Monday, March 30, 2015

International Purple Day for Epilepsy

I would like to thank Cassidy Megan, founder of Purple day, for bringing us together. Without Purple day I might not have had the courage to put together the “Dessert and Entertainment” at Mimi’s Tearoom, in Enderby BC. We had four women vocalists, one a piano player, and my husband Steve on guitar. I emceed the event weaving information about Epilepsy between music interludes. We sang jazz tunes, spirituals, show tunes and opera. The tearoom has seating for fifty people and we were sold out; we could have sold another 20 tickets, but that would exceed the fire regulations. Next year we will be in a bigger venue.
Jackie sang and bravely told us about her mother who had epilepsy and how hard it was growing up with the bulling of her mom, being called a drunkard and more. She was so pleased to hear what we were doing to bring about awareness. They had nothing like this in the 80’s. We touch so many lives.
The event gave me strength. The audience was glowing with smiles; they enjoyed the music and the information. Some of the feedback was “What an amazing evening, all that talent in little Enderby.”  “You did well.” “What a fun night.”
I shared a bit of my story.
I have been living with Epilepsy for approximately 20 years and didn’t know it, until 2013 when I started having Tonic Clonic or Grand Mal seizures. The first  few seizures in the mid 90’s were more like visions, the most interesting was the night I went to bed and suddenly I was in outer space. My thoughts were “I’m not asleep how can I be dreaming, what is this and where am I?” It was amazing. Floating in space with me was a circle of hands; I could float down to the circle and feel secure and safe inside the circle or float away and watch it spinning around.
 It left such an impression I had to draw it. With Scottish-Irish as part of my ancestry I drew the circle of hands with Celtic knots. I silkscreened it to garments, put it on our wedding stationary. The circle of hands has become a symbol of the support system of family, friends and community that help me through my days.  Recently I had the circle of hands printed onto greeting cards, I have them for sale $4 each or three for $10.
For me Purple Day is not just about bringing awareness for Epilepsy, it is also about saying thank you to family, friends and community for their support, this difficult journey called epilepsy would be much harder without them. Your support and understanding helps me and others with epilepsy get through our days, thank you.
Mimi finished with Phantom of the Opera’s “Think of Me”; what a voice she has. Thank you to Mimi for your songs and piano work, her husband Jong and Mimi for the venue, the tea and yummy dessert’s, young Christian for donating cookies, Joyce for song, Steve for guitar, Jackie for song and the story of her mom, Donlea and Tom for greeting and taking the tickets at the doors.
If you think someone is having a seizure; stay calm, let the seizure take its course, speak calmly and protect them from dangers.

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