Though I'm not the sort of person who obsesses over circumstances that I have no power to change, I do sometimes find myself wondering what life would be like if my daughter Bethany had never had a brain tumor.

What if Bethany had never had a stroke, acquired a brain injury during brain surgery, or suffered with debilitating seizures?

  • Would she be happy and bubbly?
  • Would she still have that pesky stubborn streak?
  • Would she be an active athlete?
  • Would she be a super feminine girly girl?
  • Would she be a studious bookworm?
  • Would she have a boyfriend or maybe a girlfriend?
  • Would she be checking out colleges right now?
  • Would she have a job?

I know it serves no real purpose, to wonder about these things, but I just can't help myself.

I also sometimes wonder how life might be different for me and the rest of my family if Bethany had never experienced so much suffering.

Obviously, I cannot, with 100% certainty really know what life would be like, but I am absolutely positive that if Bethany had never gotten a brain tumor she would not have become permanently disabled, developmentally delayed, partially blind, developed a debilitating seizure disorder or be prone to having aggressive meltdowns.

And because of that knowledge, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if Bethany had never had a brain tumor:

She would never have suffered the terror, trauma, and pain of brain tumor treatments or had to endure a lengthy separation from her father, brothers and sisters.

Our other children would not have suffered the worry, fear, and trauma of wondering if their sister was going to live or die and they never would have had to endure a lengthy separation from their sister and mother.

Bethany would never have had to learn how to sit up, stand, walk, talk, and feed herself again.

She would not now need 24/7 supervision.

She would be able to attend and actually enjoy all family functions along with the rest of us.

I would not have to miss our other children's or grandchildren's sports events, dance recitals, graduations, weddings, and/or birthday parties because Bethany would actually be able to handle attending such events with us.

I know many parents of children with disabilities say they wouldn't change a thing about their special needs child's situation.

But even though I love, cherish, and accept Bethany just the way she is, there are a few things about her situation that I would change in a New York minute if I could...

  • If I could, I would relieve her from all her pain and suffering.
  • If I could, I would annihilate her aggressive meltdowns.
  • If I could, I would wipe out all her struggles.
  • If I could, I would obliterate all her fears and anxieties.

I will do everything and anything within my power to make Bethany's life happier and healthier.

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