My best friend, Jenn, has Ehlers-Danlos syndrom (EDS) which is a degenerative decease that- put in simplest terms- the organic glue of her body that holds muscles, sinews and bones together doesn't work like it should. She can be happily talking when her jaw will begin to dislocate or carefully picking up a shirt only to straighten with a grunt, "Oh shoot. Two ribs just popped out." Some days she is in so much pain she doesn't get out of bed. Other days she feels well enough to go out to run an errand or grab a sandwich for lunch.
She is the most amazing and beautiful woman I have ever met. She is strong and courageous despite the pain she constantly lives. She teaches me faith and hope. She also teaches me to stitch, make heart garlands, crack jokes and how to sprinkle chocolate chips on toast spread with peanut butter. Sometimes I climb into bed with Jenn when she doing poorly and we will talk until we fall asleep. There are the times when I have a bad day (or week) and Jenn holds me while I cry, then takes me outside to the front porch where we blow homemade bubbles with pipe cleaner wands until our fingers go numb from the cold.
We swap genealogy stories and confess embarrassing moments. We "oooooh" and "aaaahhhh" over Anthropologie catalogs only to cut them up a short time later for a project. We giggle over dreams and nightmares and 90's movies we loved.
We are two girls paddling up stream with illnesses that world cannot see.
Despite our differences, we get each other. We know the feeling of not having the motivation to get up in the morning. We hate the days when people ask us how we are doing and with fake smiles we say, "Oh just lovely," when in truth we want to scream. We relish the days when we can drive slowly down to the lake to enjoy the fresh air and talk freely about anything and everything. We marvel at the Lord's tender mercies and give thanks for our friendship.
I am so blessed to have a friend in Jenn. It took us some time to find each other, but the wait was worth it.