Sunday, 15 September 2013


I caught myself doing it again this morning, hoping. It is a part of the human condition that we fool ourselves into thinking that there are better things out there when reality is a very darker image. Without this ability to blithely ignore the facts in evidence, we as a species would self-extinct in a generation. Perhaps this need to paint our futures bright in a world of dull is what makes us human.

It's not like getting up is an enjoyable part of my day. It starts with a lengthy spell of trying not to; I spend a lot of time wondering why I should bother at all. But eventually my body demands it. I wonder what will happen when I no longer have to use the toilet, what will happen when I am tubed up? Will I be happy just to permanently lay abed? For now, get up I must, and on arising the first thing that greets me is the reflection of myself in the mirror. I look at my dead legs and fat belly, seeing with such dismay what I am now versus what I once was. I grab my change of clothes and head for the bathroom.

The hallway in my apartment is wide enough for me to get to the bathroom but not quite wide enough for me to make the turn. So to do this, I take off the front legs of my wheelchair and drag my dead feet into place as I inch my way forward. I've left a permanent gouge in the door frame with the front casters on my chair, a result of the narrow bathroom door and my inability to get that turn just right on a consistent basis. But gouge I must, and into the bathroom I go, inching my way forward as I adjust my legs and feet to stop them from dragging under the wheels or casters, to keep them from becoming just another obstruction.

That's when it happened this morning. I had just made that turn, just nudged my way into the bathroom. I was sitting there, looking at the toilet, mocking me in its porcelain purity, insulting me with its readiness to receive while I had to adjust and make the struggle from chair to seat. I took a breath and in that moment found myself thinking "I will never walk again". Then, without a moment's hesitation, in the instantaneous fraction of space that followed before I could move even those muscles that works, I found myself thinking "You don't know that. Anything is possible."

You can see the foolishness in hoping, or at least I can. And yet, hope is there, unyielding in its demand to rise from the soil of life. It is a spring blade in the open prairie, rising out of the crippling grip of death that is winter. It is the first flow of water from beneath the frozen stream. It is the sun, ever rising day after day. I cannot avoid hope, even though I see it for the faintness that it is. I hate it; I am still hoping.


  1. Sigh.It is so awful for you. I can only feel for your hopelessness. If only I could help you but I too have no hope.
    love Mom

  2. Mom, I think that is the very point. I continue to hope even though my logic and knowledge tell me it's pointless. In spite of not wanting to hope, there it is, staring at me.