Friday, January 22, 2016

The Worst Part of Holding the Memories

The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. 
It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.
~Lois Lowry

A while ago I gave an update on my Lyme treatment. At that time I mentioned having a huge fear related to Lyme but I didn't elaborate.  Today, I am ready to talk about that anxiety. My angst actually has to do with my children and how they will remember me. I am so afraid that because this illness and the repercussions of this illness have sucked up so many years of my life that, in my children's eyes, I will always be remembered as being sick or in pain. I'm terrified my legacy will be illness. When I say this is a fear of mine, I mean I lose sleep and shed tears worrying about this. It is a bone deep fear that sometimes stops me in my tracks.

There are many physical activities that I can not do yet because of this illness. The pain and exhaustion associated with this disease impairs my ability to do strenuous activity. Sometimes it stops me from doing any activity at all. For a previously very active and athletic person, this absolutely kills me. I am also fiercely independent and a Type A personality. I hate to ask for help. I hate needing help. I hate the word "can't" but I have had to become friends with these ideas. I want my children to remember me hiking high points, rafting rapids, shooting sporting clays, swimming in the lake with them. I do NOT want them to remember me in bed, crying, scared, and angry.

So far 4 years have been swallowed by this illness. Two and a half trying to be correctly diagnosed and the other year and a half in treatment. I thought I would be healed by now and I could return to the life I once had but that is not the case. I thought I could get over this misery quickly (within a year) and be back doing all the things I once did. I figured if that was the case, this was just a bump in the road and the kids would forget about it once I was back to my former self. Unfortunately, it hasn't been a bump in the road. It has been a road in and of itself and I don't know where the exit sign is. I so desperately want my kids to remember a vibrant, happy, glowing, healthy, energetic mother. I have been sick for many of their formative years, so their memories of me are, like in the movie Inside Out, tainted with a touch of blue sadness that I will never be able to erase.

So, there it is in the open and raw. I am scared I will be remembered as sick, weak, and unable. I am hoping there will be a turn in my treatment soon so no more time will be dominated by this illness. As long as there is hope, there is life, so I will keep hoping. I have 4 beautiful kids and a husband to make memories with. I am mentally ready to write the next chapter, but I just need my body to catch up.


This digital artwork is a digital mixed media piece including textures, stamps, and painting techniques layered on a base of an iPhone image. The subject is one of my favorites and has appeared in a previous bestseller for me, Snowy Ridge.

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