Well I’m ‘celebrating’ 19 years of life with MS this month.
During most of those years the disease was fairly invisible to those who weren’t close to me. It’s been a constant pain in the ass for Erinn and me throughout our whole marriage of course. But I could walk, ride a bike, go to a normal gym, drive a normal car, shovel snow, cook (sort of)-you know, the usual things.
It was when my doctor offered me a ‘disabled parking permit’ a few years back that I first really computed that this thing was becoming more noticeable. Even then it wasn’t obvious to everyone that I was sick. There was that day, for example, when I was picking up groceries at 9:30am and I wobbled and stumbled. The ‘lady’ who watched me do that assumed I was drunk, lifted her nose in judgment and said “Isn’t it a little early for that?” That stung.
But I digress.
Now I can’t walk, cycle, go to a normal gym, drive a normal car, shovel snow, and my cooking ability is even worse. (Possibly a blessing to others)
This disease takes.
And takes some more.
There are times of course when ‘playing the MS card’ is advantageous. For example, when a friend puts out an email request for help moving, I can say “I’d love to help but I have MS”.
That always works.
And then there are times when playing that card doesn’t go over very well at all. Like when Erinn says “I need help keeping the house tidy” and I say “I’d love to help honey but I have MS”.
So as this disease marches on, we try our best to march along with it. It leads to questions, doubts, anger, conflict, frustration, confusion and depression. But at times, this gaping wound brings with it blessing.
We feel so blessed at times that it seems simply unfair compared to the lives we encounter in our work amongst folks on the streets.
Wounds and blessing.
Blessing and wounds.
One can lead to the other.
And sometimes they both happen at the same time.
That seems to be the narrative we all live in.
And for me, as I try my best to take the Jesus way, ‘blessing and wounds’ seem to sum up the whole story.
So I guess that’s why this path I’ve chosen, or has been chosen for me, makes sense.
More thoughts to come.