Arthritis is the kind of illness where it affects many more people than just the ones with it; it also affects the families and friends of its sufferers. So today is time to address those affected who aren’t always talked about – today is for you who live with someone with arthritis, you who are friends with someone with it, you who love someone with it. This is my letter to you.
Thank you for helping us and taking some of your precious, valuable time for us. Thank you for doing some menial tasks and chores for us, like washing the dishes and what should be our share of the cleaning. Sometimes this means vacuuming or dusting or cleaning the bathroom and other times it means doing the entire cleaning for us, whether or not you live with us. We see it and we thank you. Thank you for running errands and going to our doctor’s appointments and sitting with us in the ER. Thank you for trying to bring a smile to our faces and trying to make our lives better. Thank you for giving a part of yourself to us. If you do anything for us at all – regardless of if it falls on this list – thank you.
We’re sorry for taking so much and not always being able to give as much back. We’re sorry for needing oh so much from you and requiring so much of your time and energy. We’re sorry for canceling on you so much (usually at the last minute) and being hesitant to make plans with you. That has nothing to do with you. We’re sorry if we were ever unable to be there for you because of our arthritis. And if we have ever taking our frustration with arthritis out on you, even if you didn’t know that was because of it, we’re sorry.
Please know that you are appreciated, loved, and valued, both for everything you do for us and also for who you are generally as a person outside of your help. Please know that we see and are grateful for everything you do for us. Please know that sometimes we struggle to articulate how we feel, and that has nothing to do with you. Please know that sometimes we make mistakes in how we handle things – and we know that sometimes you do, too.
And, finally, please know that as long as you are trying and aren’t making us feel like a burden, you are doing a great job.
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