As I dusted off my ninja reflexes and enjoyed a little apple juice, Dr. Joe came in to check on me. He showed me some images of my small intestines (oh joy..) and said that while consistent with celiac, we needed to wait for the biopsy results for the final diagnosis. More waiting. He advised me to continue with a regular diet until we got the pathology report which would come in a few days.
While I didn’t skip on out of that appointment, I didn’t exactly lollygag either. It was 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon and I hadn’t eaten in over 18 hours. My brother drove me home and we enjoyed two of the biggest sandwiches I could find at my local deli/coffee shop. I devoured that sandwich not only because I was ravenous and it was delicious, but because I knew in my heart it would be one of the last times I would eat your everyday deli sandwich like a normal person.
Alas, it was only a matter of days until the confirmation came. Celiac disease. Based on all the collective evidence, it came as no surprise.
I was packing up for a long weekend away for my daughter’s graduation from college. A weekend of celebrations and parties and restaurants. And cupcakes. So many cupcakes…
On the drive over, I had four hours to myself to think and wrap my head around this diagnosis…four hours to be still. And as Lao Tzu always taught me: To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
As I gave myself permission to enjoy the weekend, and the cupcakes in particular, I couldn’t help but think of the symbolism of it all. In some ways, my daughter and I grew up together. Her milestones were often my milestones too in terms of strength and perseverance that I never knew I had. That weekend was not just her commencement into the big world, but a commencement of a new way of life for me. Come Monday morning, after all of the festivities, we would both be embarking into a whole new chapter of our lives.