My train stop on Halloween was more than a train stop. Maybe it could have been just a train stop under different circumstances. Perhaps it would have held far less meaning if my bus home wasn’t leaving right when I got off the train. I bet if my kids weren’t waiting at home for me to go trick-or-treating, the train stop could have been just a train stop.
But on this day, my train stop represented a normal life. And I missed it.
I didn’t even recognize that I missed normal when I missed my train stop. Actually, I didn’t know I missed my train stop until about a minute after it was gone. You see, I had an absent seizure.
I heard the announcement for the stop two streets before mine, and then the very next moment I heard the announcement for the street after my stop. This means my seizure lasted about five minutes, which is incredibly long for me.
I was so disoriented from what happened, it took me ten minutes after I deboarded the train to find the station for the train going the other direction. That’s when I had to call my wife, because I knew I was going to miss my bus ride home.
Barbara, I am going to miss my bus.
Oh, are you working late?
No, I missed my train stop because I had a seizure.
Chris, are you okay? Did you…
I’m fine. I just missed my train stop, so I will be home in about 90 minutes.
I know the kids really want you to walk with them when they trick-or-treat.
Yeah, I don’t think that’s a good idea, Barbara.
I suppose you are right. The kids will be disappointed.
I know, Barbara. I know. Do you want me to walk home, so that…
Not today, Chris. I will pick you up. The kids will just have to wait.
See, I missed the train stop that got off at normal. Instead, I am left with the life that makes me lose minutes in my life, makes my kids miss out on walking through the neighborhood with their Daddy, makes my wife worry every day now whether I will miss my bus stop and end up somewhere unexpected.
I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic or negative. I am well aware that my seizure disorder means I will have to live differently than others. There are limits on me that others don’t have to worry about.
Every once in a while, I recognize the cost of my illness on others. Halloween was one of those days for me. I did get home. My kids still walked the neighborhood and had a great time. They still have enough sugar to last the next ninety three years. Everything is fine.
Is there a moment that sticks out in your mind that reminded you that you are not like everyone else?