Friday, January 21, 2011

Tuesday's Child

As a society, we tend to value dates. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Commemorations. But do we always remember the day of the week? Unlike dates, the days are recycled, like how many Mondays have we been alive for? My answer: over 1,000.

Outside the nuclear medicine department at the children’s hospital, they have collected the days of the week poem in paintings. A few weeks before my diagnosis, I moved through those halls with my Mom and stopped to look at the paintings, wondering what day I was born on. When we went home, we figured out that it was on a Tuesday. This was especially fitting since the ‘Tuesday’s child is full of grace’ painting was of a ballerina, something I loved to do. We contacted the painter and got a print of it, which still hangs above my bed at home.

Most eventful things in my life have happened on a Tuesday. I was born on a Tuesday. I had eye surgery on a Tuesday. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s on a Tuesday. I had my ileostomy surgery on a Tuesday. I am Tuesday’s child.

Sometimes I wonder where or who or what I would be if it weren’t for all the Tuesdays in my life, if I hadn’t had to deal with all of my ‘Tuesday’ issues. I wouldn’t have an ostomy, I wouldn’t be educated about IBD, and I wouldn’t be writing this. I am hesitant to jump on the ‘everything happens for a reason’ bandwagon, because I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that anyone should be in pain, that should never be the gateway to something better. Instead, I believe that we as human beings are inclined to find meaning in what we experience. For me, having IBD was an opportunity to get involved and make a change, I have found meaning in IBD, but I don’t think a disease or an event comes with a prescribed meaning like a fortune cookie. That’s what we have to figure out for ourselves.

Every day, there are a million things that happen to us that in some way, conscious or otherwise, influence our lives. We have the power to choose the meaning for ourselves, whether or not we want to make something paramount or make it unimportant.

We have the power to write our own stories with the words we’ve been given by the world. What story are you going to tell?


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