Monday, July 20, 2015
The day after tomorrow I will turn 63. Yikes. Thirty years ago I couldn't have imagined my life as it is now. At that point I had poor health and little hope. Living with my young family in a small apartment on a tight budget, I had suffered illness after illness before being diagnosed with MS. I had a baby with year-round asthma and a young daughter dealing daily with a teacher who should not have been around children at all - ever. My health ebbed and flowed. I took a full-time job with the knowledge that I would have to come clean or lie about my health. I came clean and my first job led to two more before I stopped working full-time at the age of 52. Pre-existing conditions prevented me from seeing a doctor for the MS for my first year of full-time employment. It didn't matter much. There wasn't anything they could do for me anyway. I was on a lottery list for Betaseron with no coverage for injectables. Scroll forward. Things worked out for the children as they tend to do. The baby outgrew the asthma and into size 12 shoes, a good job, a pretty little house and a nice family. It wasn't that easy but it all worked out. My daughter blossomed into a capable, bright young woman who traveled to The Hague this past year to make a professional presentation. And she also has a nice family and a home of her own. The husband I had 30 years ago passed away from cancer at the start of 2002. Sometimes I can hardly believe the life I've lived. It seems like there were two. I married my wonderful new husband 10 years ago and then there were three children as he came with one of his own. The youngest has just finished college and soon he'll be off into his own adventures. I've been off MS meds for years. I take numerous supplements. I have a new auto-immune disease, micoscopic lymphocytic colitis. But I will deal with that as I've dealt with MS. Nobody believes I'm as old as my license says I am. I have to prove that I'm eligible for my senior discount. Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with my family around me. The kids and grandkids splashed around in the pool for a while and then gathered around to help me blow out my candles. "Wait!" somebody said, "You didn't make a wish yet." I didn't have to. I have everything I could ever wish for.