immature!) Parker can’t do anything quiet, as everyone knows. The other night I was in bed on my phone with my back to the door. I rolled over and Parker was TWO INCHES FROM MY FACE with an insanely creepy ninja turtle mask on. I’ve never cursed so much. Damn ninja turtle mask.

I’ve grown such a special relationship with my Grammy these last few years. She makes me laugh until I cry, wether I’m laughing with her or at her, mostly at her memory.😉 I hold our Chicago trips, over nights, heart to hearts, and painting sessions so so close to my heart. Grammy you rock those neon leggings! There’s no memory I have with Papa, my hot yoga lovin grandpa, that doesn’t send me into a laughing fit. Especially when he attempts to ninja jump over the ottoman! Jaxson is my boy. I always look forward to our regular greeting routine: hug, kiss, and exchanged I love yous. Nothing makes me happier than the innocent, infectious, perfection of that kid’s belly laugh. 

 (Jax, you have my heart❤️)

So what about me? I struggle, boy do I struggle. I would be blatantly lying if I said I’ve always been able to see the positives, and if I always focus on the positive. I get angry. Man, I have spent so much time angry the last three years. Too much time angry. But I love to laugh that deep in your soul, ugly, man-like laugh. I always stay up too late on Twitter, snap chatting my every move, and adding to my “life goals” Pinterest board. I still keep up with the Kardashians and binge watch the Bachelorette even though my dad threatens to block it on my TV. Kels and I have Grey’s Anatomy watch parties, which is typically the highlight of my week. I get giddy over flirty boys and have spent plentyyy of time bawling like a huge baby over my “broken heart”. My life no longer revolves around me being sick. It can’t, it just cannot. 18 has been the hardest year of my life. This January was quite possibly the hardest month of my life and that’s no exaggeration. Guess what that means? 19 can only be better! I better get all my crappy out of the way, because after August 12th it’s all going to be rainbows and butterflies, right!!?? 
Apparently the bachelorette has me in a uniquely silly, mushy mood since I’m watching and writing at the same time, the perfect Friday night! I’m going to end this overly sappy post with overly sappy pictures of my fam bam. But first, don’t forget that I’m still an emotional, ridiculous, normal college freshman. I’m way thankful for all the support and all the people craving an update and willing to learn, but I’m also perfectly happy with some gossip and normalcy. “But the Lord stood with me & gave me strength” ~ 2 Timothy 4:17


   (These people are my world.🌎)


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