I’m mad and I’m angry. I want to rage at the world. My friend is in pain and I can’t do anything about it. If I could take it away and endure the torture she is going through I would.
In a second.
Here’s the thing though; she would take it away from me too. She’s just that kind of person.
Let me go back to the beginning.
A friend came over one day and asked if I wanted to go out. I said no, so he took me anyway. We went to his friend’s house, whom I’d never met before and there she was. There were sparkles in the air and we stayed at the breakfast bar talking all night about anything and everything all over again. We put the world well and truly to rights……
Her name was Ruby (well not really, but it’s such a cool name) and she had just moved to my town from a bigger town. Ruby looked funny, held her neck and her body in a strange way. After quizzing the friend of a friend I discovered Ruby had arthritis in all her joints and her neck bones had been fused. Ruby and I had a brief conversation about this and I never noticed it again.
Over a few years we saw more of each other and did silly things and fulfilled on crazy ideas.
Then the miraculous, Ruby became pregnant and nine months later after struggling through the most horrific sickness possible, the most gorgeous and delightful Lily was born.
We slowly become better friends, and formed a deep connection that now stretched over time and space. I went overseas for six months soon after and Ruby developed postnatal depression, followed by her father passing away after a devastating battle with cancer.
When she is having a bad day I will feel it. I pick up on her emotion. When her father passed away, I cried all day BEFORE I knew what had happened. I had no idea why I was so upset, but sobbing seemed to be the order of the day and so sobbing it was.
So we have arthritis in Every. Single. Joint.
Passing away of her father.
This is not shaping up to be a nice list.
One day not long after coming home Ruby called me and asked me to take her to the doctor as she had started experiencing numbness in her left foot and hands and it was spreading. Tests followed tests and Ruby was diagnosed with MS. Lets add that to the list.
Now, it would be fair to say that Ruby has every right to say poor me, or its all to hard im going to bed, but she doesn’t. This woman is the best mother I have ever seen. She is incredible. Which is a blessing for the little girl as 4 months after her MS diagnoses Ruby was in hospital being treated for an infection that had got out of hand when she was informed that her beautiful, bright, happy little girl was found having seizures that morning, and things were touch and go. Viral encephalitis is a dangerous and deadly thing, but Lily pulled through with flying colours and thanks to all the hard work of her mother and family is excelling at everything with joy and enthusiasm. She truly is a miracle child.
So lets add ‘Diagnosed with MS’ to our list, along with nearly losing her child and now having a child who has a unique set of learning and care needs.
Getting overwhelmed yet?
Well, I’ll skip forward. We can also had Addison’s disease, several hospital visits and admittances, along with the need for two shoulder replacements and two ankle replacements. Most of the time Ruby walks around with at least a broken bone or two in her foot, and her shoulders are rubbing bone on bone.
Yet when I visit she smiles, we plan, we laugh and we play.
Through everything that Ruby has dealt with over the last four years (yup, just four) she has always found time to listen to my troubles, is interested in my plans, what I’m creating and what I’m dealing with. If anyone is entitled to say “suck it up princess” its her, yet she never does (unless it’s truly deserved of course).
Ruby has an enormous capacity for love, and kindness, and empathy, and humour; oh boy, her humour. It leaves me breathless and wetting myself helpless on the floor. ‘No Mercy’ is her motto.
Our connection has grown now to the point where I will feel her pain as a ghost or shadow pain, in my own body. Sharing is caring, but that’s just ridiculous.
That’s not why I want to rage at the world.
I want to rage because she is enduring the latest in a line of medical issues that need to be sorted out, or the first in a line to come in the future depending where you enter this story. A surgery to remove some toe joints and insert metal rods to essentially reshape the whole skeletal structure of her foot. And it was done whilst she was awake and under local anaesthetic injected directly into the nerves.
Ruby has dealt with more in the last four years than most people can cope with in an entire lifetime. She deserves joy, and happiness, and laughter, and fun, and to have the opportunity to play at life. Instead she gets pain, and pain, and pain, and then more pain. The world is cruel, unfair, painful and torturous for my friend, right now, at this moment, and there is nothing I can do to help her.
I want to rage at the world.
Here supposedly endeth the blog post. But see, the thing is, if I did that than it would sound as though all Ruby’s life exists of is a series of incidents and events none of which are happy. Or that she is a medical case history. She is neither of these things.
Ruby is the most incredible woman I have ever met. Her life is not about the bad things that happen or the medical maladies that plague her. Yes, they have to be handled, but her life is about so much more. She is dedicated to providing her daughter with the best possible childhood imaginable, playing games, cooking, creating, singing, dancing and interacting in a way that leaves me stunned.
She is committed to making a difference to people, and having young children experience learning and playing and feeling free to make mistakes. Her commitment extends beyond her own delightful Lily, and to all children she interacts with.
Ruby is a loyal and compassionate friend, who cares deeply that MY life works and that I am happy. Whenever I have needed a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on or some who truly gets me in all my gifted glory to celebrate with, Ruby is available. No questions asked.
Ruby loves life and lives with a passion and a vitality that puts others to shame, and to those who have the profound honour and privilege of being blessed with being able to call her friend, she is a beacon of light towards which we strive; an inspiring and courageous example of the incredible strength of the human spirit. She is the embodiment of the very very best of humanity.
She’s my friend.