Today, I braved our sketchy bridge in my minivan, determined to see my good friend Addy… while I still can. It had been five months since I last saw her, though I have kept in touch over the phone. A lot has happened since then. As some of you know, Addy is not in good health. Her Multiple Sclerosis is getting worse, and the lesions on her brain are causing a multitude of problems.
Over Christmas, my friend suffered two seizures, the last of which left her completely immobile. Unable to even lift her head, her husband had to carry her to the car and rush her to the hospital. There she stayed for two weeks, not even recognizing her own husband for several days. Her children were sent to stay with friends and relatives, as they were not allowed into the hospital on account of “Swine Flu”.
Slowly, through physical therapy, she has learned to open her hands and use them again. She has learned to walk once more, though she still moves ever so gingerly. She still forgets where she is at times, or who old friends are.
I was a little afraid that she wouldn’t remember me. That would have been really awkward. But I was relieved when she greeted me at her door, with that same warm smile she’s always shown us. I gave her a big hug and told her how glad I was to finally be able to visit her again.
Jada was so glad to get to play with her little friend again. It was cold, and muddy outside, so the kids did most of their horsing around on the small living room floor. And Titus didn’t forget to go to their microwave and find whatever baked goody was hiding in there. They always have cookies or something ready for him!
It seemed like her children had grown so much since I’d last seen them. She thought the same of mine. We sat on the couch and caught up on things. And we marveled over the fact that it has been almost two years now since we first met that day at the Farmers Market. Looking back, I had no idea how that day would change the course of my life forever!
She looked so frail. It’s really sad. She’s only 40; too young to be debilitated by such a horrible disease! Addy talked little, and was slow to say what she did share. But she was in good spirits… the same beautiful kindness glowing in her eyes.
I wonder if things will ever be the same around their home. Will she be able to garden anymore? Will she can her produce? Will she still be able to make soap? How will her family survive without her being able to do all that she did? She is such a cornerstone for their livelihood!
They did get rid of their cows, as Addy is unable to milk anymore, or care for the bulls. The children help take care of the chickens and the pigs. Her husband does the cooking and laundry. How long will they have to do these things for her?
I am so thankful for the time that I did get to spend with her before this disease took it’s hold. I am so thankful for all that she has taught me! I wonder if she will ever get back to her old self again, or if her health will only deteriorate.
It is just so heartbreaking to see such a strong, independent and stubborn woman in such a vulnerable state. I pray, oh I PRAY, that her health is restored to her, and that this disease is sent into remission. I take comfort in knowing that the Lord is good. He is the Great Physician! So, there is always hope!
Please you guys, if you think of her, please say a prayer for her. Her family desperately needs her back.
I’ll try my best not to let so much time go by before I see her again.