Lyme disease has stolen much from Jo, including high school graduation, and her friends said they wanted to have her graduate and do it with honors since she fought hard to survive, much less finish her GED requirements while in pain and not feeling well. So, one Sunday afternoon her sister helped get her and her friends together for a photo shoot on the local square. After the pictures were done, family and friends began to gather on the square and we were able to let Josey have a personal ceremony, wearing a graduation gown, honor cords and sash, and give her a graduation and a party afterward.
She continues treatment but has improved to the point she can take road trips with friends, attend concerts, go to church, work more, and lead more of a "normal" life than she's had since middle school. There are still obstacles to overcome but her body is healing. She was in bed most of today but those down days are fewer all the time. Up-and-moving days are more and more frequent and come in succession versus being one day followed by a week of pain and fatigue.
The emotional healing seems to be hardest and take longest. Lots of milestones were missed or delayed. Social contacts were lost. Fatih has been tested. Family and friends have misunderstood and misinterpreted things. Life has gone on in spite of and without Josey sometimes. Finding out the harsh realities of life is hard but leaves us with the people who love best and can handle our true selves. We've begun to think of it as a pruning, leaving us surrounded with the most beautiful people and an outlook on life that we couldn't have learned without this horrid disease.