Easter has always been a special holiday for me, ever since making the decision to get baptized on Easter Sunday two years ago. It reminds me how thankful I am for the new beginnings God has brought into my life, and all that my faith has helped carry me through- especially now.
As unfortunate as my situation has been, I can’t deny the good that it’s brought me. It’s strengthened my relationships with those around me, I’ve grown closer to people I’ve lost touch with over the years, and I’ve seen the lengths those who love you will go to just to ensure your comfort- even if it’s just temporary. For that I’m forever grateful.
I’ve had a lot of time on my hands lately, as I’m unable to do basically anything I want to do. However I got the idea from my roommate (whose kind soul writes thank-you cards to just about everyone for anything) to start to write my own, and it’s been one of the most therapeutic and relaxing things to take up my time. As I’ve gone through boxes and boxes of thank-you cards, I realized that I have way too many thank-you’s to write, so hopefully a blog post will suffice for now. It may be a long read, but if you’re reading this you’re probably in here somewhere, and you deserve it.
It’s probably most appropriate to begin with my parents, who are there day in and day out for me. I think a lot of people feel like they just happened to be blessed with the best parents in the entire world, but I have undoubtable proof.
To my mom, thank you for all of your positivity, as annoying as it may get sometimes. Thank you for all of your homeopathic oils, pillows, baths, and jewelry that may or may not be working its magic. Thank you for always advocating for me. Thank you for doing everything in your power to try to cheer me up on some days. Thank you for just taking it when I lose my temper. Thank you for sitting in Baltimore traffic for me to get me to Hopkins even though driving in cities makes you anxious. Thank you for your creativity. Thank you for taking off of work to help me do things I can’t do by myself anymore. Thank you for respecting my privacy when it comes to my situation. Thank you for doing anything and anything to brighten my day. Thank you for pulling the strings you did to give me the opportunity to see the best doctors there are. Thank you for all of your hugs. Thank you for sleeping in bed with me at night because I was too scared to fall asleep by myself. Thank you for holding my hand through all of the needles. Thank you for listening to me cry and ramble. Thank you for always reminding me that things will get better.
To my dad, thank you for your realism. Thank you for dropping anything and everything if I needed you. Thank you for shutting down my irrational thoughts. Thank you for stopping whatever you’re doing for me. Thank you for forcing me to eat or drink something from my hospital bed when I couldn’t even open my eyes. Thank you for always checking on me. Thank you for still putting me first even though you have more responsibilities than anyone I’ve ever met. Thank you for talking me through things. Thank you for always picking up the phone. Thank you for the constant encouragement. Thank you for losing sleep over me. Thank you for supporting just about any decision that would lead me to feeling better. Thank you for knowing how to keep me calm in any and all situations. Thank you for the immense comfort that you bring me. Thank you for the empathy- I know that’s not something you give often. Thank you for always making me feel safe.
To the both of you, thank you for everything. You’re always there, as any parent would be. However, you go above and beyond in ways I can’t put into words to thank you for. Thank you for supporting me financially because i’m unable to work. Thank you for supporting me emotionally when I have those nights where I’ve lost it. Thank you for checking on me as if I were a newborn again.
I wish it wasn’t until I began to go through what I have, that I realized how incredibly lucky I am to have the parents that I do.. although I’ve always been grateful. It just seems that the more I go through, the more I realize how God personalized you guys just for me- strengths & weaknesses. Mom, God led you to be a nurse to have the insight to take care of us. Dad, God led you to be a police officer to give you the skills to always make us feel safe. You both are such different people with different approaches to the way you support me- both with your skills and personalities- but it always ends up being exactly what I need at that time in one way or another. The word thank you doesn’t even begin to express the gratitude I feel for you.
To my sisters, thank you for letting mom and dad focus on me for a while. Thank you for offering me your support regardless of me being unable to fully open up to you. Thank you for always reminding me you’re there. Thank you for picking up the slack that I’m unable to carry in our family. Thank you for dealing with my rollercoaster of emotions, some of which I’ve taken out on you. Thank you for reminding me that at the end of the day, your sisters will never leave you, despite the circumstance.
To the rest of my family, thank you for showing me how truly important family is.
To my aunt denta, thank you for being one of my best friends, always letting me rant to you, offering me a place to stay, and encouraging mental health days with you- you get me more than a lot of people.
To my grandma, thank you for always showering me with love and prayers- I wish everyday I could come and spend time with you on your farm and get away from all of this.
