“I’m sorry, I’m too tired to go…” I said this at 2pm yesterday to my daughter, who had invited me out for coffee, thinking as I said it, “…how many times have I said this to her, to my husband, to everyone I love…”
God alone knows the “whys” and “wherefores” of our lives. That being said, we get so many glimmers of the divine pedagogy. Both our Blessed Lord and our Lady (especially under her ancient title “Seat of Wisdom”) teach us best when our hearts are broken. Much like diabetes, the adrenal insufficiency (aka “Addison’s disease”) that I live with is not just a family affair, as it also influences every aspect of my life and all those with whom I come into contact.
And, you know what, “Alleluia!”
Yes, I will say it again, “Alleluia!”
I am a bit foolish and passionate about this topic, as I write today, because the disease really “kicked me in the pants” yesterday. I continue feeling poorly today, but better, after “boosting” the hydrocortisone tablets I take daily. Yesterday, I woke up feeling like I was wearing a lead suit. I was a big drinker in my college days and a hangover does not describe the feeling, yet there are some resemblances…the foggy brain, aching head being among them.
The list goes on…inexpressibly bad fatigue, backache, chills, aches in the joints that feel like many of them are throbbing like sprained ankles. Ever sprained your ankle? Hurts, right? Well, just multiply that by lots of joints, and there are lots of joints in the human skeleton.
Enough of this. I think you get the idea. Back to my daughter and our date to get a coffee together. She had made some money babysitting. Our plan was to head over to cutie pie Vickery Village to a chef-owned café to sip some marvelous coffees on her nickel. A mom’s dream.
“Joybeth, I’m too tired to go. Let’s go another day,” I said, feeling awful.
“I’m sorry, I’m too tired to go…” I said it on New Year’s Eve. Our dear friends, Lisa and Bob, create an annual gathering so beautiful, so loving, so warm.
I just about do not “do” evenings any more. In tears, I prayed my Guardian Angel prayer (which I sometimes pray many times each day) and got on the Internet and searched for Addison’s bloggers for advice…by the way, there are so FEW of these. Well, I happened upon a new blogger when I searched “Addison’s Disease Winter” and came up with this post.
So lovely, so inspired, so strong, so faithful and SO TIRED; and, I SURE CAN relate (alleluia again!). Being challenged regularly with ill health can bring our lives to a dead stop. But, that is not the whole story. Not the final word…not by a long shot. My hope and my prayer is that living prayerfully with a chronic illness brings even more grace in to my life and to those I love, including God.
I have seen it work this way. It is not some vague belief. We walk in the steps of Jesus, taking on our crosses, relying on His Peace, and helping Him redeem mankind. Dead stops can be moments through which grace flows like a river. God clearly does not need us to give Him grace…that is not what I am talking about. Yet, He loves us so. He is so touched by our belief, our faith that we can unite with Him on the Holy Cross to save souls. It is like money but so much better. The currency of grace is fluid (not hard cash, come to think of it) increasing as love, sacrifice, prayer and giving increase. We can love others as Jesus loves them, not counting the cost, offering the smallest sacrifices to repair and restore.
Even when I am “too tired to go” to Holy Mass, our Lord comes to me saying to me something like, “all that you give to Me, in my Name, is precious…just tell me who you want helped, where you want these treasures to go. I will put them into my mother’s loving hands, and she will hand them out as she sees fit.”
This is how the God Who made the Universe looks at us and our troubles, our challenges, our teeny offerings of love.
A Catholic gets an idea about this being with Jesus in His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, a tiny piece of bread, but not any bread. He is the Bread from Heaven rising in us and giving us what we cannot ever give ourselves.
“Mama knows best,” I like to say. I love our Faith. I love how Mother Church has no prejudices, how all are beloved children worthy of salvation. I do not like having a chronic illness. Frankly, as much as I try to bless it and love it and say all kind of good things about it, I am just one woman, at the end of the day, who can be SO VERY TIRED of it.
The wonderful, amazing thing about our Lord is that He does want to hear all about it. So, does his mother.
And, so do others among the Christian faithful and many unbelievers who are persons of goodwill. As an “Addisonian,” I am “tapped into” an encouraging support system and am thankful for all the volunteers out there who put free stuff on the Internet, host support groups and show up to speak at conferences and many other types of gatherings of the chronically ill and occasionally downtrodden. May each and all be blessed and stay blessed.
We are coming fast on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11th. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us with chronical illnesses and for all those compassionate souls who support, in so many ways, the lives of the chronically ill.