Mama Kat’s prompt: “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned” ~ Maya Angelou
I have a few different homes. I have the home I live in with my husband and our son and cat. I have my extended family home. The group of girls I grew up with. The congregation I attended from age 11 until I got married at 22. A group of my Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed) fraternity brothers.
The home I’m going to write about, however, is the one I ached for before I even knew it existed: my Marfan home, otherwise known as conference.
All teenagers, on some level, want to be accepted. It’s a time that we simultaneously scream, “I am my own person!” and “Love me, I’m one of you!” So, being a teenager is difficult enough without adding in a chronic illness that affects both your appearance and physical abilities. As I entered into those tumultuous years, I yearned for the company of other people like me.
While some may disagree with me, I don’t believe that an “unaffected” parent or friend, no matter how attentive they are, can really, truly understand life with Marfan. I had great friends and my parents tried to help me sort out this new, different life, but it wasn’t enough.
Attending conference was life changing because for the first time in my life I was completely and utterly accepted. In some ways it was more Home to me than anywhere else I’ve been. That feeling got me through a lot of hard times.
Now that I’m one of the people in charge of the teen program at conference, that feeling of home is first and foremost in my mind. I want each and every teen to know that they are that they are amongst family and that they are safe. They are Home.
This is one subject where I don’t think words can adequately describe the emotions associated. My Marfamily is almost sacred to me. So, I’m reposting this video I made of conference. Enjoy.
And to any of my readers who have Marfan or are parents of a child/teen with Marfan: Come. If you’ve ever felt that ache for the “safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned,” come. You’ll find the home you maybe didn’t quite realize you were missing.