Sunday, 9 April 2017

Greasing The Seatbelt

It's a beautiful day on the road. David is at the wheel while I get to type, and play with my GPS. I had a good breakfast while chatting with my son, Rick, in Abbotsford. We had a great visit with Mike while enjoying lunch at the White Spot, and now we are rolling along the Trans Canada in the Shuswap, headed for the low peaked Monashee mountains in front of us. This is the easy part of the drive, with the sun up, the clouds parting, the road bare and dry.

I did drive for the first few hours, so I bear no guilt for letting David take a try. In fact David has done only a bit of the driving on this trip. I've been happy enough to drive, and it's a lot of work getting me across the front seat and into the passenger side. I'm a decent enough passenger, have learned to quell most of my back seat driving habits. It's even better when I am typing like this, instead of watching every turn and twist of the road, silently critiquing every bit of David's driving.

It's a funny thing, going home to Alberta, having lived so much of my life within a hour of the ocean. I was born to a seafaring father, took to the water at an early age, and have, since my earliest memories, forever been in love with the sea and shore. Yet these days I am more than happy to go home to Calgary, to the incredible support system I have there.

This trip has seen my abilities decline further. It is almost impossible for me to move once in my seat. The lift needed to shift my body from wheelchair to truck must now come from someone else. The push and slide from seat to seat must be provided by stronger arms than mine. I can still drive this beast, thanks to power steering and power brakes. I noticed today, though, that the seatbelts seem a bit harder to pull, as if they needed to be greased.

This is how I discover most of my losses, in actions which seem just a bit more difficult than before, with pulls and pushes that seem to need oiling or greasing. It's not like I wake up and think I can no longer do something. It's a little bit each day until it is all gone.

Yesterday we celebrated my Mom's 85th birthday. I am fairly certain that's a celebration which will not be had for me; I'll be long dead by that time. It\s hard to explain. I know that we all must die. I know that I may live longer than expected, although I don't expect to live a lot longer. I know that it's just luck and genetic failure that puts me in this position. Still, I envy my Mom and mourn myself, in this disparity of life. If she lives to 90, I will almost certainly not be at that party. The only way out is if a lot of things get a lot more grease in my life. Somehow I\m not so sure even that will work.

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