I want to talk about how the support group on Facebook is the best thing in the world for me. I also want to talk about promotion of each other’s small businesses. When I promote something someone is doing for MS, it’s because I believe in the concept. I don’t get paid for saying consider what someone else in the group is doing. If one of our members is selling something that could help us, more power to her or him. It’s better the money goes to someone who needs it, than to some unknown corporation. We have folks crocheting, knitting, selling supplements, signing folks up for a discount buying program online... you can see our small businesses on Making a Living for a Cure on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/293489914050488/ If you are coping with a chronic disease and you have a small business, feel free to tell us about it in this open group.
Our group on Facebook is private. You can’t find us if you Google whatever you know about us. The only way to gain entry is by invitation from someone already in the group. We have about 300 members, and I’d guess about a third of them are active, meaning they comment every day or two. We have folks with MS, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, lymphedema, depression, brain fog, autism, and more. We walk, use canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and are bedridden. We are married, divorced, still single, widowed, have children, and grandchildren, or have no kids. Some of us work full-time, some part-time, some at home, and some not at all. We are mostly American, but also Canadian, Turkish, English, Scottish, Irish, Indian, German, Brasilian, Cuban, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Mexican, Thai, ... We are mostly white but also black, Hispanic, Asian, native American.... We are Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, Fundamentalist, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, spiritual, atheist and agnostic, and ... although, we do not proselytize. We are Veterans and pacifists; we honor each other’s choices. We are Democrats and Republicans, although we don’t get into that often. In other words, we are from diverse backgrounds and we get along incredibly well. We are knit together by compassion. We offer each other support and encouragement. We help solve our problems, commiserate with our failures, and celebrate each other’s joy. We have come to love one another so quickly, as we see each other through the rocky shoals of illness to navigate through clear channels.
In our group, when I am low, so many step up to lift me above the muck. When others are low, I get to help them find their way above the chop of the salty waves.
To the wonderful women and men who live for a cure.
Sunshine beams down from bright blue skies,
a soft breeze lifts my shirt sleeve, warm kiss upon my brow,
fluffy white clouds drift aimlessly in the distance;
I stand, swaying gently, a sunflower following her liege,
his golden chariot draws him across the vault of heaven.
Until without a sign of change in the wind,
a tempest blows harsh gusts,
I fight to sit upright against the gale force,
dark gray clouds threaten to disgorge themselves;
before I can turn my wheelchair,
aim it up the ramp into the waiting doorway;
the wild gray yonder pelts me with an icy rain;
soaked before I can complete a breath,
I call out to my companions online,
“The rain is drenching me, and I am too cold.”
In a flash, my friends arrive,
erect a shelter over me with wise words,
affirmations aburst with love and compassion;
my heart grows abundant and full,
my soul overflows with hope;
storm beaten back once more,
I gaze out the window,
sunshine beams down from bright blue skies.