My sister Stacey and her two boys, Levi (almost 7) and Leo (almost 5) just left after visiting for a little over a week. Before they arrived, I had planned on a full week of spoiling them. I wanted to bake delicious meals and snacks, play with her boys so she could have some quiet time and just sit and talk with her for hours. Instead, she ended up taking care of my family and me. She cooked, cleaned, did laundry, etc. Shortly after she arrived, my knees, feet, shoulders, fingers and wrists swelled up. Walking was a chore and even lifting my tea cup was a workout.
On Saturday we went to Cantigny so the boys could climb the tanks and see the war museum. It was a beautiful day and it felt great to be outside. Only, I walked at a snails pace and felt humilitated for myself and my family to be walking with someone who could barely move and was afraid to sit down because it would be too hard to get up. Nevertheless, we had a great time. The boys loved climbing the tanks and running around with the wooden guns Alexander had made for them. Steve and Alexander were able to talk with Vietnam vets who spent a lot of time explaining all the guns to Alexander and let him hold each one, which was a treat for him, and Stacey and I were able to leisurely talk while the boys were all busy.
Later that night I shared my humiliation of walking so slow with Stacey. She said, “That isn’t how I viewed the day. I actually thought it was nice because it slowed us all down.” She explained how usually life is so hurried and that I had helped everyone to just slow down and enjoy what was going on around them. WOW!!!! I can’t explain the heaviness that was lifted from me when she said that. It made me feel that my illness is not always a burden, but can bring some of the qualities of life that I am always preaching about, such as slowing down and being in the moment.
Having Stacey here for a week was awesome. I selfishly hoped someone would get sick and they would be forced to stay longer. I love watching her with her boys. I have always admired how she has managed to stay connected to her boys while working full time. I loved sharing stories with someone that knows my past and me so well. I enjoyed discussing sections of The New Earth with her and it was fun to discuss and show off my new gray hairs to her. She is very encouraging of my gray hairs and really, of everything in life that I tackle. The time we had this summer will definitely be a highlight of my summer! Thanks Stacey for taking such good care of me.