The Houston Ankylosing Spondylitis Girls Luncheon

Murphy’s law was in full effect today.

Beautiful weather all month  until today!

Black skies, over sleeping, phone calls galore, prescriptions filled wrong, missing doctor’s calls, empty gas tanks, cancellations, too much pain and that is only mine!

It started out to be one of those days you wish you could stay in bed and hide under the covers.

Emails were flying fast and furious : Urgent: Black Sky – Keep Date or Reschedule?

It would have been so simple to reply to the emails and say reschedule… but there was one person we hadn’t heard from and the last email to her said it was a go, see you there… I had to go, I couldn’t have someone go to so much trouble and not be there!

Sometimes you just have to put on a brave face, weather the storms and experience the most beautiful rainbows in life.

I picked up Karly (A.S. Face 0016) and we headed out to Guadalajara Bar & Grille on the Southwest freeway, the manager Mike had been kind enough to promise us a spot, after I explained how far we would all be traveling and the difficulities involved. Such a wonderful place, their kindness and compassion was outstanding. Food and service was excellent! Even they seemed to understand the importance of this moment.

I have had the honor to meet Karly already, such a wonderful person. We picked up where we left off last time, never missing a beat.

I was amazed at how smooth the drive was for us. I am not used to driving on busy highways, in the rain anymore so I was nervous. If Karly was she never showed it.

We arrived a little early and the waitress settled us in our seats as soon as we arrived, which was wonderful. I have to tell you the excitement of this days was indescribable for me. My heart was in my throat. Ankylosing Spondylitis has brought me in a place in my life that I am not comfortable in public or around new people.

I was nervous to say the least. Then I looked up and there was Holly. I met her on the Ankylosing Spondylitis Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Board last year. It was wonderful to finally meet her. She gave me a big hug and kiss from her and others from our support board, then she patted my on my tush and said that is from Tommy. It was wonderful.

Abby (A.S.Face 0091) had to have an emergency surgery procedure the night before, so it was really emotional when I looked up from the table and there she was, hugs and tears were shared again.  Abby’s father John, was kind enough to bring her, making sure she arrived safely.

It was one of the kindest most loving acts of a parents love I had ever witnessed, to witness a man sit down at a table full of women, listening to them compare notes about their lives with Ankylosing Spondylistis is imbedded deeply in my heart. It was such a blessing to be a part of that type of family love if only for a few hours.

A little later Lisa arrived, hugs introductions and smiles once more, we settled down and the chattering began. I tried so hard to listen and acknowledge everyone, but my lack of hearing and ability to turn made it difficult, but I learned sometimes the best conversations in the world do not consist of words…it would be a look of understanding across the table, a smile or just witnessing.

It was amazing to meet people for the first time and be so connected. We all rattled about this and that, and outsiders looking in would have thought that this group of ladies had known each other all their lives…. in some ways we did.

We shared horror stories about misdiagnosis and doctor experiences, we shared pain and trials that we had gone through in our life, knowing for once, that you didn’t have to go into great detail… we got it… we understood… we lived it…. I was reminded of a quote that was dear to my heart…

Sometimes the truest gift of friendship is not to understand but to be understood.

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