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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happily Ever Afters

  I love reading paranormal romances, in fact I read little else.  I love everything about them; the cool preternatural abilities, the immortality of many characters, the vamps and shape-shifters (Go Team Jacob-lol!), the physical beauty of the characters, and the ability to miraculously get out of a really sticky situation.  I love the escapism offered by the genre, the ability to lose yourself completely in another world.  For me, it’s a mini-vacation from the stress of the real world where duties, deadlines, and physical limitations hang over our heads like the swinging blade of a pendulum.  However, I do admit that sometimes I become annoyed with reading repetitive pronouncements regarding the heroine’s stupefying beauty.  Sometimes I just want to yell out loud, “Okay we get it-she’s gorgeous!  Can we move on now?  Sheesh!”  Doesn’t leave much love left for either the ugly or mediocre-looking chick now does it?
  Do you tweet?  I do.  (How’s that for a segue folks? Lol!)  Not long ago I became aware of a group of folks on Twitter who call them selves “Spoonies”.  The Urban Dictionary delivers an excellent explanation of what a Spoonie is:
   “A person living with chronic illness, that identifies with Christine Miserandino's Spoon Theory.  Spoonies are people that live with chronic illness; theoretically measuring personal daily abilities much as one would measure the proper amount of spoons needed for an event or occasion... sometimes having an abundance, other times coming up short.”

  Christine suffers from an autoimmune illness called Lupus.  It’s a chronic inflammatory disorder where your own body attacks itself because it can’t tell the difference between “you” protein and “foreign” protein.  It’s your immunity become amnesiac, and begins attacking itself.  Many organs become involved and the disorder causes a high amount of fatigue.  There are many other autoimmune disorders that have similar patterns.  In my case, my body produces antibodies against my own moisture-producing glands such as salivary and tear glands. I have constant dry mouth, chronic dental issues, and eye problems.  There is also a large arthritic component involved to boot.  Because of this disorder, I now am 40% more likely to develop lymphoma than Jane Q. Public.  My disorder is called Sjogren’s Syndrome and as a sufferer I am all too familiar with the daily “spoon shortage”. 
  I have developed a tight online relationship with my spoonie brethren on Twitter.  We all support one another, sharing in our sorrows, challenges and successes.  They make me laugh and encourage me, and I try to do the same for them.  
  Lately I have been thinking a lot about happily ever afters.  Shortly after I became ensconced in the spoonie world, I began to wonder, where are the HEA’s for my spoonie friends and everyone else who has to deal with constant challenges?  Does that mean HEAs have to be perfect - as the devastatingly beautiful physical perfection of heroines always seem to be?  Yes, in fact I DO think too much!  
  Five years ago I lost both of my parents two weeks apart from mutually exclusive causes.  It was devastating - the most vivid experience of hell I had ever encountered.  I got through it because I had my husband at my side, in addition to loving and supportive family and friends.  My husband was and still is, my happily ever after.  It wasn’t a perfect scenario by any stretch, but if I had to endure that degree of trauma, I would not have chosen anyone but him to be at my side.  Because of that, I have decided that for me happily ever after does not equal “problem-free”, it means, “we can get through it together”.  I once heard that real love isn’t merely looking into each other’s eyes, but looking in the same direction together.  I really like that. 
My folks, Dominic and Mary Ann Nicoletto on my wedding day.
  So, I’m interested in hearing your opinion of what constitutes a perfect HEA for you.  Does life have to be perfect in every way in your scenario?  Enquiring minds want to know!
  Please take the time to read Christine Miserandino’s personal story and analogy of what it is like to live with sickness or disability:


  1. Will certainly chase down "the spoonies"! Both of my parents went into the "past tense" within 3 weeks, October Y2K. Mother's struggle with cancer anticipated; my father's departure totally unexpected. They had not been married for 42 years -- yes, I had "single parents".

    We are convinced upon learning about her illness, he "went on ahead" to make sure the way would be safe and she wouldn't be lonely. HAE? I'm certain of it. ~m

  2. Wow, I'm glad to know that I'm in great company Molly! I'll be that you can't hear the word 'millennia" without cringing!

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The loss of one parent is tough enough but both is just devastating. I lost one of my close friends at the age of 8 and that was such a hard blow even back then. I am glad you have the solid support system on various networks and through your family and friends. Amazing blog! :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

  4. p.s. LOVE paranormal romances too! I don't remember how I got into them but they take up a lot of space on my bookshelf :)

    also, how can i follow your blog? tried looking for a way to subscriber. Thanks so much!

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

  5. I think everyone has their own HEA. You make your own dreams and try to see them through. What makes one person happy won't make another person happy. Great blog! lilcherrygirl at hotmail dot com

  6. Hi Dee and thanks! Boy, if had lost a friend at the tender age of 8 I'm sure it would have given me nightmares for weeks-ugh!
    If you look on the right hand side bar up to where my spoon picture is, you will see a "Follow" button. Then, follow the prompts. Thanks for following!

  7. Lisa, I totally agree with you! We are all so uniquely different that one size will never fit all. All we have in common is the need for love.

  8. For me a happily ever after is whatever will make you and your partner happy in the long run. For me and my husband it's the ability to not just live in the here and now, but to dream about our future and really 'see' it. All of us live with reality that things can change from day to day, sometimes even minute to minute...but to be able to snuggle up, love what you have and look forward to what's to come...that makes it an HEA for us.

  9. Marianne, I couldn't agree with you more or have said that any better!


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