Friday, 18 July 2014

Sleeping On The Couch

Some sleeps are better than others. Sometimes you sleep in odd places. Last night, for example, I slept on the couch in my hotel room; I have the handicapped suite at the Sandman Hotel in Abbotsford for a couple of nights. It has a living room; the living room has a couch, not a hide-a-bed, a short, hotel sized five foot couch. I scrunched up and slept on the couch so that my daughter Mary, along with her daughter Rose and son Quinn, could have the bedroom. It was worth every bit of discomfort; I actually slept reasonably well, especially after a few beers with my son Rick.

Yesterday, on a moments notice, I said to Mary, "Why not come to the mainland with me? Rose can see Charlotte, you can see Meaghan and Ricky, and my Mom can see Quinn." I have to give the girl credit; she, almost without a breath, said "Yes". I took her home and she packed while Rose and I went for ice cream. Then, with planning happening as we drove down the road, we headed for Abbotsford, stopping along the way for a wonderful visit with Mom and Ray.

Later today, my daughter Meaghan, along with her husband Lewis and daughter Charlotte, will join me along with Mary and her children, for a picnic at Rolley Lake, a park and small lake near where I lived as a child, a lake where I went fishing, where I took my own children picnicking and fishing, where they take their own children for walks, exploring the same places I explored and they too explored. Later in the day I expect my son, Rick, will come to the lake as well, joining us for our afternoon together. It will be the first time I will get to see all of my grandchildren together, to see them play with one another in a continuation of a pleasure that began nearly fifty years ago for me.

This is the kind of day I live for, the kind of day that comes so rarely. It is a day where my children get to enjoy each other without the many stresses that make up their daily life, a day where I get to see my children and grandchildren play, to hear them laugh, to talk with them and share their life. This is the kind of day that makes ALS seem like a minor inconvenience, that my own issues disappear under the pleasure of family. This is a day that would qualify as "reasons to live", something all ALS patients think about on a daily basis.

After my day with my children, I will meet up with my brother Peter; perhaps Ricky will join us too. We'll talk, laugh, and tell more stories. It will continue the theme of family that will make up my day today. This is the real reason I took this trip, to live once again my life as a Dad, brother, and son. This trip is about my children, grandchildren, parents and brothers. It is worth every bit of discomfort, even sleeping on a couch.

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