It was perhaps a month ago that Chris asked me if I’d be interested in being a “guest blogger” on her site. Having a huge ego, I of course agreed, as her followers have grown exponentially this year! (Of course, I only agreed if I could post it without any edits, as well!) I’ve been tossing around a few ideas in my head since that time, but the events of the past few weeks have led me to settle on this one…
Tigers…they’ve fascinated me ever since before I can remember. A stuffed vinyl tiger was one of my first toys, and I still have it today (Thanks Mom!). They’re the animal I want to see when I visit a zoo, and I have one on my right arm. It’s one of my dreams to be able to actually touch one some day; just to feel the aura of an animal that some cultures believe has magical or supernatural powers.
If you look up tigers as a zodiac symbol, you’ll find a huge amount of information, and while the Internet can provide you with nearly as much misinformation as accurate information, there are some traits that are present on almost every site you find.
Tigers are somewhat unpredictable, passionate in their relationships, and capable of great generosity. They are symbols of strength, tenacity, and bravery.
Chris is my tiger.
Certainly, she is sometimes unpredictable, and I think that’s a wonderful thing in a relationship. I don’t think there’s anything worse for a relationship than predictability. Of course I believe that you need to be able to count on your partner, but knowing just what’s going to happen all of the time leads to the kind of ennui that will kill your relationship.
Passionate…Chris is passionate about everyone she connects with, and sometimes too much so. It’s a wonderful thing for family, though, as well as for the projects and causes she takes on.
But it’s the strength, tenacity and bravery that really sing to me when I think of Christine.
It takes a lot of strength to not only face this autoimmune disorder she’s saddled with, but to fight it through any and all means available to her. She has fought it (and continues to fight it) with traditional western medicine, and a plethora of physicians in all specialties. She fights it with eastern medicine, and what many call alternative methods, such as acupuncture and massage. She fights it with what some people might call drastic dietary changes, exercise when possible, and adapting her lifestyle so that she can continue to be the person that she is. It takes a strong person to hear “no” a thousand times, and persevere. It takes strength not only to deal with the disorder, but the treatment. It takes strength to fight the swings that the medications attempt to impose on your moods, so that you don’t hurt the ones you love.
Tenacity…You can’t even begin to doubt it in Chris. It takes a tenacious personality to work their way through the medical system we have in this country, to try to find the right people to help you. Five rheumatologists, three eye doctors, unknown numbers of primary care practitioners, ob-gyns, and emergency room physicians head the list. It takes long hours driving to Boston, Springfield, and Hartford to see the right people; people that might know something about this little-known disorder.
It takes tenacity to wade through the morass of bureaucracy that tries to keep you from getting the help you need, including insurance companies, health insurers, and state and federal agencies.
Bravery? I haven’t met too many people who can outdo her in this department. Through the myriad of symptoms, she keeps fighting to maintain her relationships, and to keep doing the things she deems important to keep her the person that she is. The symptoms that appear she meets head on, and develops plans to deal with them. She fights this thing with everything she’s got, and then some.
Then of course, there are the little things, like injecting herself in her abdomen. I may be a lot bigger than she is, but she’s a lot braver!
Strength…Tenacity…Bravery…all great things!
But the best thing about tigers…They’re cats…They always land on their feet.
Chris is my tiger, and I know that she’ll do the same!