Monday, February 8, 2010

She Knew Me When...

It isn't often that I get to see someone from my "former" life, someone who knew me "when." Other than family, I can count on one hand the number of people I have seen in the last three years who knew me when I was healthier, who knew me when I could ice skate, swim, hike, and teach. Because I rarely see people from my former life, I rarely think about how things have changed. I often forget how much I used to be able to do.


Dorina is someone who knew me "when." She knew me when I could ice skate, hike, and cross country ski for hours. She knew me when I could stand and teach, play with children, sing and laugh without feeling like I might faint. She knew me when I was crazy enough to audition for The Sound of Music, and when I was crazy enough to take the part of Maria. She knew me when I could stay awake talking and drinking cranberry tea until 2am and still get up for class in the morning. She knew me when I could sit in an outdoor hot tub at 20 below and then go sit in the snow. She knew me when I could have snowball fights and run barefoot through the snow. She knew me when I could do a lot of things. And we did it all. Together. Dorina was a huge part of my former life.

I had a great time with Dorina when she was here in January. It was so very good to see her again and catch up in person. It was so fun, but it was sad in a way too. It was sad to not be able to be so active with her anymore. On some level it even felt strange because she is a friend from my "former life". She knew me "when." We're still great friends now; that hasn't changed at all. But how we have to spend our time together has changed. It was a good visit, but also a reminder of how life is so different for me now. It was a reminder of all that I had and all that I lost.

I am very tired now. I am weak now. I can't stand for very long, and on many days I can't even sit up for very long. My current life is very different from my former life, but the here and now isn't all there is. I have the hope of Heaven. I have the hope and promise of eternal life on the New Earth. Here and now is a brief time. Eternity is forever, and I will get to spend eternity in a resurrection body on the New Earth with my Lord and Savior and with all of those who have believed on Him.

When Dorina left I found myself longing for heaven, longing for a time when the two of us can both be active and energetic again. For now God has asked me to give that up, but someday in Heaven Dorina and I are going to have a crazy time together again! If your room will be next door to one of us in God's great big mansion, you better watch out! :) We will have some lost time to make up for.

22 comments:

Mariel Torres said...

One day we shall all be together in Heaven and enjoy of the wonderful things that He has waiting for us :)... that day shall come soon

Deb Carlson said...

very touching thoughts and comments, thanks for sharing. You have had to give up so much so early in life. I am glad you have a friend who knows the inner you, the one that still wants and remembers all those activities. Your heart and attitude and soul reach many. Hello to the family. I can also add that you have gained much in life as well...the gift of family in all ways. We remember you here in Cooper Landing. Miss you.Deb

Jesslikesstuff said...

Wow Rachel. What a powerful post. I can imagine the mixed feelings of seeing someone from your life before you got sick. To be honest, I didn't realize that your illness set in so recently and that you had had a career (other than the world's most challenging career of being a mom!!) before. It must have been incredibly difficult to have to stop doing the things you used to do. Thanks for sharing. I think that's the sign of a true friend -- one who will come visit even if you won't be able to go out on the town :).

Rachel said...

Hi Jess,

My illness actually started when I was a kid, and I did struggle with it as a teenager and while in college. There were some really rough times in highschool, but they didn't last too long. I definitely did struggle with my health in college too, but unless someone knew me well they would have had no idea that it was hard for me to go to school, hike, teach, etc.

Life was hard, but I kept doing as much as I could. I didn't become completely disabled (unable to work even part time) until 2005.

Yep, Dorina is definitely a true friend. It's so nice to have a friend who knew me back then, knows me as I am now, and still spends time with me.

Rachel

Shannieee said...

hi there, i too live with dysautonomia and found your blog while doing a search! i just wanted you to know you are not alone! and thanks for writing your blog :)

-Shannon

Emily said...

This is such a powerful, touching post, Rachel. Really, beautiful.

Queenie Jeannie said...

You have such a great attitude and strong spirit!!! I know you must be an inspiration to so many!!

Lil Ms Snarky said...

sending you big hugs and prayers.

Thankfully Thrifty said...

Sounds really difficult. I'm so sorry. But Amen to our future hope in heaven!

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

Very powerful and touching. Best wishes to you. And Happy SITS day!
Susan

Heidi said...

I knew you when, too, and loved who you were then - energetic, enthusiastic and adventurous. I am so proud of who you have become - still positive, still persevering and, of course, still enthusiastic :)I love that you have not allowed your condition to abate your sense of adventure (crafting instead of rappeling is probably safer with two little ones!), humor or compassion and appreciate the effort you put into sharing your heart with others through your blog. Hugs,
Heidi

gina said...

what honest thoughts and emotions- thank you for sharing!

Linda said...

There is something special about people who knew us when. Beautifully said.

Sharon said...

what a special time you must have had together. And AMEN - the hope and promise of heaven is a beautiful, incomprehensible gift. I look forward to ice skating with you there!

Jessica Jones said...

so inspiring!

stoppng by from SITS and am now a folower

Cheryl said...

Rachel,
Your story really gave me something to think about. Funny what we find to complain about or be in a bad mood about. When everything changes, our point of view changes with it. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy every day that we're given.

Jo said...

What a beautiful outlook. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Hannah said...

Thanks for your post. I enjoyed reading it. I too have a disability and your post brought back memories of raising my own two children while dealing with my limitations.

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Scrapity Anne said...

Very humble and yet inspiring all at the same time. I admire your perseverance and joy in the face of difficulties many would find soul-withering. Thank you.

VaNeSsA said...

A friend who is closer than a brother...

Lindsey V said...

Your blog. Your words. Your heart.

So encouraging.

I have felt that sadness of thinking that "I am so different now" and how disappointed others must feel and then realized it is my own disappointment that I am dealing with. For myself, I don't know if the changes are permanent, but they have been ongoing for several years now, so I am just learning to "walk in the NOW".

But thank you for sharing this post, even though it was from long ago.

I really can't explain how it encourages me.

Rachel Lundy said...

Lindsey, I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and I am praying for you.

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