The End of the Summer of All Summers

So summer has come to an end.

The summer of our 25th wedding anniversary and a heart full to bursting with thankfulness for what those 25 years have meant and continue to mean. Everything on from the day that Piper said “Yes” to my marriage proposal has been above and beyond, and my life, blessed and full.

The summer of trial and error for doses and medications and tracking changes and pondering outcomes and presenting effects and efficacies (or the lack thereof).

The summer of medications, in different shades of color and different shapes, each targeting a different brain chemical, making war on anxiety and coaxing me out of depression and as a side bonus trimming down my weight (13 pounds and counting), but totally screwing with my sleep and occasionally my digestive processes much to the delight of the people who manufacture and retail toilet paper.

The summer of therapy and fewer tears and no more paralyzing uncertainly and the erosion of a mountain of self-doubt into something resembling foothills under assault by wind and wave. And as a side bonus, I no longer care how the dishes are put away (though I still fill a perfect dishwasher).

The summer of sore and swollen joints and strange face rashes and fatigue that makes me nap like some over tired two year old but without the hissy fit or room full of scattered Legos. Of blood test after blood test after blood test (all positive) a couple of trips to the Rheumatologist, an exam and a diagnoses of Lupus.

The summer of discovery other auto-immune challenged friends ready with encouraging words and their own stories and trials. Of praying friends near and far and folks who drop by online to ask how I am and leave a word or two of encouragement. Of people ready to help out, to jump in, to do whatever is needed today, tomorrow or ever.

The summer of the new kitten once sick and dying, now soft as silk, spunky and precocious, cuddly and ready to bring the peace of purring that passes all understanding when the fatigue sets in.

The first day of fall was a good day. The first in a long while. No nap needed. A good night’s sleep. Time with the one I love dearest and best and always. It was still godforsaken muggy hot, but hey, this is South Florida and I know what I signed up for moving here 14 years ago.  Next week I will be in Colorado giving a presentation on Cross+Generational worship and hanging out with people who know me and love me as I am, even the somewhat thinner and medicated me with an occasional slight limp, grimace, and all.

It was the summer that I began to BLOG this journey of mine. But not only of mine as I have come to discover, but of many. Thank you my friends for coming along and sharing and reminding me that none of us ever journeys alone.

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4 thoughts on “The End of the Summer of All Summers

  1. dear keith. you know what i have been through. you were there for me in prayer and thought and deed — i still have and use that wellness shawl your congregation made for me. our illnesses are very closely related, surprisingly enough which allows me to be more than sympathetic with your plight — i can be empathetic. i know what you are going through, from the physical to the mental and back again. keep fighting through it. modern medicine and technology are inaccurate most of the time so you go through a tweaking process with all of its quirky side effects. but strength (even when you don’t think you have any left) and courage and faith and prayer are right on all the time.

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    • Jim, thank you for your kindness and kind words. You were one of the most amazing and gracious teachers in my life and I am blessed that you continue to be – obviously I learned a lot about kindness and empathy from you and the importance of people over process and relationships over all. Thank you, a thousands times, thank you!

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