As I held the telephone’s receiver to my ear, I sat in total disbelief at the news I’d heard. Unsure of exactly what to say, the first few seconds passed with total silence. The discovery that one of my dearest friends had been diagnosed with systemic lupus was completely beyond belief. No one would have guessed that her previous symptoms and instances of illness were indicative of something so serious. As I drilled with one question after the other, I tried to pace myself in fear of making her feel as if she was being interrogated. Trying as best I could, I comforted her and reassured her that everything would somehow be alright. Hearing her express her worries and fears, I found it hard to be the rock that I thought I should. After crying together and talking about the little, yet disheartening information we knew of the condition, she asked me to call her later.
The very next day we spoke and declared that research was first on our agenda. We looked on several different websites and gathered all of the facts available. After reading the literature and speaking with doctors, my friend became depressed beyond belief. Fear of death and being treated like a social outcast were only a couple of her concerns. Mixed emotions about it all were overwhelming to her and well as to those who love her dearly. The first few years following her diagnosis were really complicated, but somehow she made it through. Several surgeries with varied complications are things that she’s battled, and reigned victorious. I asked her “Where do you get the strength? What keeps your spirits so high?” She simply replied, “Faith”.
I look at her life and feel compelled to admire her courage and determination. She definitely is a figure that enters my mind when I think of how brave I should be when dealing with daily troubles. When I think of the diversity of obstacles that some people face concerning health, finances, and personal wellness; It makes me feel foolish to sit back complaining about my issues. People like my dear friend are indeed angels with a message.