Today we attended a Memorial Day program in our community.  It was very nice and a Vietnam veteran gave a touching speech that was very moving.  I kept hearing a word that just stuck in my mind – remembrance.  I couldn’t help but think of remembering in my life – specifically remembering what my life was like before RA. 

I remember those ‘good ol’ days.’  I participated in competitive sports and fitness all my life.  I can remember the first time my Dad took a baseball and hit grounders to me to practice.  I was about 7 years old.  I had a brand new glove and my brother and I were taking turns catching the grounders.  Unfortunately, on my first turn the ball found a rock on the ground and took an unexpected bounce – right into my throat.  I coughed a little and looked at my Dad, who immediately said ‘pick up some dirt and rub on it, you’ll be fine.’  And that I did, toughing it out as best I could. 

I could do my own home repairs, mow the lawn, garden, run a business, volunteer – well, I could do anything I set my mind to do.  That is, until that infamous year – four years ago when I just wasn’t feeling up to par.  Little did I know what was ahead.  

I remember what it was like not having to go to the doctor every few months.  I remember when the lab tech could hit the vein on the first try.  I remember when I didn’t see a doctor for years at a time.  I remember when I had lots of energy, I could play sports, I could burn the candle at both ends.  I remember when I could take my camera and hike all day. 


I also remember when it all changed – forever. 

A chronic disease is defined by remembering the previous life, but it also demands the commitment of determination, perseverance and acceptance.  

This journey has not been easy.  There are days I long for what my life used to be, but, it is no more.  I was reminded of the verse in Luke – “no one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  There is no looking back – only moving forward.  

A new day, each day.  Perhaps a new challenge.  Perhaps a new victory.  Maybe a few moments of remembrance, but no looking back.  My hand is on the plow.  And if I take a hard and unexpected hit, I’ll just pick up some dirt and rub on it – right, Dad!




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