Friday, 19 February 2016

A Moment Of Forever

Most days with ALS, I have this constant awareness of what this disease is doing to me. Most of the time I can feel it, feel the loss and damage. This means that most days I sense the loss of my ability and I have a sense that my life is shortened by it. Then, every once in a while, for a short moment or sometimes for hours on end, I somehow get into a place where I forget about ALS, where I feel like I am going to live as full and as long a life as anyone else. I have moments where I feel normal.

Yesterday I had one of those moments, as I was driving down Blackfoot Trail here in Calgary. For a moment, for a few whole long minutes, I felt good, like ALS wasn't doing what it's doing, like I could live for a very long time, just the way I was. It was a wonderful feeling, if only for a moment, to forget my reality, to slip into an idyll of thought where I had not just a future, but a long future, where I thought, if only for a moment, that I could go on like this, no problem at all.

Most of the times when I get these moments, I'll admit they are behind the wheel, that place where I feel most normal, most like the thousands of others driving the roads along with me. When I sit there in my truck, moving down the roadway, my focus is on something other than my body and how it is failing me, I feel like nobody else can see me, see my wheelchair, see my handicap.

There are other times like this, times when I am not in the truck, times when a reverie takes me away from my own cares and into some other land of thought. There are times, while sitting on the couch, Katherine snuggled in beside me, a book in hand, where I can almost forget the pain and discomfort of this disease. There places, like sitting in a coffee shop beside the ocean, sitting beside a lake feeling the wind and smelling the water, rolling along a forest walkway and hearing the bush move and seeing the animals.

These places, these times, take me away for a moment, a respite. Then they are gone, shadows in the mist, replaced by a harsher reality. I treasure them in my mind, recalling them, once again to wander away from ALS, to a place where I feel like I could live forever. But alas, I cannot. I cannot stay, I cannot live forever, I cannot escape my illness. No matter, there will be other moments, other places in my mind, other reveries. I can wait.

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