I just finished reading a great book - Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. The book tells the story of two couples, the Langs and the Morgans, who develop a lasting friendship that endures through what tend to be considered the major events of one's life: job hiring and firing, childbirth, sickness, and even death. It's a wonderful story with rich, complex characters, and I highly recommend it.
In fact, there was a quote from the book that stuck with me to the end, and I thought it was particularly appropriate to feature here on Despite Lupus. The narrator, Larry, one of the 2 husbands in the story, candidly describes what it was like when Sally, his wife, suddenly becomes ill. It is discovered within a few pages that she has contracted polio, was confined to an iron lung for a period of time, and is eventually left severely handicapped and must use the help of braces in order to walk. Here are his words describing what it was like moments before she was diagnosed:
"Order is indeed the dream of man, but chaos, which is only another word for dumb, blind witless chance, is still the law of nature.
You can plan all you want to. You can lie in your morning bed and fill whole notebooks with schemes and intentions. But within a single afternoon, within hours or minutes, everything you plan and everything you have fought to make yourself can be undone as a slug is undone when salt is poured on him. And right up until the moment when you find yourself dissolving into foam you can still believe you are doing fine."
Fitting for folks with a chronic illness, don't you think? You can plan all you want, but no matter how well-thought out life's agenda may be...there's always the chance that your plans could suddenly be revised. Without warning, without cause, and without your consent. When that happens, how will you react? What will you do when life throws you your own personal curve ball, perhaps in the form of lupus or another chronic illness? Will you try to dodge it, run away from it, or will you live well, despite it?