The Samantha Years

National Epilepsy Month

I would say “Happy National Epilepsy Month” but there is nothing happy about epilepsy. Epilepsy is a nasty, scary, misunderstood disease.

According to the epilepsy foundation, A seizure happens when the electrical system of the brain malfunctions….

Unfortunately, the brain is the most studied yet most puzzling part of the human body.

Perhaps that is why we still can’t figure out a cure to this debiliatating electrical malfunction of the brain. Many siezure drugs were discovered by accident; they were used as steroids, migrane medications or to control high blood pressure but somehow it was discovered that maybe they might work for epilepsy.

But it’s still not really known why they work. Not even the doctors….and trust me, there is nothing scarier than talking to a world-reknown epileptologist and having them shake their head and say “I’m just not sure what to do next.”

In honor of National Epilepsy Month, Samantha and I have lit a candle. We have lit it especially for our little friend Jacob who is still in the ICU at Children’s fighting seizures. We have lit it in hopes that even though his doctors are baffled and don’t know what to do next that they will keep searching for answers and a cure for our friend. We have lit it for his parents who have had to be strong for so long and want nothing more than to see their little boy look at them and smile.

We have lit it because we’re not quite sure what else to do to help. So when you go to bed tonight and think a little thought for Samantha, think a little thought for her friend Jacob too. Because we have to keep fighting for a cure. We just can’t give up on what we don’t understand.

The Samantha Years

Just Being 3

Samantha was fussy this evening and nothing seemed to work.

I held her…and that didn’t help. I thought maybe she just needed to squirm around on the floor. Nope

Lay on your belly? Heck no.

I became worried. Is something wrong? I took her temperature; normal. I cath’d her; which came out fine. I suctioned out her nose; which really made her mad!

Hubby’s out of town so I bounced around ideas with myself…what am I missing?

Finally it was Samantha’s bedtime. I laid her in bed, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.

And she stopped crying.

Aaaahhhhh…..tired and cranky! Could that be it? A typical three year old problem? Funny how I can diagnose a UTI in minutes but it takes me an evening to figure out tired and cranky.

Enjoying a typical 3 year old moment.

The Samantha Years


If you could harness love as an alternative form of energy….

You could have lit up the city of Denver, maybe even Manhattan, the pyramids, the taj mahal…..

Based on the amount of love generated from the book signing yesterday.

And that’s pretty cool.

People braved the snow and the cold in order to hear the Blessing Bowl, buy a book and support the Schichtel family. The circle of friends was amazing; people I knew in elementary school, people I knew in college, family friends and people I’m just starting to know.

Everyone talked, mingled and even shed a tear or two. Samantha’s mommy was a bit of a mess herself and could barely get through the story.

Once again, I am overwhelmed by our community and the people who support us. What moved me the most is that our little girl was held, loved and doted on the entire time….and it wasn’t by her parents! Samantha’s teacher rescued her from her stroller, Miss Christy took Samantha duty and even Uncle Ryan took a shift. I would look up from a book and think where is my daughter? only to find her cuddled in the arms of another loving member of Team Samantha. I am amazed and grateful for the lives she continues to touch, the people who have come into our lives because of our precious girl and the outpouring of love.

Seriously, we should harness this love stuff….pretty darn powerful.

My only regret is that I didn’t have time to talk to each of you. Let’s do lunch.

Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂


Can I Hold You Tight Enough?

Sometimes after a tough week….

When our precious, fragile community seems to be on it’s knees…

When kiddos we know and love have been hospitalized, poked, prodded and even induced into a coma so that their poor brain can stop seizing…

I place Samantha on my lap,

And smell her sweet breath,

And kiss her nose,

And feel her eyelashes blink against my cheek,

And think that I cannot possibly hold her closer or adore her more.

The Samantha Years

The little things…..

Today at school Samantha’s teacher asked everyone to pick a partner to go outside.

Samantha was sitting in her chair when one of the new little boys came up to her on his own, touched her shoulder and said, “Samantha will you be my partner?”

He approached her left side which is a tough side for Sammers but she purposely turned her head and looked right at him.

Samantha and her new friend went outside together.

Thanks new friend.