Monday, June 24, 2013

THE WEEKEND IS OVER

The hardest part of enjoying a weekend of friends is the "after." They go back home to their lives and I have to get accustomed to being alone again. Life goes back to struggle, loneliness, and starting over. Sometimes it feels as though every day is a starting over point. With God's mercies being new every morning, we start with a clean slate.

Before I get out of bed every morning, I thank God for allowing me to be on earth one more day. Then I ask Him to use this broken vessel (my body, mine and soul) to make a difference in the lives around me. Some days those lives only touch the animal kingdom and that's just fine with me. I am thankful I could get out of bed this morning even though it was much harder today than yesterday. I am thankful I could participate in several events at the college reunion this weekend. I am thankful He put people in my path who understood my pain and struggle because they were dealing with the same situation. I didn't feel as though I was at the bottom of the totem pole.

My friend, Polly, stayed with me this weekend. She drove up from Iowa. Polly was the first person I met when I transferred to Asbury and we have been friend ever since. It has been so nice to have someone in my apartment with me. I felt more at ease. I slept through the night without waking up. She will never realize what she did for me this weekend was take loneliness out of my life if only for a few days.

As for lupus, I was swollen by Friday night and could barely walk on Saturday.   I sat when I could and stood when I had to do so. Was caught in the sun on two different occasions and am now feeling the results. The pain is intense. Walking is hard to do this morning. When I lie in bed, my body shakes from the stress I put it through, but it was worth it. A lupus flare has set in and has put me in bed. Just in time for the rain to come in and compound the pain! Oh rain, please come! Cool us down and reduce this swelling!

I noticed so many things this weekend. When you walk with a cane, many people try to go through the food line to get you a plate assuming you cannot do it for yourself. Very kind and thoughtful of them, but if they gave it some thought, they would realize since I am alone in the world I have to do everything by myself including carrying a plate. I kindly thanked them and said I could do it myself.

People were no different this weekend than any other day of my life. Those who didn't know me did not approach me quickly because of my cane. I'm use to it. I've learned to find a place to sit and entertain myself in surroundings where people are more drawn to old friends or familiar faces.

But God was kind to me. He brought some people close to get to know me. Then something amazing happened: they actually listened to me. Most of the time, I am the listener. Every one talks and I listen. When I have the opportunity to talk, I find myself in an awkward position. I'm not use to having someone to talk to during the day. I'm not use to anyone listening to me. It was nice.

But the weekend is over. People have gone back to their own lives now. No one asked for my address, email or phone number so I won't hear from them. While talking to an old friend, I found out she, too, felt lonely, but kept herself busy. I wish I could keep myself busy but the pain is crippling at times and keeps me in bed. Over the years I have learned if you can count your true friends on one hand, you are indeed blessed. It isn't about the number. It isn't about making new friends to add to the list. It is about devotion to the friends you've made.

Today I feel sad. I am in crippling pain. I am alone again.

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