"A Worthy Warrior." - Emily's Story

I had found the Sugar and Spice Photography website early in the pandemic time, and admit that I was really interested in coming in, but I was also unsure of myself. The previous 5-6 years of my life had been filled with turmoil.

In 2015, within a couple months of each other, my 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and my husband received a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). And to be completely honest, prior to that my marriage was on shaky ground. The dual diagnoses meant I was in for a long haul with trying to stabilize my daughter's seizures as my husband progressively lost mobility, in the midst of a crumbling relationship. I put my life on hold - seeing friends, running, having my own hobbies, or even any semblance of free time - to care for my family.

In January of 2018, we finally hit on the right combination of meds for my daughter for the seizures to stop, but not after she had lost a significant amount of her academic, motor, and functional skills. As she began to come out of the seizure fog, we had outside caregivers in the house 24/7 as my husband required one on one care, and used a bi-pap machine around the clock to help him breathe, as he was no longer able to do so on his own. The years of struggle had led to it no longer feeling like a marriage, but a caregiver/patient relationship. I know that sounds cold, but it was the reality.

In August of 2018 my husband passed away, and my children and I searched for a new normal.

They both started at a new school that year, and quickly made good, solid friends. I finally had some time to take care of myself and see friends. In 2019, I made a big decision to move my family from the house where my husband died. It felt like we needed a completely fresh start to really grow and not simply exist in a house where an entire section was avoided. We moved in December 31, 2019, and we were all thrilled at the chance to start fresh with a new home to fill with happy memories.