"I felt bad because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.*"
This is one of my favorite sayings. It's sums up my attitude toward life pretty well.
Let's face it, we are shoeless here. We have a tough assignment in life keeping Maggie happy and healthy, but we have the ability, the support and the desire to pull it off. Others have it so much harder that we have to stop sometimes and be thankful for the soft sand under our bare feet.
It's all a question of perspective. If I can find a positive way you look at things, it becomes so much easier to handle.Take my career for example. For a couple of years I really mourned that loss. Then Maggie's needs required more advocacy. Perhaps instead of losing my career as an attorney I was supposed to acquire the skills I need to help Maggie (and others) live the best life they can. Whether true or not, it is certainly more comforting to consider there was some method to the madness.
My greatest lesson in perspective has come from working at the hospital. Every day I see parents dealing with as much or more than I do with additional complicating factors. Some are far from home, some don't speak English, some are losing their children. Most are walking their paths with grace, thankful their situation isn't as bad as that of someone else. As I walk home after working, I find myself thankful that we live so close to a major medical center and thankful that I have the tools to navigate the complicated systems we find ourselves part of.
Our life is not a bed of roses, certainly, but it is not all thorns either. We have found a place in our shoeless life that works for all of us. Yesterday I was thinking about all of this as I put Maggie in her chair. She gave me a huge grin and all was right with the world.
My moment of philosophical stasis was quickly interrupted, though. As I pulled the shoulder harness over the top of the chair to secure Maggie, I knocked the pole off the back of her chair. The pole, which weighs at least ten pounds, is the one used to hold the dynavox in place on the front of her chair.
It fell straight down onto my big toe. I cannot tell you how much that hurt. I screeched and probably let out a string of expletives. Steve came running in from the front room to see what had happened.
Though I snapped at him choosing to lecture me at that moment, the irony of his comment wasn't lost on me. He looked at the bruise forming on my toe and said,
"Maybe you should wear shoes."
Maybe I should. Life would be easier.
*author unknown but according to answers.com it is attributed to poetry from the Gulistan of Sa'di published in 1259