Nineteen years ago Garreth moved my clothes from one apartment to another while I was taking final exams. We were just dating and I had a lot of reservations about our relationship. While this moving task was very helpful, I was surprised to see that he didn’t know how to hang up clothes, as in, the hangers were on backwards. The hook was facing out. Who does that? This is far more ridiculous than putting toilet paper on wrong (it should roll from the top). I smiled, expressed my gratitude and made a mental note on the This Relationship Will Never Work list.


This weekend I moved our clothes into our new closet. I love organizing and throwing things away and finding a place for our “stuff.” As I was moving into our new closet, I made a This Has Got To Go pile of Garreth’s clothes. I asked him if he trusted me enough to just let me get rid of them without him looking through them first. He replied with an emphatic no. It makes perfect sense to me that he trusts me with important medical, parenting and financial decisions, but not with his clothes.  I have a heavy hand when it comes to pitching stuff. In the end and after some dramatic lamenting, Garreth only salvaged three shirts from my pile.

We’re a good team, but who could have known? The This Relationship Will Never Work list was long and the risk of marriage is high and the unknowns, good grief, all of the unknowns were so…unknowable.

We’re a good team, Garreth and I. We’ve done drama and trauma and won’t rule out medical marijuana (which is a legitimate treatment for seizures but I mostly said it because it fit so perfectly in that sentence). We’ve been a team that handles doctors and special educators and medical salesman and therapists and legislators and now builders. (Ok, in fairness Garreth has always had builders in his life since he’s a finish guy but this experience is different).

Who could have known that having Aidan would bring so many different and generous and wonderful people into our lives, each with their own story? I continue to be amazed.

Today, Jim and Ben from Ironwood Construction came and installed our cubbies, or The Place Stuff Gets Saved From Being Thrown Out Because It Didn’t Find A Home Elsewhere.

IMG_5685 IMG_5687 Jim first did an actual happy dance that the cubbies fit and Garreth’s design worked. Then he thanked me profusely for the opportunity to help. And that has been the refrain of this project – people want to help, they want to be invited in some way into the lives of others. While I know this in the core of my being to be true, and I know that NOT asking for help deprives others of the opportunity to give, it’s still weird and hard and awkward to ask.

Who could have known that needing a safe bathroom for Aidan could bring about more open, accessible spaces and kind people and personal stories that make me feel so much less alone in this medical journey?

Garreth and I are a good team. Garreth has learned to keep things orderly and I have learned to live with a bit of chaos. It’s what we do; we learn and change and grow together and in the midst of all of this we make room for others.

Perhaps it’s time to throw out the list.


About Heather Bowie

I’m the mother of two wonderful boys and have been married almost 20 years to an amazing Irishman I met in a castle. Our oldest son Liam loves to read and run. Our younger son Aidan loves to drive his power chair and socialize. Aidan has a rare genetic disease (PURA Syndrome) and Epilepsy. This blog was birthed out of the desire to tell our story, and in doing so, appreciate the journey.
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