Dear 80yr old Kathleen,
Firstly, Congratulations on reaching the ripe old age of 80!
Considering we are Scottish and have an incurable illness I'm pretty proud of that achievement in itself!
We are almost 30 as I write this letter, and I am going through a stage of constant wonder at what the next couple of decades will hold for me. I am entering a new one so its only natural I suppose.
I'm excited. Terrified. Anxious. Insecure but pretty happy all at once.
Right now I am in love with a wonderful man who I can't imagine being without. We have a little house and a littler cat and I am incredibly content. I hope this is the same man you are sitting on the porch with as you read this. (The porch should have a swing seat thing on it like in the films - we've talked about this remember?)
I hope he is still as amazing as he is right now and that you make him feel that way everyday.
If not, I'm sure you had your reasons, you have pretty good judgement and I reckon you know your own mind by now. Well at least I hope you do (I've a good few years to catch up..;)
I'm in a job I can't say I'm overly happy in. This is my main stumbling block. I think I've become someone who is too happy to please others and maybe this has led me to make choices I perhaps wasn't 100% comfortable with. I can get stuck in a rut, and with the pressure of staying financially afloat and maintaining my health, I often 'settle' in positions. (Ooh matron).
This is something I really do hope to change in the next few years. I don't want to look back on my 'wonder-years' I realise I spent them worrying about having to scrimp and save with seemingly no return.
I also understand however, how lucky I am to be employed in the current climate and often don't want to risk a change for fear of my health or our finances being jeopardised. Plus, I suppose I'm still insecure in my own abilities, lack of confidence often holds me back.
I wonder what you are thinking when you are reading this. I hope it's being read with a little chuckle at how naive I was and how much better things get.
Apart from stresses like my job, money and my illness, things are pretty good. I love to write and am doing pretty ok at that. I love to spend time with my beloved and my friends and family. I love to dance. God, I do hope you are still a right wee mover in your old age.
As for our illness, I obviously would love to know there was a cure for Crohn's in our lifetime. If that's unfortunately not the case then I hope at least you are as well as can be and stay that way for as long as possible. I will continue to try and raise awareness of what we are going through and help others. Don't ever feel like a burden to anyone, you are incredibly strong and I hope you stay that way.
More than anything else I hope that you are truly happy and contented wherever you may be. (I also hope it's somewhere hot and that you are eating sensibly and that you still have all your own teeth).
I pray that the choices I am making now are good ones and that you are proud of yourself.
I hope you are loved, and laugh everyday. Those two are things I simply can't do without and hope to maintain. For now and for then.
Kath, aged 29 and a half
This post was written as part of WEGO Health's Activist Writers Challenge #HAWMC 30 posts in 30 days