Dolly vs. Shania

We’ve all been hunted down via phone by our children. Back before cell phones were ever a thing, we actually functioned without them. Our species could go shopping, hunting, swimming, even boating without a phone! Now, we would not think twice about doing any of those activities without our phones. I like my phone as much as the next, but I like to think I would not be as tied to my phone if Jack didn’t have severe medical & behavior issues. I’d be able to take a nap in peace, enjoy the special moments in life, or work without the constant worry that I might have to flee from wherever I am in order to get to Jack at a moments notice. Growing up, I was on the go all the time, at a friends house, sports, work (started when I was 11), anywhere I could go. Often times, I would be working at the produce stand where I got my start & Daddy would come get me since I was way too young to drive…legally that is-I was a full-fledged country girl with years of driving experience already! As a preteen/teenager, I thought Sunday evenings were absolutely depressing because there was nothing on tv. This was the mid 80’s after all. We only had three tv channels & one of those was kind of iffy. I spent some time on the roof of our house with Daddy adjusting the antenna that was the size of a helicopter just to be able to watch the evening news. I often worked until close around 7pm, arriving home at 7:15pm. When we pulled up in the driveway & I would see Mama’s car gone, I was in a full-blown depression! That meant I would be prisoner to the tick tock of 60 Minutes. Nothing was any worse to me at this time of my life. At least with Mama there, we might could watch America’s Funniest Videos. The ticking of the 60 Minutes clock would be like trying to make your kids watch paint dry without a phone or any sort of electronic device, imagine just the child & the paint. Pure torture!!!

On these nights that Mama escaped the ticking of the clock, I would call THE Walmart & have her paged. If it was before 6pm, I’d call Belk, JCPenney, & Cato’s-that’s the extent of our shopping choices in our county. Once Mama answered the most embarrassing phone calls of her life, I quizzed her relentlessly. When will you be home? Where are you eating? Why didn’t you wait on me? I had all the numbers of any establishment & anyone memorized, I was a numbers savant back in the day, a human rolodex. This brings me to the title of today’s blog, Dolly vs. Shania. Jack has a very fond fascination of music, all sorts, different genres. One of his particular loves is Shania Twain. He absolutely has zero interested in Dolly Parton, one of the greats. During one of his searches on YouTube about Shania, he came across a video of Dolly Parton & Shania Twain on the Oprah show. The duo sang Dolly’s “Coat of Many Colors”. Jack was very intrigued with them singing together. He shared the video with me & his caregiver, Sherry. Yesterday Jack tracked me down at work, first calling my cellphone (which I didn’t hear ring), then The Berry Patch. He called to see which sang “Coat of Many Colors” better, Dolly or Shania?

Not realizing the importance of the matter, I went with the obvious, Dolly! No disrespect to Shania, but Dolly wrote this song & was the first to sing it. She does it best because she is telling a story about her life, you can feel it when she sings. Not only did Jack disagree with my opinion & the opinion of his caregiver, Sherry, but he was getting upset that we didn’t agree with him about Shania being the best. We both relented & finally said Shania was the greatest…didn’t want to go down the explosive road again, & that was a very real possibility. I could tell in his voice he was becoming heated. Later on in the day, all I could do was laugh about it. I mean I’m probably the only person in the world that’s ever been hunted down to be asked who sang “Coat of Many Colors” best! Our situation is definitely unique if nothing else. Jack is passionate about whatever he’s into at the moment & we best remember that the right answer is whatever Jack says it is.

I have mentioned this in a previous blog, but I have a coat of many colors. Years ago, a friend gave my Daddy’s Mama, my Grandma a sack full of silk tie scraps she got from a mill she worked in. Grandma was an avid maker of quilts, often using material from clothing family members outgrew or scraps from something she was making. It’s always neat to look back at the quilts she made for us & remember wearing some of the prints that are on the quilt. With the sack of silk tie scraps, Grandma constructed many quilts, bags, vests, & even a coat of many colors for myself. Of course it’s too small now, it truly is a beautifully handcrafted jacket. Not only was my Grandma an excellent seamstress, but so is my Mama. One would think I would of been blessed with that talent, however, I never had any urges to learn to sew. It’s the most boring thing in the world to me, well other than 60 Minutes.

Jack has continued to do excellent over the last few weeks behaviorally. The excitement of killing his first deer has worn off. He has not had any urges to go anywhere or do much of anything. Poor thing is not eating hardly at all. He’s off the bacon & egg sandwich kick & off the Funyuns & grits. We’ve gone so far as to buy his favorite foods, Chiba, Dixie Burger fish plates, Lee even cooked Jack’s deer & made hamburgers with it. Jack was really excited about that but didn’t eat any of them. He looks weak & sickly these days. It’s so heartbreaking to watch, he seems to be withering away. His spirits are good though. You never know what you’re going to open his door to in the mornings. We close his door at night so that he won’t hear us too bad while we’re moving around with Ava & Lee getting in the mornings. All too often, I read of a Dravet child/adult passing away on the Dravet Facebook support groups typically due to a severe seizure or SUDEP. SUDEP is sudden unexplained death in epilepsy. SUDEP takes more lives than SIDS (what new moms worry about with their newborns). It’s thought to occur due to a heart rhythm issue. There’s too much to worry about with Jack’s diagnosis. So many factors. Seizures, behavior (main concern), eating issues, gait problems, digestive problems, chronic infections, heart problems-too many to list.

As write this, I realize how fortunate we are to be having the argument with Jack about whether or not Shania is better than Dolly. Any day, that privilege can be taken away. When asked next time what my preference is, I will be sure to say “Shania” & y’all better to if asked! I still can’t get over him not liking Dolly. I thought all men loved blonde hair & big boobs!!!

If you’ve never heard Dolly & Shania sing the mentioned song, click this link to listen. Be sure to cast your vote, but make sure you vote for Dolly! https://youtu.be/Y0CL5Ejqg8c

Author: dravetsyndromeblog

42 year old Mama of three kids, wife of a farmer, & business owner.

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