Two special shout-outs today before I get to my blog:
1. To everyone who currently serves or who has ever served for our country. I don’t get too caught up in the whole patriotic thing, because sometimes I think it divides the world rather than unites it, but your sacrifice is something I just cannot comprehend. Thank you.
2. To my dad, who would have been 77 today. Happy Birthday. I miss you.
Ok…on to today’s post.
Mrs. Dude’s cousins came in for the weekend from the DC area. It’s always a blast to have them in town. One of them, Aaron, surprised me by writing a blog post for me about what celiac disease is like from a guest’s perspective. Very, very cool and much appreciated.
One thing you should know about Aaron. He runs marathons. Like a lot of them. And whenever he finishes a new marathon, he gets a tattoo representing the marathon. Also very cool.
Here we go….
I am Gluten Dude’s cousin. Ok, technically Mrs. Dude is my cousin but for all intensive purposes we are family. All the nieces and nephews call him “Uncle Dude” and that’s how it’s always been.
Anyway, we’re fortunate that we live close enough that pretty much as long as no one has major plans you could pack your car and be at someone’s house in about three hours. Dude is as gracious a host as you can find. We visited over the Memorial Weekend and his house was busy with his kids, my sister and her boys and yours truly.
On the counter in the kitchen there are signs for food to point out to everyone what is gluten free and what isn’t. Dude’s section of the kitchen and refrigerator are known to all and luckily the youngsters are smart enough to ask which drawers in the kitchen are “ok.”
Sadly, one has to answer that question not for the sake of the children but for Dude because we don’t want anything to happen to him.
I am amazed and impressed at his ability to focus on the smallest details of the ingredients on food, to quickly look online if he is unsure, and to just skip it if he knows he can’t have it. Our first day at the “Dude Ranch” Mrs. Dude had food and snacks out on the kitchen counter for everyone………well, not everyone. I sat there and snacked on and off all day as did many of us, yet here was Dude walking past it and dare I say ignoring it. It has become routine or habit for him and he can not deter from these habits.
I watched him grab his morning coffee and his pre-packaged snack/breakfast. I wondered how everyone could share the same coffee machine…..as you can see, I am completely naïve to the nature of what Dude can and can’t do. But I try to follow, listen, and ask a lot of questions.
When I think about how some days an ankle hurts or my back is out of whack, I try to keep it all in perspective knowing how careful Dude has to be every day. I read his posts when I can and if something happens I know it is much worse than anything I have endured. I hope companies, stores and restaurants are more vigilant in supporting all the Dudes out there.
I’m trying to do my part by paying attention…and hopefully the bottle of Gentleman Jack didn’t hurt either.