you've been served

Written by Tracy Dixon Salazar, Savannah's mom

When your child turns 18, most people think about things like "hey, you're an adult now," and "have you registered to vote?" and "why don't you get a job?" But not us. That would be way too conventional. No, we get to think about something called conservatorship. If you're not familiar with this loaded little word, let me acquaint you.

A conservatorship is the process where you either get to pay a lawyer lots-o-money to draft exactly fifty-six legal documents for you (or if you don't have lots-o-money, you get to figure out how to fill out these documents yourself in a painstaking process that involves at least five pounds of weight gain due to stress eating.) The purpose of these exactly fifty-six legal documents is—without sugar-coating it at all—to take away Savannah's rights and give them to someone of "normal" IQ (namely us, her parents, although the IQ thing might be debatable) in an effort to protect her from being taken advantage of by the slimeballs of the world. The seven rights being taken from her include the right to sign a contract, to consent to marry, to choose her residence, to keep her private records private, to consent to sex (betcha didn't know that was a right that could be taken away from you, huh?) and stuff like that. If that doesn't say happy 18th birthday, you're an adult now, then I don't know what does!

So as you can imagine, having to file for conservatorship is about as much fun as dental work or IRS audits. And all kidding aside, it represents just one more blow delivered to us by the scourge that is epilepsy. Your daughter lived to be 18, yay. Now you get to take away her rights. I feel like one of those inflatable punching bags they sell for kids that get punched and pop back upright. Epilepsy throws the punches, and we pop back upright . . . eventually. Thank goodness we have Savannah in all of this or we'd be insane.

In the process of filing for conservatorship, Savannah had to be served with the court paperwork in case she wanted to protest. So we had our good friend Nancy serve Savannah the paperwork. And in true, beautiful, loving Savannah form, she smiled, hugged Nancy, said "thank you," never opened the letter at all, and proceeded to sleep with the letter hugged tightly in her arms that night. So as always, I have this great memory of my sweet, sweet daughter that will always overshadow anything sad about the whole conservatorship process. She keeps me smiling. Thanks Savannah. Now go get a job.  :)

Please share this story to help bring us one step closer to a cure for epilepsy.
Savannah Smiles (despite epilepsy)
Give: http://www.calvinscure.com

Savannah is now 18 and has had over 25,000 seizures since she was two. Her mother got a PHd in neurobiology and is trying to find a cure for epilepsy.

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