Can’t Fail Cafe, Emeryville, CA, 9:30 pm

I am a really independent person. You know how little kids go through that stage, "No! ME do it!" , when they're about 2 ? Well, I never did grow out of that.

When I was really young, I shadowed my dad every where he went. I went with him to the hardware, the welding shop, and the parts store. We worked on old cars, welded junk up, fixed washing machines and worked on just pretty much anything you can think of. He taught me how to change the oil, fix a flat, and how to listen to a motor to hear what's wrong with it.

When I was 13 I got my first job waiting tables. By the time I was 14 I had bought my own truck and had TWO waitress jobs. At 16 I was the day manager at the restaurant where I worked, as well as the chief cake decorator. And I loved it! I loved the busyness, and the responsibility of it all. I loved knowing that I was capable of being in charge, and capable of doing most of the things completely on my own.

It's a great feeling to feel independent. And one we take for granted entirely too often.

Not very long after I got the day manager's job I got sick. I had been feeling not well since a bout with mono a couple of years before, but this time it almost seemed as if the mono had come back, and had brought a few of it's friends to party along with. So, you can imagine , I wasn't at the top of my game.

It wasn't until 2 years later that we would finally find out I had lupus and that was why I had been so sick. It was a big shock to my system. No, not the finding out I lupus . But the finding out that I could no longer be that independent person I once was. I can't work now. Sometimes I don't even have enough energy to walk across the room. I can't drive everywhere or even all the time. If it's a long way I tire out too quickly. If I have a dizzy spell or one of the headaches that comes along with this , I might not be able to drive back home. Sometimes I can't cook for my own family, do laundry, or clean the house, so multi tasking is different now. Now if I have hugged a little boy, done some math homework, and played legos, I have really accomplished something for the day. And I don't mind asking for help with those kinds of things!

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