Diseases Offer A Spec-Tacular View
Written by
Carol Gray
January 2012
Written by
Carol Gray
January 2012

This blog is dedicated to my Father who passed away just five short months ago of cancer.  I love and miss you Daddy!

My Father, a former military man, had a wife and two daughters. He did not want any of his girls to be sick, hurt or in pain-EVER!  Scrapped knees, infections and menstrual maladies all had to be suffered in silence in our household.  He felt that announcing illnesses was a sign of weakness.

In my late thirties, when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease, my Father would scoff at me for complaining about things like, fatigue or joint pain.  This was after he would call me to ask, “Hey baby girl, how are you doing?”…..“You feel GREAT, stop saying you are tired.” 

It wasn’t like I was a complainer, he just NEVER wanted to hear me say I was anything other than fantastic.

Last year, when my Dad was sickened with cancer, it was around Christmas time and he said to me, “I realize now what it means to have a chronic illness, baby girl and I apologize for ever down-playing what you have been going through over the past few years.”

This meant the world to me because it was never attention I was seeking, it was understanding.

He went onto say, “But you know we are blessed to have the opportunity to view the world with a different “set of glasses” than the pair we had on before.” 

Some would say, “blessed” doesn’t seem like the word most fitting, but oh… I knew exactly what he meant.

The best way I can describe it…it is like being fitted with a special pair of glasses, not 3-D where everything is distorted, not bifocals where everything is bigger, not UV where things are blocked out and definitely not rose-colored.  They are just real, authentic glasses, which help you see what is important.

Wearing these suckers mean we identify with what Don’t Sweat the Small stuff truly means-it’s not just a catchy book title to us.  We feel this mantra deeply within our soul, because, truth be told, we can’t sweat.  We don’t have the strength, the energy, the disposition and heck, on occasion the memory – (What were we fighting about again?)

This truly is a blessing!

My dad’s new pair of glasses meant he could accept my chronic disease and his because it was reality good, bad or ugly.... It is life. Accepting, understanding, loving what life has to offer is so much easier than distorting, blocking and making things bigger than what they are.

Battling an illness is not easy, however  experiencing life with real glasses is…  Glasses that help us see what’s most important, during this holiday season and throughout the year and that is-Faith, Friends and Family…the rest…well, small stuff.

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