Sunday, 6 September 2015

I Can Be Thankful

There is an interesting thing which happens to me almost every day, usually within an hour or so of getting up, sometimes, on a particularly bad morning, later in the day after I'm up and about. It's a moment of gratitude, a feeling of good fortune, happiness which creeps into me in spite of the tremendous difficulties I face, not just first thing in the day, but throughout my day. Usually it's a couple of things which drive me to thankfulness. This morning I began to think more about it. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Even in my first moments of waking, I can be thankful for the ability I have to live in my own apartment. This sense of home and belonging is the most powerful thing in life which keeps me going, followed closely by my truck, another thing I am thankful for on a persistent basis. As I roll over in my struggle to awaken, I can be thankful that my bed, bedroom, and my whole apartment has the tools and accouterments which allow me to remain mobile, things like my M-Rail, my sling, the grab bars in my bathroom, and even the simple transfer board, a mere piece of wood, which aids in my motion from bed to wheelchair. I am thankful for the ALS Society of Alberta which provides me with so many of these tools.

As I sit and look at my feet, almost always in good shape thanks to a night in bed, I can be thankful for my compression socks, acting as they do to keep the swelling down, to keep the iridescent purple from blotching its way across my feet. I am thankful for government funding by AADL which means I only pay 25% of the cost of these socks. I can also be thankful for the quilt made by my Mom and friends covering me, keeping me warm all the while reminding me of my life at sea. I can be thankful that friends have helped me setup my room so I can get at my clothes, especially my socks, underwear and shirts, without having to get out of my bed.

When I go to the washroom, I can be thankful for the laminate flooring, so much easier than the carpet which once rested underfoot. I can be thankful for the wide doorways and large bathroom which my brother Jim, along with my friend Mike and many others, built for me to make sure I could live independently for as long as possible. I can be thankful that I had the financial resources to pay for these modifications, albeit most of it ended up on Visa. I am thankful I had a high limit on my Visa.

As I dress, I can be thankful that I can still wear regular clothing, still dress myself, still choose what I want to wear when I want to wear it. As I roll into my kitchen, I can be thankful for my stove with front control knobs, also paid for with Visa. I can be thankful for the coffee maker my Mom gave me, especially now as the energy to use my cappuccino machine leaves me. I am thankful for her gifts to me, and the gifts of so many others.

I am thankful for so much, for Katherine, for family, for friends, for the emotional and financial assistance without which I would have left this life long ago. I am thankful for my ability to move about, knowing full well that there will come a time when that will not be true. And when that happens, I will be thankful for those who help me move about, their kindness and compassion contributing once again to my will to live.

There is only one thing in my life I am not thankful for. I can leave that alone for now. There's enough good stuff that I can pretty much forget the bad stuff. And when I can't, I can be thankful for the friends and family who listen, who care, who are there for me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder. Gratitude is powerful. Stay strong.