As I walk through the terminal heading for my flight home, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” runs through my head and I realize that I’m smiling. It seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote about the mound of clothes piled on my bed waiting to make it into my suitcase. Time goes so fast. Another year, another Arthritis Introspective Gathering has come and gone and I am still flying high; having gotten my arthritis family fix for another 12 months. Some people get a monthly biologic infusion to manage their disease. I rely on an annual infusion of laughter, hugs (I got my seven touches and then some) and sharing…and that will sustain me through the next year; through countless hours of battling with insurance agencies, through pain-filled sleepless nights and frustratingly stiff days, through the times that the curious stares are a little too much to bear and the times when the reflection in the mirror is more critical than the curious stares. It will sustain because I can look back and smile, smile, so unconsciously that I don’t realize other people stop to look and wonder why.
I will eventually write more, but for now...my gratitude is all I can bring myself to share.