Yesterday I walked around like a zombie, my eyes heavy and red, the burden of events both recent and persistent weighing on my soul like sagging flesh and soiled clothing. I spoke with my husband while trudging down the street with Rudy, tears in my eyes for a boy who for years it seems has been hyper and coughing and irritable and whose seizures are occurring with greater frequency, tears for never knowing why or how to make it all better.

I'd listened to all the talk on the radio of the young bombing suspect whose brother had been shot. Everyone—his friends, the journalists, the experts—were all speaking of him with such certainty of his guilt. Is the evidence that irrefutable? I wondered as a queasy feeling of disgust and shame churned in my stomach. Am I the only one who thought it strange that, after public officials had lauded Boston for being a tough, resilient city bent on preserving its freedom, they shut down the entire place because of a single man? What does that say to would-be terrorists whose actions can produce that kind of psychological impact?

At home my boy dropped to the ground, whined, coughed, poked his eye, stared at the sun and dropped some more, my frustration growing with each stubborn collapse. I sensed a seizure coming on at the same time knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do, no controlling it. In a cloud of self pity I cussed and grumbled about my inability to go places with him, truly enjoy myself and feel free. I lamented my relative inability to take family vacations with him or with Michael alone. I dreaded my continued incarceration and thought:

Will I be caring for Calvin until I'm old and grey ? Be steadying him as he walks until I die? Be guessing at his chronic ailments and woes until the end of time (my time or his?) Be spoonfeeding him his seizure drugs and meals and changing his diapers for the rest of my life? Be watching his seizures forever? Be hemmed into this sorry existence for the rest of my dying days?

While meditating on my own captivity, I looked at countless shared snapshots of smiling friends and families traveling the world and enjoying the great outdoors. Then I thought of all of the families in Boston sequestered to their homes during the lockdown. Perhaps they, too, were experiencing cabin fever as I often do. Perhaps they were bemoaning their lack of freedom, their miserable mix of anxiety and boredom and worry and claustrophobia. Perhaps they were trudging around with desperate black stares and an insatiable hunger for life like we zombies are known to do.

Zombie mom at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston


  1. I'm with you. I just can't shake it, either.

  2. My husband and I were just bemoaning the same exact things as we drove home after attempting to grocery shop with our daughter who is very much like Calvin! Our son is getting married and it is depressing that she will be left behind at home for a few hours. We have 9 children scattered about and it's sad that we're always missing at least one of them from every family event!
    I do so hope and pray that some day Calvin will not have seizures! Our daughter was 6 months seizure free and now they have returned.