It’s about time I posted, to say hello, and to give an update about Lyme disease. My news is that I am doing swell! I’m blessed to say that I think of Lyme disease in the past tense. Maybe not “past perfect,” but definitely “past!”
After one rough row to hoe, I’m walking, talking, prissing, bicycling, playing bossy badminton (must say that I’m pretty good!), kayaking, cross-country skiing, and living a life which is full and funny, imperfectly perfect, or perfectly imperfect, take your pick. My body’s a good, strong body, and I thank it for taking me through the eye of the Lyme storm.
As I write, I think of those of you who are still battling the terror of the tick. I’m here to tell you: Things will change. It will get better. Breathe in and breathe out. Keep eating well. Keep doing any single bit of exercise you can do. Keep the faith, knowing there are so many people praying for you—people you don’t know, and whom you’ll never meet. They are praying for you right now.
In 2005, a very hard year for me, my friend Patty, asked me if she could ask a good friend of hers to pray for me. I said yes, but asked that she not mention my name. In 2010, I met Mary, the woman who had been praying for me daily. She had only been told I needed prayer.
When we met, it was part of a prayer fabric that I’ve always thought I believed in, but never really, really got it. But, when she and I sat down, holding hands, she looked at me, and said, “For all these years, I have called you ‘Miss Tree.’” I laughed. “How funny. How did you come up with that?” I was a little slow on the uptake. “You were a mystery, Rebecca. So I named you ‘Miss Tree.’” And I held you in my heart every day.
We sat there in the parlor, holding hands, and crying.
There are people reading this and people who have come and gone, people who have held me in their prayers and I will never meet them. But they were part of my healing as much as any anti-biotic I swallowed.
I’m not advocating that you stop whatever protocol you’re on. I am saying: you have a band of earth angels who are pulling for you, as they pulled for me. And what you are going through now will become a memory. Things will not stay the same. Everything will change.
Do not be ashamed of your pain. Do not be afraid of it. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. No sense in suffering twice (or a zillion times, if you tend toward obsessing, a very easy pattern to fall into when your body hurts so bad.)
Thank the people who love you, the people who listen to you. Forgive them when they go about living their healthy lives. They give all they can, and we must celebrate their giving, and celebrate ourselves for wearing Lyme lightly. By that, I don’t mean to deny it’s happening, but to claim joy every single, solitary chance you get, and forgive everything. Yourself, your wife, your husband, your parents, your children, your siblings, the people at work, the tick itself. The more we forgive, the lighter the load. And I’m sure you’ve all heard a great deal about the “load.”
Listen to as much music as you can. If you can walk, dance. If you can dance, get down on your knees and say “Thank you.”
My mother, Sister Jordan Wells, at 84, says when she dies, she wants me to say just one thing for her: “Sistah says thanks!”
That’s what I want to say, now: “Thanks!”
And 84,000 Blessings to those of you who read the stories I write, especially those of you who are suffering in any way. And especially, especially for those of you who suffer from Lyme disease: Bless you real good. I’m praying for you. I used to think my own band of heaven-angels was tired until they told me loud and clear that they don’t get tired. I tend to believe you have your own band of heavenly (for lack of a better word) angels, and they do not get tired. Turn your pillow over to the cool side when you lie down to take a nap. Close your eyes for a moment, breathe in and breathe out, and realize what a miracle it is, that breath. Feel the angels, both earth and heaven-sent around you, and please—believe me, when I say that everything is going to be alright.
I’m going to dance to some more Van Morrison now, then go for an almost Blue Moon walk with Mercy, my spaniel. I’ll dance for you and I’ll walk for you, and together, we will all do more than survive. We’ll thrive. As they’d say it in my Louisiana: “Ain’t no tick gone take my baby from me. Ain’t no tick gone win this bourre game.”
Laughing, skipping, and jumping for joy, but not for a minute forgetting,
I am your
Ya-Ya Girl Who Lived to Tell the Tale,
Author, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Little Altars Everywhere; Ya-Yas in Bloom; The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder.
P.S. I’m working on a new book…. will keep you posted!