A Foggy Tale

Once upon a time there was a brave warrior girl named Anna. She traveled the land crusading for good with her fierce animal army: Henry( huggable or hittable, depending on the day), Cloudy, the effervescent unicorn, a fat duck named Snowball, and an unnamed dinosaur who had captured her heart. One day, Anna became ill. As her body grew weak, her crusading became tiresome. Sadly, and against her desire, Anna retired to her bed, her animal army with her.

Soon after, the surrounding kingdom was covered with a terrible fog. It laid right atop the land like a heavy blanket. All the village people were affected and could barely go about their work. The cows needed milking, the fields needed plowing, the streets needed cleaning and yet nothing was getting done.

The people didn't know what to do with themselves. They were always normally working. So, when the fog rolled in, all they could do was sit and wait. Everyone had a different response to the fog. Some of the villagers pulled out their hair, some yelled at their spouses, and others cleaned out their pantries. But regardless of how they dealt with it, it was undeniable that the fog was hard to endure.

The worst part about the fog was that it made people question what they knew to be true. Anna would overhear the villagers as they passed by her window. "Is the bakery still next to the book store? It looks as though it disappeared? " The milkman even drove his cart straight into the pond because he could no longer see it and assumed it must have moved.

Anna, tucked in her bed, didn't seem to mind the fog. She was accustomed to her adventures and had encountered and conquered many a daunting circumstance.She knew she could do nothing to change the fog but could figure out a few tricks to endure it. From her bed, she drew maps of the village, kingdom, and surrounding lands. She had an excellent memory and loved drawing. She would review her travels in her mindseye and diligently chart out detailed maps. When visitors came to see her and complained about the fog, she gladly handed out her maps. Word spread about Anna and her fabulous maps. There was a constant stream of visitors through her door. Her fierce animal army became quite domesticated and began serving tea and sandwiches to the daily company. In addition to maps, Anna began making candles. She found that a little light helped to comfort the villagers, helped them read their maps, and sometimes even cut through the fog. The inexplicable fog eventually lifted. And although it came back again, it never was as terrible as that first time. Now the villagers were prepared with tools that helped them when their whereabouts seemed unclear.

Anna never did resume her crusading through the land. Her life had changed and although her condition improved, she was also never quite the same. This was a difficult adjustment for her and there were days when she would close her doors to the villagers and cry as she grieved her old life. Her animal army never left her side, bringing tea and comfort whenever it was needed. The villagers, with Anna's maps in hand, began taking expeditions to explore the outer reaches of the kingdom. They brought back all their sightings so that Anna could continue to draw her maps. She even made a sign above her door:

Anna’s Candles & Maps

For Dark Places and Journeys Unknown

Eventually, Anna turned her store into a school and began instructing other diligent and thoughtful people in the fine art of map and candle making. Soon every village in the kingdom had its own map and candle maker, all thanks to Anna. Anna lived a long and full life. It was not the life she'd imagined for herself but it was good. In her old age, she would sit and reminisce with her animal army about all their adventures. Cloudy would rub her feet, Snowball would pull out the old maps, Henry would start the kettle and the nameless dinosaur ( who was still nameless) would light the candles. They always made the best of their time together, whether it was adventuring, map making, or tea sipping. And although Anna's life wasn't easy, she was never alone. And really, that's a best case scenario for all of us.

The End

The real Anna, in the hospital, surrounded by her animal army. Even in the hardest, times a steadfast light. I wrote this story about Anna while we were in the hospital. It helped me to deal with all the extreme and sudden changes to my girl. Even now, three years later, it is a bittersweet story for me. I am so thankful that she is as healthy as she is but I still grieve the pre-Lupus Anna with boundless energy and few limitations. Life is very different now. Grateful we have each other.