This I Believe

Barbara - Chattanooga, Tennessee
Entered on January 28, 2009
Age Group: 65+

I believe that each day provides the opportunity to expand my heart, for what is more relevant to living life than widening the experience of making sense of existence? In days gone past, I was filled with lists of important items to be accomplished, and I finished the day with a vague sense of having done what I was supposed to do. Then, awaking the next morning, I faced a new round of tasks, which required (I thought) my expert hand. Now I am bound in a shrinking world thanks to the increasingly invading disability of ALS. So, I ask myself, what is the relevance of my existence today? What could possibly be the reason for my struggle to keep going? I keep thinking it is to get “my affairs in order”, and to show my survivors where the accounts are, what my wishes for burial are, and how to dispose of all my stuff. However, as hard as I try to get all that done, I remain distracted by the ongoing stream of life all around me. My husband has learned to be a most competent and attentive wife; I surely would not have wanted to miss that! His devotion is remarkable and his patience often outstrips mine in winding our way through the day. Friends are at the door, ready to lend a helping hand and a kiss hello. Family members are resolute about having gatherings that suit my needs and serve to further bind us together as a loving community. As much as I am certain that the last eight years of anti science attitude has not served me well medically, I am blessed beyond measure with advancements of social networking that refuse to be curtailed by petty regulation in the name of national security. So I believe that each day brings a gem of loving connection, for my ready picking. Recently, my grown daughter who lives 450 miles away was sick and yet I could track her medicine-induced, slightly loopy presence on the web. Although I felt so lame in my ability to attend to her, she later wrote that she was “happy to have received the old-fashioned telephone call from her Mom and Dad and had a wonderfully relaxing pace around her ‘house world’ as she spoke incessant nonsense to them only to be welcomed by unconditional coos and kisses… I love my Mommy and Daddy…they rock!” Heart expanding events arrive each day. I just have to keep an eye and ear out for them, and be wise enough to embrace them in whatever form they come.