I was once a child with epilepsy, and it’s something a lot of people don’t know about me.
My epilepsy story is weird because it truly came out of nowhere with no explanation to this day. To be honest, because of it being a brain disorder, I don’t remember much about this time because this disorder had me feeling disorientated and forgetful most of the time. What I remember, though, is that it started around May 2003 and I was just about to finish the third grade. I don’t remember having seizures at this time, but my mother started to notice me doing this weird head moving, arms moving motion every once in awhile until it became more frequent. Every time she would ask me what was wrong, I told her I was fine because I truly thought that I was fine. The truth, though, is that I had no idea what I was doing. My mother took me to my doctor and recommended for me to see a neuro doctor. This was the start of my frequent visits to the hospital.
1998 is probably the earliest year that I can remember. I had just turned four years old, and the typical person starts to remember things when they turn four, and 1998 was that year for me. A lot of new and exciting things happened that year: I was now four, my aunt got married that summer, and I started Pre-K that September.
I was one of those kids who loved going to school on my birthday. I used to love having my teachers and friends wish me a happy birthday, and we always used to have little classroom birthday parties. The best part of it all was the birthday kid use to get the birthday crown with their name on it. That night, I guess I wore it all day because I was that type of child.
My family and I lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in a little house. It was a little house, but it was the first and only house that I lived in. My sister’s bedroom was connected to the living room, the kitchen and bathroom were small, and my mother’s room seemed huge to me. I don’t remember where I slept, but it was probably either on the couch or with my mother. We lived next door to a girl named Sara. She was a 12-year-old girl who was more of good friends with my older sister, who at the time was 8. Downstairs, another Asian family lived there, who had two kids around my sister’s age as well. My sister was the popular kid on the block. Their mother used to make the sickest BBQ chicken, and whenever she made them, I wasn’t to be found for hours. Literally my weakness.
We were genuinely a happy bunch. Of course I was too young to know if they were any problems or issues, but from my four-year old perspective, life was good. I like to describe my 4-year old self being the younger version of who I am now; I was bubbly, sassy, cute & innocent. I mean, despite me being 19 years older than my 4-year-old self. Although my friends were sometimes my friends, my sister Megan was truly my only friend. Like the little sister I was, I wanted to be just like her, play with her friends and do things like her. Like the older sister she was, she never liked it. It took awhile for her to accept me, but 19 years later me and my sister are closer than ever. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my sister other than Megan.
Megan introduced me to the Spice Girls in 1998, and ever since I was obsessed. Me and my sister loved would beg my mother to go to Blockbuster to rent the VHS of their movie, Spice World, which was the greatest thing at that time. As I got older though, I realize just how weird the movie really was, but it’s still a classic. We used to record their televised concerts on VHS tape, every picture we took we threw up the “girl power peace sign”, and we had all the possible Spice Girls merch we were allowed to have.
Amanda was possibly Megan’s bestest friend out of her gang of neighborhood friends. Funny story, her and Amanda were friends for a couple of years, but Amanda had moved away before we moved later in 1999, and since then they never kept in touch. Four years ago in 2013, we went to Pennsylvania to see my grandparents, and we find out that Amanda lived about 10 minutes away from them. They reunited that night, and it was bittersweet just watching them catch-up and reminisce, and see her in complete shock when I wasn’t the 4-year-old girl she once knew. Things like that happen in movies, not in real life.
The only actual memory I remember happening in 1998 is the day that my aunt got married; July 11th, 1998. It was at some country club in Staten Island, and me and my sister were the flower girls and my mother was… I want to say the matron of honor. Yeah. I remember walking down the aisle with my sister during the ceremony. I also remember eating outside during cocktail hour. I also remember actually going inside the dance hall and dancing my ass off all night.
Me, my grandmother, & Megan.
Me, Megan, & my mother.
This has been the only wedding I’ve ever went to; I was too young to attend my Uncle’s wedding from my father’s side in… I want to say in 1997? As I got older and was able to understand more about life, I found out that my grandfather passed away a year before the wedding happened. I don’t know if anyone cried about not having him there walk his daughter down the aisle, but I can imagine some people did. I sometimes wish I was able to remember my grandfather, and sadly I have no memory of him. But I know he was great to me and Megan, and that’s all that matters.
It’s surreal to know that I can remember these little things that happened 19 years ago. I think that’s the importance of taking physical photographs; taking pictures on your phone can easily get deleted, and they aren’t something physical to keep around you for years on end. I’ve looked at some of these pictures for years, and I can sightly remember how life was like when that photograph was taken.
I’m so glad to have been a 90’s baby. I will forever loved how childhood was like in the 90’s.