Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Nice Glass Of Wine

The other day I share Denise Long's thoughts on good things about having ALS. While it might be impossible to believe that their are good things about having ALS, it's not always bad, just mostly. On the other hand their are plenty of good things about life, about living, whether or not you have ALS.

Last night a bunch of my friends came over. They, along with Katherine and myself, bottled some wonderful wine then made an amazing dinner. We, we small band, we merry bunch of men and women, sat together, laughing, telling tales, listening to one another, laughing at jibes and jokes good and bad. We, this small band of loving companions, spent our evening sharing our lives. We enjoyed being.There are a few things that arise from an evening like this which remind me of what joy there is in being alive, more than a few. Here are the first that spring up in my thoughts.

Being hugged; this is perhaps the most powerful and wonderful thing in my life these days. Over the last few years I have gone from being detached, distant, not liking contact to being the most hugging person you can imagine. I would never have imagined the power of human contact, the loving embrace of those who care, were it not for what has happened to me in the last few years. The changes in my life have changed me, and getting or giving a hug is one which has changed me the most.

Wonderful food and drink; this has become a core of my time with friends. Nothing so completes an evening as the savory creations which decorate my table, both of wine and food. Nothing is so wonderful as to share this bounty with those who care about me. It is a glory in my life that I can taste so much, enjoy so much, feel this flavour of life. I simply adore the time I spend with good friends, good food, good wine. Nothing compares.

The laugh of someone who cares; I don't care if I am the point of the humour. Others seem not to care if they are the point. Nobody seems to mind, when we are together, if one or the other is the center of the story; we are all a part of the story. Telling our story, laughing at our humanity; this is what we are and who we are. It only works because we are safe in each others company. To be in the arms of safety, to find humour in our lives; this is a moment beyond measure.

This morning this same group of friends, plus a few and minus a few, got up early and went to Betty's Run for ALS, only we walked. The size of the group at the event, the collections of family and friends, the play area for children, free food and drink, all made it a carnival atmosphere. I took a look around and was once again reminded that it is the support we receive, we who struggle, which makes our lives worth living. It is the care shown to us which makes it worth going on. I've learned all of this and more.

There is no upside to this illness, not really. As my step-sister said when she was dealing with brain cancer, "There is no good outcome in this scenario." There are, however, lots of little victories along the way. It's important to remember that you can't do it alone, even if you want to. Life is made up of those who walk it with you, share it with you. That, and a nice glass of wine.

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