To my cousin amber, thank you for setting aside our differences to make sure I know you’re there for me like you always have been, just like a third sister. I know you’ll always get me.
To my grammy and grampy, thank you for always reminding me the importance of staying strong, for sending me care packages of hats for my bald head, for going out of your way to do anything for me to make me feel better, and for listening to me rant and ramble and show up at your house unannounced anytime to cheer myself up.
To my aunt robin, thank you for all the little pick me ups, and for always making me feel like you’re right there rooting for me- you truly were like a little angel that God dropped down to uplift out entire family.
To my aunt sandy, thank you for sending me homeopathic remedies and books to help heal me, and for offering me a place to escape to if I ever need it- you’re one of a kind.
To my cousin brandon, thank you for always checking on me and making me laugh whether it be about my bald head or my paranoia of pharmaceuticals- you’re a kick-ass pharmacist.
To my dog Jay (that may sound silly), thank you for sleeping with me every night and calming me down from my panic attacks. Thank you for following me around incase I fall or have another seizure. Thank you for watching after me.
And to everyone else, from my uncles and cousins and relatives from all over- just know how much I appreciate you and the parts you’ve played in my life during this time, even if it was just to check up on me. While some of you are closer than others, there’s not a single person in my family that I don’t feel I could turn to for anything.
To my doctors, thank you for always listening. Thank you for running every test imaginable for me. Thank you for squeezing me into your schedules last minute and making me a priority. Thank you for taking the time to go over every inch of my medical records until a new thought popped into your brain. Thank you for staying after hours and picking each other’s brains to solve my medical mysteries. Thank you for the tips and tricks to help me feel not-so-miserable some days. Thank you for doing all that you can everyday to try to control something that’s just not in your control. Thank you for seeing me as a person, not a patient.
To all of my closest friends, thank you for being you. Thank you for the random messages and gifts. Thank you for understanding when I can’t make it to some of the most important celebrations. Thank you for all of the hugs and cuddles. Thank you for literally running across town to hop into the ambulance with me before they took me away just so I wasn’t alone, and sitting in the waiting room for hours before you were allowed to see me rather than leaving. Thank you for always including me no matter where I am, even if that means via FaceTime. Thank you for sitting beside me in the hospital time after time, even when I was too sick to open my eyes. Thank you for the endless laughs. Thank you for the random snacks and favors. Thank you for staying in with me rather than going out just because I can’t. Thank you for the endless love, encouragement, and empathy. Thank you for never treating me any differently- in sickness or in health-, God really blessed me with all of you.
To my long distance best friends, thank you for loving me and supporting me from Alabama, Rhode Island and everywhere in between. Thank you for continuing to put effort into a friendship that may only see each other a few times a year. Thank you for coming all the way to be with me the night I shaved all my hair. Thank you for the random texts and calls. Thank you for planning trips to come see me because I can’t come to you. Thank you for always picking up the phone. Thank you for the encouragement and constant faith in me. Thank you for understanding when I’m hard to reach. Thank you for face timing me when I’m ugly and crying. Thank you for always finding a way to squeeze me into your schedule. Thank you for showing me that distance doesn’t equal boundaries, if anything it’s brought us closer.
And to everyone in between..
To my teachers and advisors, thank you for going out of your way to still make my academic dreams possible amidst my illness. To my nurses, thank you for being an example of what I hope to be in the future. To my church, thank you for continuously praying for me every Sunday even though I haven’t been healthy enough to come in way longer than I’d like to admit. To my moms coworkers, thank you for always managing to make me smile at every doctors visit. To my ex boyfriends mom, than you for checking up on me almost everyday as if you were family. To old friends from high school- even middle school that I never would’ve thought even remembered me, thank you for reaching out to me just to let me know you’re thinking of me. To all of the strangers for the random “I know that I don’t know you but..” messages, thank you.. you’ll never know that in those random moments I really did need that pick me up.
There are so many other people that I owe a thank you to, but we’d simply be here all day.
And although I owe them nothing, thank you to the very few people who I always had expected to be there, but let me down. You showed me the selflessness, compassion, and understanding that everyone around me is so full of, but you unfortunately lack. As crappy of a chapter in my life this is, you proved that you weren’t worthy of being a part of it. For that, thank you.
I’ve experienced more periods of doubt within the past 6 months than I ever have in my life, but one thing that I’ve never doubted is that I’m one unbelievably lucky girl for all of you people. It makes every good day even better and every bad day a little more bearable. Love you guys.