Yesterday morning Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy went to the airport to meet his mother, who arrived for what is scheduled to be a month long visit. I applaud her courage in traveling alone on this long trip, which due to a few hour delay on the last leg, stretched out to almost twenty-four hours door to door.
(The fact that she uses crutches to walk was not helped any when the passengers were forced to disembark down steps onto the tarmac.)
I have always had a very close relationship with my mother, so this made it all the more difficult to see first-hand the difficulties she has experienced in accepting the realities that rheumatoid arthritis has introduced into my life, and – by extension – her life.
I have seen her struggle over the past few years, and have often wished that the journey from denial to acceptance progressed more quickly…but then I am reminded that everyone around me deserves to process, in his or her own timeframe, the emotions that result from the presence of this chronic and crippling illness in my life. (I only know how long it took me to walk down this path myself!)
A little more than a month ago, my mother called me to tell me that she has just finished reading a series of posts here on my blog, in which I spoke of a particularly rough patch that I was going through. She wanted to know what she and my father could do to help me. We agreed that she would come for a visit (both of my parents are scheduled to come back for the holidays later this year) – hence her arrival yesterday.
I know that this is a big step forward for her, and I know that living with me for the next month will provide her one of the starkest descriptions of how my life has been and continues to be affected by my rheumatoid arthritis. I can only begin to imagine how hard this is must be for my mother to see…but I am glad that she has reached this point.
One of the true rewards I have received from writing this blog has been being able to see not only how far its reach has spread, but also being able to see how close to home it has hit. It continues to be a great coping mechanism not only for myself, but for those people who are a part of my daily life. (One sibling tells me that it’s a great way to check up on how I am doing, without having to call me all the time.)
Although my mother has not commented publicly on my blog, she does read it daily. Please join me in supporting her – and all parents of someone living with rheumatoid arthritis – as she embarks on this new path of acceptance with open eyes, and with an even more open heart. I know that rheumatoid arthritis has a profound impact on all of our lives.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!