Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hawaii Without Fear

I am off on another adventure this morning, a trip to Hawaii, Kona to be specific. I love adventures; this one may even include a helicopter flight over a volcano! The woman who is going with me, Emma, is on her own kind of adventure. Eight years ago she had a very serious stroke. While she has traveled a bit on her own since, I think this might be her first major trip without her parents along to help. Other people are having adventures too. My nephew got married yesterday; he is headed on a new life path along with his new wife.

When  I was at the ALS Support Group meeting yesterday, a couple of people seemed surprised that I would travel so much "with ALS". Others didn't seem at all surprised. In the online ALS forums I have heard from many people who have given up travel after their diagnosis. Their reasons are many, some fear that they can't get travel insurance, some fear the difficulties they might encounter, some are just plain embarrassed to be in a wheelchair. Fear is the common thread for all of them.

Another of my friends said to me that I shouldn't post on Facebook or my blog that I am out of town; someone might see it and know I am not home. They might break into my apartment and rob me. Of course I am not afraid of that; I have very little worth stealing, perhaps just my TV and sound system. Oh, and liquor too. Once again the common thread is fear.

I can live my life one of two ways; in fear of what might happen, or face the fear and do it anyways. I refuse to allow fear to define my life. As the venerable Dr. Seuss says in his wonderful story, Oh, The Places You'll Go!; “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose” Fear will be there, risk will be there, misfortune will be there, and yet it is up to me to choose my direction. I choose life, in the face of fear.

So I am off to Hawaii. I hope I don't get a sunburn. Of course there are ways to prevent that, so don't have to be afraid. If I do, I can just lay in bed for a day and it will settle down. At this point I don't think it is skin cancer I need to worry about.


  1. Have a great time Richard and Emma (I'm a school friend of Em's).

  2. Hope you have a great time on the island of Hawaii. Went their for our 20th, but never got the helicopter ride. Next time,we said. Of course their never was a next time.We did go fishing though, and I caught a 30 # Blue marlin.What a fight!