About 2 years ago a group of 5 semi-local FPIES moms gathered at my home. We had 'found' each other via some online support systems. Looking back it is quite amazing considering they all loaded up their young, vomiting children and lugged them to my home without any previous knowledge of who I was. The farthest drove 4 hours to get here. We were desperate for interaction with other mamas that were adjusting to the life of FPIES, and desperate for hope. So desperate in fact that four of these mamas went on to help found non-profit organizations, and the fifth currently serves on the board of another.
One of those moms lives within close driving distance of our home, and has a daughter two months older than Ellie. She has not one, but TWO kiddos with an EGID being healed with GAPS. Over the course of the last 2 years I have been incredibly blessed to have her along the FPIES/EGID/GAPS journey.
When someone has experienced a struggle similar to your own, they understand. When someone is where you are, then you can trudge the journey together - side by side, working to jump the hurdles. This mama is such a friend.
She has come along side me in the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I am incredibly privileged that she has shared hers with me, as well. She has said 'hooray for good poops', and 'I'm so sorry for that set back', and 'put on your big girl panties-it is what it is'. She has reminded me to slow down, and speed up, and that sometimes we just won't know. She has kept me from looking back unless it is only see to see how far we have come. And what better way to feel 'normal' while in the midst of massive life changes, than to see someone on the journey with you, running alongside, and helping you to laugh along the way?
Words can not capture how valuable this mama and her family are to us. She has shared her family, and my family loves hers. And I have found it incredibly comforting and....happy, to think of my Ellie growing up with a best friend who has a similar medical history, food story, and journey to healing. Whose parents both tried hard to give them the world within the priority of getting them healed.
But it is not to be so.
In less than 2 weeks our friends are leaving on a jet plane for the other side of the continent, for that is where their new normal is taking them. And we are sad. I am sad. We will grieve when they go.
But we are happy for them, and excited for them, and nervous for them, and know that thanks to technology we can still stay 'close'. And we will still talk chickens, and sourcing meat, and making kraut, and poop (goodness we have talked a lot of poop!). And we will wait anxiously to hear all about their new adventures. For they will most certainly be missed.
Godspeed friends. May the Lord bless you and keep you. And may we hug you again soon.