My name is cassidy callow, and my mom is Fawnde Callow. In January it will be 3 years since my mom left Brookhaven. She was a patient there for 3 months. Heres my side of the story and feelings.
For years i had become accustomed to walking into my parents room watching my mom pack a bag for the hospital. This time though, she was packing a much larger suitcase. My mom was on her way to Brookhaven Retreat for a month.
Many people have lost their parents to death and i imagine if you ask those people how they feel, its a kind of hurt many are unable to explain. thankfully ive never experienced such a horrific thing. but id like to point out there is a difference from having a parent missing in death to having a parent alive whose unable to be apart of your life.
My mom had planned to stay at brookhaven for one month, but that wasnt enough time. one month turned into two, and two turned into three months. Those were probably some of the hardest phone calls to take because it meant not only was my mom gone but i had to continue to take care of myself. Dont get me wrong i have a beyond amazing support system at home but thats not always enough. I learned to become the mom of the house. I worked for my dad, homeschooled myself, cleaned the house, and did the laundry. as a teenager, obviously hanging out with my friends was a big help getting my mind off things but many weekends i had to devote time to my dad making sure he was okay without my mom. as you can see, i took on alot of responsibilty for many things a young kid should not.
Visiting brookhaven was a big help! since i was so use to seeing my mom in a hospital room that was exactly how i pictured brookhaven! boy was i wrong! Beautiful, clean, homey, just some of the words i would use to describe brookhaven. Meeting the owner jacquelyn, was such a treat! what a wonderful women and what a touching story she herself has. the first time i visited my mom i was obviously excited but nervous. to be honest i actually felt almost as if i was stand-offish to my mom. for a month i hadnt seen her and obviously my mom was still sick and i hate to say this but i almost felt as if i didnt know this women who i called mom.see my mom was no longer the person she use to be.
That has all changed now! although brookhaven took my mom in a sense for a few months they also gave me my mom back, that is the mom i remember. the one who is full of life, laughter and still finds happiness despite the awful world we live in. despite all the tears, hurt and lonelyness; i know i can say for both my mom and i, that we have found strength in our moments of weakness. so Brookhaven thank you. thank you for giving me a gift that means more beyond words can describe. although i lost my mom for 3 months and a couple years to hospitals i can now say i have my bestfriend back, something years ago i never thought id be able to say.
to all you women who may be considering brookhaven or are in brookhaven, i would just like to tell you women to fight. fight for yourself, fight for your familes, fight because somebody out there needs you. years ago my mom gave me a book called "why a daughter needs a mother." think of some of those reasons, because those little things like having a mother there to sing to the radio with you or teach you compassion....those little things mean the world. Brookhaven gave me back those moments with my mom and they can give them back to you too.