What a day. I’m a couple states away now for my best friend Bethany’s wedding. We’ve been counting down the days to this moment for over a year now, and it’s almost here!! (The ceremony is tomorrow.)

The trouble with being chronically ill is that illness always haunts you… even when it’s not welcome or convenient or even allowed. And it’s hit us all big time.

I texted bridesmaid #2 that I was in the car with Bethany feeling extremely nauseous; wasn’t this day going to be fun? Bridesmaid #2 replies, Uh, sure. I’m headed back to the hospital, again. Her illness has decided that she won’t be in the wedding. Of course, we have to tell Bethany that one of her four bridesmaids isn’t going to be available to even attend.😦 We’ll work out the logistics, of course. But what we don’t tell her is the following:
– bridesmaid #1 has a killer migraine and is barely holding it together
– bridesmaid #3 (that’s me) is feeling incredibly nauseous and exhausted and feeling miserable around a bunch of people is making feel depressed and kicking in that feeling that I need to retreat into my shell
– mom of the bride has been in and out of doctor’s offices all week & got out of bed this morning because it’s the day before her daughter’s wedding even though her chronic condition should have been keeping her in bed.
That’s just us girls.

It’s a good thing bridesmaid #4 is spunky and bossy and extremely good at multitasking. I have a feeling that she could singlehandedly serve as wedding coordinator and bridesmaids and chauffeur and a couple of other things all at the same time. And other friends and relatives are available to help.

Everything will fall into place. And, of course, there will be things that will slip through the cracks, but at the end of the day, Bethany will be married to the love of her life, right? And that’s all that matters.

Taking a gigantic step back, I realize how much chronic illness could be robbing us of the experience & of celebrating with someone we love so much. Yet, we’re all choosing to work around the limitations and allow the joy of the moment still permeate the air.

Someone mentioned to me a few weeks ago that this was why someone should not have chronically ill friends — they fall through at the last minute. I think he missed the point altogether. Here you have the beauty of true friendship. We’re all here for each other, through thick and thin. We rejoice together, we cry together, we care for each other as each person is. Yes, it would be nice if we had a beautiful hair dresser as bridesmaid #5; it would certainly make hair & makeup a whole different experience. But there’s no reason any one of us needs to pretend to be such. Best friends are best friends because we made a friendship by weaving together two personalities. And so, the take home message is that I’m really happy. Even though I feel miserable physically and there’s a mountain of homework piling up, I’m happy to be next to my best friend as she marries an amazing man. Right now, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Cheers,
Abigail

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