Monday, 24 April 2017

Wonderful People

I am up. I am alive. I am partly functional. I am out of bed. I am partly dressed. I have a very nasty cold.

The cold came upon me on Saturday, my last full day in Mexico. It started out in a small way, a bit of a headache followed by a bit of a runny nose. Then came the congestion, then the fever, then the weakness, all of this on top of fighting a renewed bladder infection and living with ALS. Yet I enjoyed myself on Saturday, feeling the sun and warmth.

Sunday was another matter. First of all, I felt like crap right from the start of the day. Then we had to contend with the Cancun airport and their belief that they could safely carry me up the stairs in an aisle chair with no straps or retaining devices. This, after nearly dropping me during the transfer from my wheelchair to the aisle chair. Once again, I refused. Once again there was an argument about availability of a ramp. Once again the Sunwing captain stood by me, this time saying they would not take off without me. Once again a ramp appeared, delaying the flight by about a half an hour this time round.

The flight was painful for me, especially on my sinuses. The headache got worse. Unfortunately my Tylenol was in my suitcase with all my other medications. Add to that the general discomfort within my legs and back, and you have a tough flight. I am so grateful Anne was with me to help with so much of it.

In fact, once again I am reminded of how lucky I am to have these people around me. Anne, taking the risk of traveling with me, making sure I was okay, finding a way to have fun on her own while I sat by the beach reading my 1,000 page history of Canada by Conrad Black. Then, this morning, Bobbi came over, bringing medications and milk for my coffee, bringing grapes and apples so I would eat, bringing helpful and pleasant company, motivating me to get up, get dressed, and get going.

I am such a lucky man, to find so many people in my life who care, and who will care, for me. They almost magically appear; at least it feels that way sometimes. Anne, Bobbi, David, Dion, my daughter Kate. Then there are the people along the way, so helpful and kind, like the bellmen Denis and David, like the fellows in the beach hut who helped me get drinks and lifted my legs onto the bench, like the young men and women who wanted so much to carry me down to the ocean so I could feel the water at my feet.

My life is filled with the richness of others. Mexico reminded me of that. For all of the difficulty, for getting a cold, for the fights with airports and hotels, I would do it again, just to experience the capacity within those people to make my life worth living. It makes me want to live, even with this nasty cold, and with ALS.

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