Of course, the chocolates are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, made with the purest, rawest Dutch-processed cocoa or even better, raw cacao, and made in an allergen-free facility to avoid cross contamination.
But you get the drift.
With Lyme & Co, you never know what you're gonna get. And if you're anything like me, that stresses you the heck out because you like planning and being able to schedule things on your calendar in advance and other organize-y things. But Lyme doesn't play that game. Nope, "planning" or "scheduling" isn't really in Lyme & Co's play book.
I've written about this in a different way before, but today another aspect came to mind and I have to write it down (er, type it out) before I forget. So far this year, I have left our house a grand total of 4 times. Granted we're only one month into the year, but only leaving the house 4 times in a month isn't exactly having a life in the sense most (non-chronically ill people) would consider. Two of those times I was blessed enough to attend a church service (the first times I had been since October, I think), and one time I "got out" it was to go to my parents house to spend a few days while Rog had a band trip out of town. (Actually, I just remembered my brother took me to Whole Foods during that weekend, so that brings my total to 5, but that was a trip I shouldn't have forced because I didn't have the energy and it was the day after a pretty intense herx and in hindsight it was really stupid to go and try to shop and ride in the car that long, but I DID get groceries I desperately needed so that part was worth it)
The 5th time was today, when for the first time in weeks I was having a day where my energy seemed okay enough I asked mom if she wouldn't mind driving me to Hobby Lobby so I could get valentine-making materials and also stop by the local natural health store to pick up a couple things. And surprisingly, since mom was able to push my wheelchair in the stores, I actually held up pretty well! I was able to look through and select paper, stickers, etc., and I was able to get the items I needed from the health store. We even were able to stop by the grocery and pick up a few things--and even though my energy diminished the longer we were out, it was so nice to be in the "real world" for a bit! And I was taken aback by the fact Lyme & Co decided to back off as much as they did for the 1.5 hours. It was like I had gotten coconut--a "chocolate filling" I didn't expect but thoroughly loved!
We then made the drive back to my house, and literally a couple blocks away from turning o nto our street, immediately after I had finished devouring the coconut center, I got a big bite of roman nougat--a "chocolate filling" I will eat if I absolutely have to but that I'd rather do without. (I apologize to anyone who's a roman nougat fan, it's just not my cup of tea. But I digress.) Anyway, before we turned onto my street, I hit the Lyme & Co wall (seemingly 6.022 X 10^23 times stronger and more forceful than the walls of Jericho AND the sound of Joshua's [et al.] trumpets combined--why Avogadro's number decided to make an appearance I'm still not sure but I'm gonna go with it), and every ounce of energy or strength I had with my coconut was snatched away and I was handed this disappointing roman nougat situation. I couldn't even unbuckle my own seatbelt and had to be carried into the house. I was missing my coconut!
Something cool occurred to me,, though, as I reflected on the afternoon/evening. I realized the "not knowing what you're gonna get" doesn't have to be intimidating. Okay, yeah, most of the time I prefer to know what to expect, to plan in advance, to avoid change and surprise and spur of the moment circumstances at all costs, and unexpected roman nougat aren't exactly my idea of a party, but there are times--as I continue to learn the longer I fight Lyme & Co--when the unexpected is actually a delightful coconut filling I'm able to relish while it lasts, and those moments make the roman nougat moments more tolerable.
Personally, I think Exclesiastes 7:14 sums it up best:
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. Ecclesiastes 7:14, NIV
So the next time you get a roman nougat (or whichever flavor you find least desirable), keep in mind that without the undesirable chocolates we encounter, we wouldn't be able to appreciate the delicious chocolates to their fullest extent.
And if you're a Lymie who can't exactly go buy/eat a box of Russell stover chocolate, and if you do allow yourself agave nectar, I'll share a link to the absolute BEST Lyme-friendly chocolate I've found. **I'm not advertising for this company or endorsing them for monetary gain, I just get excited when I find something delivious and have to share it with my fellow Lymies!** Seriously, these are all delicious!