I have been given a very special gift – the gift of motherhood. With motherhood comes many responsibilities that require the use of my hands and despite the level of pain or the amount of swelling over the years, my hands have served me well. I know this because I have raised two beautiful teenagers with these hands. My hands have provided homemade meals that nourish my children and treats that please them. My hands connected us when they were young as we played Lego’s, Playmobil, and board games together. I held their little hands as they skipped in happiness and when they were scared and needed to know I was there for them. My hands have held books that I have read to my children as they snuggled up next to me and my hands have edited their writing as they matured. My hands have driven my kids to numerous homeschooling outings where we have learned and grown together. My hands have mended clothes, washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms, and tended to laundry and other household duties that make our house a home. When I look at my hands I do not see the aches, pains, or nodules that are a consequence of living with rheumatoid arthritis. Instead I see hands that have provided well for my family, allowing me to not only give love, but also to receive it in huge amounts over the years.
Cathy is 44 and lives in Illinois, USA. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for 8 years. She shares her home with her husband of 24 years who provides her with lots of love, support, and friendship and is proud momma to two awesome teenagers. Together, Cathy’s family enjoys bike riding, camping, movies, desserts, and hanging out. Alone, Cathy enjoys long morning walks with her Border Collie Izzy, alternative health and reading. She teaches English as a Second Language to adult learners.