I have talked about my friend Candace on this site before. I know she was sent to remind me that I need to approach life with a smile and a ‘bring it on’ attitude. In all the years I have known her, I have known her to be sad only a few times, despite having a dozen reasons to be that every day. Yesterday we went to see her and took Brody, as she had never gotten to see him yet. Candace has nicknames for all of my kids, and Doug is her Stallion. She tells him all the time if she were younger and not married she would be chasing him hard. He always laughs and says he wouldn’t run far.
Yesterday we finally got the chance to go up there and spend some time with her. Not without the baby of course, she would have locked us out lol. Let’s just say they got along famously..
He pretty much spent the next hour or so playing with her, and she of course was not about to give him up. I don’t know which was sweeter, to see him laugh and smile or to see her do it. Because truth, she has every reason to not smile, not laugh, not have fun.
You see Candace had diabetes as a little girl. Life and the illness has taken its toll on her body, though you would never know she was as sick as she is by simply talking to her. The most recent thing it has cost her is her sight. To see Brody she had to bring him close and get eye to eye with him. Brody loved the attention and he loved her. Once he was ready for a break and some down time we sat at the kitchen table and she laughed till I thought she was going to pee down both legs.
Her list of issues is taller than she is. She has lost her gall bladder is on dialysis 3 times a week. 3 months ago she nearly died from an infection she received undergoing the dialysis, after discovering the failure of her kidneys was also causing pressure in her brain and on her optic nerves. She endured laying flat on her back for days with a steel needle embedded in her spine to remove the buildup of spinal fluid that was applying pressure to her brain. A slight move sent searing pain through her body, and yet she found a way to smile. She had been on the transplant list last year but was removed due to the infection. Slated to have brain surgery she was admitted the night before and told had they opened her up to do the surgery she would have died because of the infection.
Candace always looks at the bright side. Doug is going to get checked to see if he is a match. Because she faces another uphill battle to get back on the list for a transplant. Even though most of her other issues are caused by her need for the kidney, its effects on the rest of her body put her at a great risk to not qualify for one. Unless it is done privately and directly.
If you were to ever meet her you would not know how sick she is. She doesn’t greet you with her list of ailments and issues. She will crack a joke, and make you smile. Because she doesn’t know any other way to be. I don’t know if I could be that strong. I know I couldn’t. Her and Doug cracked if he was a match she would finally have him inside her, maybe not how they joke about but he could never leave, he would spend his life on her side. She would finally have her alone time with her stallion.*For anyone who may misinterpret this it is a JOKE and nothing more, Doug respects and loves Candace and her husband and would do anything for either of them if they so much as asked.*
The things on her walls, once upon a time she made those. The art flowed from her like water. I have a pan they give you at the hospital when you check in that she drew on for my mom. They were neighbors in the hospital the month mom passed. You will never rip that little pan from me, not without a fight. Here they both were in ICU waiting to be transferred to bigger hospitals and she drew on a bath pan for my mom, to make her laugh. So losing her sight meant she also lost her ability to draw, or paint. But she still smiles. Oh and babies love her.
She reminds me to always take the time to laugh. Not a small laugh but a good belly laugh. Because if anyone is proof laughter is truly the best medicine it is Candace.