A call went out for blog posts about what Myalgic Encephalomyelitis means to us in honor of May 12th Awareness Day. It has been a particularly rough year and the prompt catches me feeling raw, dramatic and afraid, in a state of hoping to hope.
This place is beautiful and breathtaking and for much of my life it was my heart. When I got sick, the grandparents who had always been my rock did not believe me. They nagged incessantly about why I wasn't doing normal things. They scolded me for being irresponsible, lazy and "making my parents old." My grandmother and I shared a doctor; she told the doctor that I was malingering. The doctor believed her. And I became unable to leave my parents' house.
I haven't been back to the lake in nearly a decade. The grandparents are feeble now and, like me, the place has fallen into chaos and disrepair. This is what I am told, anyway. We will lose it soon. As Silicon Valley barons came looking for mountain hideaways, the land became too valuable and property taxes unaffordable. Part of me thinks that even if I could return I should leave my happy memories untainted. And part of me can't imagine the idea that I would never visit this place again.
Sometimes I picture myself as an old woman wheeled out by a younger generation to see the lake one last time; they've begged the new owners to do me a favor. Then I realize that there will be no younger generation. Aside from having no children, I have been too ill to bond with anyone else's. I am "Mom's weird sick friend," of whom they are slightly afraid. And I see my future stretching out before me... a chain of square, white bedrooms, uninterrupted by the comfort of a wild and free outdoors.
But I can still smell the earthy air on a summer evening: aspen, alder and thimbleberry... and the scent of wet rocks as the river's water rushes over them.
This post was written for the May 12th Blog Bomb, an effort to get as many peoples' stories out as possible on M.E. Awareness Day.
Use #May12BlogBomb on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. to find participating blogs or visit this list of participating blogs.
Thanks to Sally Burch at http://sallyjustme.blogspot.co.uk/ for organizing it!