I was going to read, but first I wanted to walk to the water. After all, when would I be this close again?
Using my cane and AFOs for stability, I slowly made my way to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. I carefully watched where my feet went, but the sand was surprisingly firm and, once I made it to the water, flat. Other beach walkers passed me in either direction, nodding or smiling in my as they caught my eye.
Not wanting to trip, I would quickly go back to watching my feet. Once in a while I saw a bright orange or white object in the sand. These were sea shells, bright and shiny in the morning sun, freshly washed clean by the waves. I picked one up, thinking, "What a great souvenir." Then I saw the it was broken, and dropped it. A few steps later, there was another glistening shell fragment in the sand. What made it so colorful against the dull sand was the shiny, orange interior, exposed by the broken shell.
Like that shell, I had been broken open, exposing a bright and beautiful interior that I never guess was there. God has taken my illness and shown me his glory and power, lifting me up and blessing me.
This time I picked it up, determined to keep it as my souvenir.
In the afternoon, my mother-in-law introduced me to a friend of hers who is recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, the acute version of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. GBS strikes quickly; he was in the hospital hours after the initial onset of symptoms, completely paralyzed soon after and eventually in a coma. We spent a couple of hours talking about our symptoms, our recovery, and many other things.