Fast forward twelve years from the snowy day in December when I had that life-changing seizure. (1*) Yes, I can share much of what went on during those years, but I can’t. I mean, I can, but before I do, I’d rather show how, about twelve years later, God used a total stranger to help me.
But first I need you to do something. Imagine you went through a huge life-changing ordeal that came out of the blue, hit you hard, and altered your normal way of thinking. Now, imagine what it would be like if, for years, no one could fully understand how hard it was for you in remembering names of very common things, places, and people. What if, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, and yes, year after year, you often had to think twice as much before you said things that, for most others, were easy to remember and say? And what if that illness was rare enough that finding others with that ailment was impossible? Well, readers, that was me.
I felt alone.
For years I had not talked to one person who had the same illness, who could fully understand what I was going through. A few years after my illness hit I did meet one man who sort of had a memory problem from an accident, but still, not the same.
“I have a taste of what it’s like forgetting names,” people often said (and still say).
No, you really don’t, soon became the first thought that followed (and still does).
As years went by I got used to it, thankfully, as God used family and friends to show me love, support and patience when I couldn’t just pop so-and-so’s name out or say what the movie was called I had seen the night before, along with using simple words in explaining things.However, it still was hard not knowing even one like-minded (literally) individual who could truly understand what it was like.
God knew it was finally time to do something on one particular day. An unforgettable phone call came from a dear friend.
“Marianne, I told a friend yesterday about you having had Encephalitis twelve years ago. She wants to talk to you because her teenage daughter had it.”
My eyes got bigger. “Really?”
“Yes. She was wondering if she could call you. Can I give her your number?”
“REALLY? Oh, my word! You sure can!”
Later that afternoon. Ring, ri… (yes, I was patiently waiting with my phone close at hand and grabbed it as soon at I heard any ring.)
“Hi. I was wondering if I can talk to Marianne Petersen.”