In today’s society, many of us are all too consumed with our own lives, and with how certain situations affect us. We tend not to think of the effect that situation may have on someone else. As a mom, when something happens to one of my kids, I don’t always try to look at it from someone else’s view. My world revolves around my kids; they come first. Any time Bella starts having seizures, I put all my energy into focusing on how to get those seizures stopped, and I am not concerned with what others think of the situation.
One day when Bella was around two years old, I was dropping Cass off at pre-school, located in a small Lutheran Church. I was talking with a friend. Bella suddenly dropped to the ground about ten feet away from us. I instantly knew she was having a seizure, and I yelled out a curse word. As I rushed to her side, my friend stood by, but she was soon headed to her car without a word. I needed to focus on my daughter, and did not have time to focus on why my friend would leave me. As Bella came to, I placed her in her car seat and headed home, while placing a call to her neurologist to find out what our next plan of action would be.
While the majority of my attention was on Bella and her current medical needs, my mind did keep drifting back to my friend. Was she offended that I had sworn? We were at a church, for crying out loud. Did she not understand that this was a seizure, and just hustled off to her errands for the day with no concern for us? Could she really not see the seriousness in my face? Didn’t she know I could use the support of a friend in that moment?
A few hours later, Bella and I were back at the pre-school to pick up her sister. My sweet friend came walking up to me. The look on her face was somber. She gave me a huge hug. She apologized for rushing off. Through tearful eyes, she explained to me that her own mother had suffered seizures, and that she had passed away. The sight of Bella’s seizure brought forward her memories of her mom. She had spent those few hours while our kids were in school at home, sad and upset, crying, and talking on the phone with her brother.
I have not spoken of this day with my friend (though we are still in contact with one another, and see each other pretty often) since it happened, but I have thought of it many times throughout my life. It was a lesson in my life that taught me to never judge another person for how they respond in any situation. For a moment, I thought my friend was uncaring. What I found out was that I was so focused on my daughter, and what I needed to do, that I did not see the pain in my friend’s eyes. I had no idea of her history.
Our perspective affects how we act and react to situations. It is important for each of us to be mindful that the viewpoint of another may be different from your own. Use good judgement, and be mindful that other people around you may be affected very differently than you would expect.