Sunday, 9 October 2016

I Am Thankful

Mornings are tough for me. This morning was no different, however this blog is not about how difficult it is for me to do my morning routine or how much longer it takes for me to do any of the things "normal" people do. It's not about poo accidents or pee spillage or soiled sheets or dirty towels. Well, it is sort of about some of that stuff, but not really.

This morning, after a difficult time in getting to the toilet, I needed to do some cleanup. I'm used to this; it's just another thing while trying to live independently with ALS. Shit happens, and sometimes it's messy. This morning, as I assessed the damage, I turned to my sink to start cleaning. I washed some things out. I rinsed some things in preparation for laundry. I cleaned up the floor and some other surfaces. Then, after I was done, I turned to wash my hands so I could go and eat some grapes. Hand food requires clean hands.

It was in that moment, as I turned on my tap, that I realized how fortunate I am to live in a city with the kind of infrastructure which allows me to simply turn on a tap, grab some soap, and make myself clean enough that I am willing to eat with my fingers. For just a moment, I marveled at our technology, our systems, all of the things which make it possible for me to continue living, even with the severe disadvantages I face.

Water. It isn't always there. Not only are there a great many places around the world with limited access to water, there are many places even here in Canada with persistent water supply issues. It's not just about access to water; it's about the infrastructure needed to ensure water is clean and safe to drink or wash in. It's the fact that I can turn a tap and trust the output, trust it to clean my hands, clean my clothes, clean my home. I can turn a tap without wondering what will come out, what condition any water might be in, what level of danger I face in using it.

This is certainly something to be thankful for on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. It's not just water, but the whole system of services and goods which come into my home to make my life better, to make it possible for me to live with some level of dignity. There is a lot of good stuff in my life, in the lives of so many around me. We get so wrapped up in the busy lives we lead, that we forget about the things behind the things we need, we forget that water just doesn't show up in the tap, that milk doesn't just magically appear in the grocery store, that heat and light and entertainment and Internet are not and were not always there.

Today, I am thankful I could wash my hands. I am thankful I could clean up after making a mess. I am thankful that I live in a warm, safe apartment in a safe, clean community. I am thankful that the riches of my nation provide me the richness of a meaningful life. I am thankful to be here.

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