dear arthur, HAWMC, health activist writer's month challenge, Laura

Day 6: Dear Arthur #HAWMC

[In case you’re not familiar with my blog, I’ve had a rare form of juvenile arthritis since age 5. Arthur has been my nickname for him ever since the diagnosis.]

Hey Arthur,

Last time I wrote to you, it was ‘celebrating’ your birthday. I was thankful to you for the people you allowed me to meet and befriend, and proud of myself for all I’ve accomplished in spite of you. A month later, you managed to murder, with the help of idiot doctors, one of the most beautiful, kindest women I have ever had the chance to know. You robbed her of her wedding day, the love of her life, and the friends and family who loved her so.

How dare you.

How dare you take her away from us. She provided support and understanding that no one else I know can. She loved unconditionally, cared even if someone’s pain may have been lesser than her own, and was always there for each person she knew. How dare you force Matt and his sweet family to handle her death when they should be picking out flowers and a venue for the wedding.

We were in the same place in life – sick, engaged, blogging, and pondering the children issue. She was the twin I never met, in every sense. Planning a wedding together was our goal. We were going to share ideas and help each other not freak out. When I bought my dress, a time when any girl would be emotional, I cried not because of the joy of finding the dress but the sadness that I could not share that moment with her. My instinct was to send her a picture right away, but I know I can’t and it just breaks my heart. I can’t even think of getting ready for my wedding without her to talk to.

It has been four months now since you took her from us. I find myself even more than before struggling with the idea of a life after death, not because I suddenly believe in a god but because I don’t want to believe that she’s not around anymore and I don’t want to believe that I would be permanently gone from my fiance either should something happen. I’ve always thought many religions were a way to explain what we don’t understand or don’t want to think is true, and it’s very hard for me to want to go against all my reason to believe Laura is still around somewhere waiting to welcome us to a land with no pain.

Arthur, you are so lucky you’re not a real person because the hurt I want to inflict on you is indescribable. I know so many little kids with this, and I can’t help but thinking how scared I am for them now having known someone so wonderful lost because of you and idiot doctors. There are a lot of idiot doctors, especially when it comes to you.

One of the things that Laura taught me was how to come to really understand my body and not push it further into a flare-up. She encouraged me to get in the pool with my PT ladies and take back my body. Because of her, I am able to run now – not even close to a mile a day, but it’s getting there. I run because it makes me happy, because it challenges you, because she would be proud of every step.

I thought I was determined back in November to beat you, but there is no way to put into words how much fight I have in me now. You will not win. You will not take me from my family and friends. You sure as hell aren’t going to make me take anything you dish out lying down anymore. I refuse.

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1 Comment

  1. Kirsten,

    Thank you for writing this. When I Tweeted you after you posted it, you replied, “I can’t even tell you how hard that was to write. I cried enough to bathe a herd of elephants I’m sure.” I already knew that must have been excruciating to write. What a moving post.

    I admire your strength. You struggle with your health every day. You lost an amazing friend to the same condition. But you are still blogging, sharing your experiences. You are still on Twitter every day, encouraging other people both with sympathy and humor.

    Thank you so much.


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