Carrying one another’s burdens? Lifting each other up when we are down? Laying one’s life down for his or her friend? I knew what that meant, figuratively, metaphorically? But I’d never experienced it like I did today.
When we got to Chicago, I had some energy (what I like to call my “morning high” by this time also mixed with some coffee- smiley face); it wasn’t HOT outside, and was still a little on the “cool side,” that being in the 80s, I guess. But I had gotten kind of worn out a little over this last week, and my body doesn’t always recover as fast as I want it to. So my walking was slower than everyone else’s. I guess it would have been, either way, but it was slowing everyone down, having to make sure they didn’t leave me Ashley, and Jill, who were walking with me, behind. AND THEN (said with intenseness) Ashley hosted me up on her back and gave me a piggy-back. The beast, she was JOGGING with me on her back! I was passed to Caitlin, but then given back to Ashley. All the way until we finally found a Panera, I was carried. So Ashey, Jill, and Bryan hung out with me at Panera for a few hours. We mostly played cards—Rummy 500, more specifically. I creamed Bryan for beating me a few days earlier. And when we dealt in Jill and Ashley, I was in the lead on the score-keeping paper (despite what Bryan said how I would not have been in the lead if such-and-such were or weren’t counted) when we left. Destination: Chicago-style pizza, where the rest of the group was. All three of them took turns carrying me via piggy-back or failed two-person carries or whatever. I am so blessed! They stayed back with me instead of walking to the park with h rest of the group, and they CARRIED ME, literally! At the restaurant, it was quicker to divide into groups and get smaller tables than wait for a big one that would seat all 17 of us. So, because the four of us got there at the same time, we ended up sitting at a table together
After dinner, we discussed and divided into groups based on when we wanted to head back. I was going back with the earliest group, but Bryan, Ashley, and Zack walked us to the train station. Zack took a turn at carrying me a distance before Ashley took me on her back. God gave her energy boost, ‘cuz even after having carried me for even having carried me for so long throughout the day, she was walking pretty quickly.
I am so blessed, to have such willing friends who carried me when I was struggling to walk. I guess they sort of carried this MS burden I’ve struggled with for so long. They had my back—Ashley always making sure she hoisted up my left leg when I got on someone else’s back or hoisting me up when I was falling down (yes, even on someone else’s back). Humor was present throughout the day, and I love my friends for the way they loved on me today—it was AWESOME! Praise be to the Lord who blessed me with these friends so dear!