Today I have completed my 43rd trip around the sun. I suppose some might cringe at my unabashed declaration of my age, but I must admit that statement isn't making me blush one bit. On the contrary, I am feeling rather proud of my accomplishment.
Tuesday, I received a wonderful astrological validation, via a phone app, in the form of my daily horoscope. It was as follows:
"Pat yourself on the back, Pisces. You are nearing the end of a long, hard journey. You've come a long way. Symbolically speaking, you have endured hunger, thirst, and the comforts that many people take for granted. You have experienced a crushed spirit and you have possibly seen friendships falter. But you are still here. And hopefully there is still a smile on your face. Instead of looking back on the hardships, be grateful for your willpower, your courage, and for the people in your life who have stood by you. Soon, you will receive a reward that validates your struggle."
Seriously that's what it said. It was the most accurate, and hopeful horoscope I have ever read about myself. It spoke to the many sacrifices I have made as a mother, to keep my family well. Quite literally enduring hunger, and cravings for the many foods that we have removed from our lives because of Celiac Disease and food intolerances. Foods, conveniences, restaurants, social gatherings, travels, that I've gone without, for the sake of my family's health. '...comforts that many people take for granted' The ongoing deconstruction of life as I knew it, that my faith shaken, left me frequently isolated and questioning my own self efficacy in my new world of autoimmunity.
Later that day I returned from my first Celiac Support Group for Moms feeling inspired, and optimistic, and a renewed sense of purpose. Looking forward to an afternoon to myself, while Todzilla was tended by our saviour babysitter, hoping to use the time to commit my new found wisdom onto paper. However, reality quickly turned optimism into panic, when I discovered that my dog had pilfered my bathroom trash consuming, in no particular order, 3 tampons, 3 ultra thin maxi pads, and 3 panty liners. I spent my free afternoon sitting worried, angry, and mortified in the veterinary emergency clinic lobby, while my dog was induced to throw up the cottony treasures of my menses. 'Soon, you will receive a reward that validates your struggle.' Well...perhaps tomorrow.
Wednesday, my Finance Guy returned home from his 10 day business trip just in time to attend Beanie's school event, and we enjoyed a fun family evening together. Yes, this had to be the start of my reward, a family strengthened in no small part by the sacrifices I had made and all healthy enough to enjoy my up coming birthday weekend. Before bed I noticed some annoying itchy skin that had been bothering me on the back of my legs, was getting bumpy and spreading...
Now three days later, that same itchy rash is still occupying the vast majority of my body. Neither acupuncture, hydrocortisone creams, or benedryl has reduced its severity or even took the edge off. Not exactly what I had in mind to celebrate my Birthday. But I still can't help but smile at the almost comedically timed irony of it all.
It wasn't until recently that I have come to realize how much courage it has taken to face my self doubt, and loss of faith. To finally begin to give myself the credit of my convictions that has carried us this far. To see the gifts of health in myself and loved ones, when we have it.
To be able to face yet another mystery in the form of my birthday rash, and know that whatever its cause, however long it last, I will see it through. With the same smile on my face, grateful to have people I love to share it with. Maybe that's the validating reward for my struggle that I have been waiting for.
Happy Birthday to me.