This is the Part in Which I Resolve the Conflict Introduced in ¨The Aftermath¨

Hey folks, once again it’s been quite some time -- however, this time I am pleased to say that I bear no ill tidings -- in fact, quite the opposite.

Within a week after my last post, my hands started to get better. Even before I started a new course of medicine to help me out, I noticed an immediate change. Now, I’d like to say that I’m not one who claims ‘miracle’ lightly -- I mean it’s certainly NICE when Wrigley doesn’t smell like a unique combination of fish and dogbreath and when math tests don’t cause my self esteem to melt into a little puddle of sadness and run out my ears -- but I wouldn’t call those particular happenings ‘miraculous.’ In fact, I still shy away from claiming my hands were miraculously healed -- but there is not a doubt in my mind that everyone who said a little prayer or just told me they were sorry I was going through this made a difference. My hands were next to useless, but they are almost as strong as they ever were now.

This past Saturday, I performed at Finals competition in our marching band. One moment amongst hugging the underclassmen who I have grown so fond of and promising to come back to watch them next year, I realized how awfully close I had come to missing those moments. Just a month ago I was terrified I would be letting everyone down, and possibly staring down a future with a serious damper on my musical pursuits. I had never experienced anything like it, and I couldn’t see past the immediate frustration, disappointment, and fear. But even though halfway through my Senior season I couldn’t even hold the mallets, I was given the opportunity to finish triumphantly -- and not just pleased with where I had come, but immensely proud of the kids in my section who had gone from incapable of reading music to performing in front of hundreds of people.

FCHS Percussion Front Ensemble with some DrumLine photo bombers

I would like to thank each of you -- once again -- for sticking by me so I get to have these wonderful experiences. Your prayers and encouragements have put me back on my feet (or my pedals, or my piano bench, or whatever other surfaces I have attached myself to because of some new crazy notion or hair-brained scheme) after all the nonsense I get myself into.

In the spirit of sharing my story and encouraging others’ crazy ideas, I have a bit more news: this weekend, I’ve been given the opportunity to present my story at an Arthritis Awareness Day. I’ll get to talk to families of kids who have recently been diagnosed with JIA and hopefully ease their minds a little. I’ll be sure to post again after, and let all of you know how it goes! :)


Until then,


PS - The Sherpa again.  Bethany forgot to mention that she's now applied to seven colleges and already received her Offer of Admission (With Distinction) from one of them.  She'll undoubtedly say more about that process soon.  She's planning on one or two more applications, and I thought it would be fun to link her "Triumphant Entry" at the end of the ride when Macalester College in St. Paul pulled out all the stops.  She was greeted by the President of the College and much of the staff, and here's the video they posted:

After over 700 miles by bike, Bethany Catlin arrives to a grand welcome at Mac.

A video posted by Macalester College (@macalestercollege) on