Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Magnitude of Time

My window is open and I can hear the birds singing as a warm breeze brushes against my face. I watch a squirrel sprint up a freshly budded mesquite tree in search of nourishment. My amaryllis plant, sitting by my window, has burst into a bold and colorful blossom with soft swirls of white and pink, as though in some sort of unspoken celebration. Spring has arrived once more.

It's been 10 years now (14 years ill) that I have watched the seasons come and go beyond my bedroom window. Ten springs have turned into summer, and 10 autumns have slowly given way to winter. Ten years of passing seasons that could have been filled with work, children, travel and adventure have slipped away from me, never to be retrieved. Ten birthdays of each and every one of my friends and family members have passed by without my presence. There have been many hundreds of unexplored weekends, thousands of missed opportunities and adventures, and millions of small everyday moments, never experienced, forever lost.

As I watch the various budding leaves and cactus flowers bloom into another season, I wonder how to measure so much loss of time. A full decade has gone by as I lay on the sidelines -- forced to spend each day in this tired and lonely bed, quiet and immobile. While time escapes me, the magnitude of that time does not.

What would my life had been had I not gotten sick? What would the lives of 17 million others afflicted with this disease have been?

Today is International ME/CFS Awareness Day. For the millions who are sick, for the millions who have lost years of their lives, and for the millions more who will later become afflicted, please take a moment from your day to reflect and remember. If you know someone with ME/CFS, take the time to write them a quick note and let them know you care, and you have not forgotten them. Take time to learn more about this devastating disease and help spread the word to increase awareness. Take the precious time and the blessing of good health that so many ME/CFS patients have lost, and savor it. Savor it not just for yourself, but for them. For all of those who have lost so much, and who so desperately want their lives back.

This post was written in advance and pre-scheduled to post on this day. I continue to be offline more than usual as I recover from recent activity and subsequent setbacks. However, I welcome comments as I always love to hear from you! It just may take awhile before they are posted. :)


  1. You're always in my thoughts, Laurel! *hugs*

  2. Lovely,
    well written. I couldn't agree more.

  3. From our beds to God's ear!

  4. It's amazing how fast the sick years mount up. Reading this, I really felt the length of those ten years. It's not like ten years in a normal life.

    Thanks for posting all the right words today.

  5. Really Lovely written

  6. my dearest laurel, nothing but tears for this.

    sending all my love xx

  7. Thank you for posting these words, you have conveyed what I have been to scared to admit. ... I really needed someone else to say it. xoxo

  8. Laurel this was an emotive and brave post. I so relate. I feel like I am still whilst life is slipping away and around me. (8 years now housebound/bedbound, 15 yrs ill)

    I know how much effort it must have taken to write, and I just wanted to say thank you to you for spending that energy and taking that time.


  9. Hi Laurel, Glad your post is back up! I did my post with a link here and included one of your paragraphs. Your post is so touching.
    Fondly, Lori

  10. Dearest Laurel, A beautiful post. Yes, those years - and moments - lost are hard to measure. I am happy you have those white and pink swirls of softness in your window. This is indeed a small 'celebration' of the way you deal with severe ME with such dignity. Wishing you better days. NASIM

  11. Once again, a beautiful and thoughtful post. Sending hugs and prayers your way.

  12. I only discovered your blog a short while ago - this post made me tear up... I'm not totally bed bound or house bound (just mostly) - but I can really relate to that feeling of lost years...

  13. Thank you, everyone. It's always so nice to read your lovely comments full of kindness and support.

  14. They are all well-deserved.

  15. I started to say that I was so sad for you, Laurel, but I'm not sure that's the right way to put it. I know you know this is just your life, but I'm sure that does not make it any easier for you to not be an active participant.

    I have just discovered your website after seeing your video and I have added you to my blog roll on my own blog. If you have the energy sometime and are interested, I write about my own chronic illnesses, fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder at

    Very beautifully written and eloquently said. I hope that the researchers are doing all they can to figure out why you are sick and how to fix it. I have fibromyalgia and I cannot even begin to compare this illness with what I have.

    I'm glad that you are able to connect with others who share your illness online and maybe get people who don't have it to take notice and remember you are out there.

    So, I am thinking of you!