Monday, March 29, 2010

July 19, 1991

I was digging through some old boxes a few weeks ago in an effort to de-clutter my storage (read: junk) room and came across a small, brown paper bag that brought me to tears. It was from my first stay at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto from 1991 - July 19th to be specific. And I read the label and I just sobbed. Has it really been that long? I wrote a post about how long - but somehow that little paper bag with a hospital label just knocked me flat - emotionally.

The other discovery was the contents of the bag. It was blessed oil that my grandfather had given to me when I was first diagnosed, and a hand-written prayer to go with it. My grandpa passed away 12 years ago, and I really only have memories of him - great memories. He had a rock-solid Catholic faith and I'm sure he prayed for me and my health. I miss him.

The grandpa memories combined with the totality of my RA hit me hard. Has it really been that long? I think I could write that question 100 times in this post with different inflections and never fully have the answer.

Has it been that long? Yes. Has is really been that long? No. Has it been that long? Really? Has it been that long? Seriously? Has it been that long? OMG. Has it been that long? @#!*. Has it been that long? Ouch. Has it been that long? (resigned sigh). Has it really been that long? (tears). And all those answers are followed by a sadness, emptiness, and a bit of defeat.

I can't help but reflect that the glass being a bit half empty - at least today it seems that way. I've had RA for more of my life than I haven't. I guess it really has been that long.


Anonymous said...

It can sometimes seem that the glass is half-empty, rather than half-full; finding your grandpa's note, the bag from the hospital and the oil had to have been a shock. We all need these moments, I think, to take stock of what we have and what we've lost. It helps us to keep on keeping on.

You've had RA for most of your life. And yet you're a lovely young woman, have two darling kids and are married to a man who cares for and loves you. RA takes a great deal from us, but like you, many of us choose to live our lives well in spite of it. I've had RA since I was 31; I'm now 53, and I will have it for as long as I live. It's hard for me, too, to believe it's been that long. And yet, and yet. My life, even with RA, is good. I believe it's a matter of attitude.

It's also a matter of courage. You certainly have plenty of that, Megan. I hope that your life will continue to be filled with gifts, and that you'll always be able to look for them, even when it seems like they're nowhere to be found.

Hugs to you.

Living It, Loving It said...

I am with Wren. Sometimes we need these reminders and you are stronger because of your experiences. We all are - RA and all.

Helen said...

Yes, it has been that long. I know the feeling - the sudden realization that you've lived so much of your life with this disease; that it's always been there. It's a harsh reality. But I'm with Wren, too. Our lives, even with RA, are good. We do good things. We have friends and families. Those things are more important.

I have some treasured items from my first early years with RA. I can't remember those years, of course, but I cherish all of the kind things people did for me during them.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know (or forgot) that Grandpa did that for you.

I still miss him.