At the end of the day, a person is only as good as the team who supports him or her, and for this, I am lucky to have a wife, family, and friends to share personal comments and in-person motivations, as well as anonymous posters who show appreciation for my words and the situation that I am going through. In short, they get me through.
THANK YOU, ALL!!
I don’t think that a lot of people outside the ___ community understand what someone who is connected to people with ___ goes through (here, I leave the spaces blank since you can make this Parkinson’s, PTSD, diabetes, ALS, cancer, or any other disability, disease, or problem people face in life). These people hurt, cry, and are as shaken up about this as the person. I know I’ve felt that way when I hear how close friends go through unhealthy times or when people die.
That stuff smarts.
For this, if you haven't thanked or supported a supporter, please do so.
In an ideal world, we’d be all healthy and "normal" and live long productive lives, but that’s not the way things goes. Instead, we need to relate to life as it happens. We need to be tough, and we can’t do it alone. That’s why one of my first assignments in class is to have people talk to their support systems about what they need to get through college so that someone else can help them do the laundry or dishes when time needs to go to homework. Additionally, teachers don’t always back-pat. We say, “Do this; do that.” We add, “That’s good” when an assignment is done, instead of screaming, “The hills are alive with the sound of music” like some people need to hear.
I'm not picking. I say this truthfully. Sometimes, I remember. Sometimes, I don't. That's why I high-fived the 8th grade girl I tutored yesterday. She looked at me like a bozo, but hey, I tried.
And it’s not that we don’t care; it’s just that we can’t always be the one and only all-powerful support system, and for this, we need the Verizon Network… just without Paul. That guy and his glasses are annoying.
In life, Maslow says we need love to get by. The Beatles echo this. That means we need family, friends, and people who say good things about us.
At its most intimate, there is the central duo. With that comes commitment and life together, and so, in marriage, we promise to take each other for better or worse, but do we really understand what "for worse" could be with regard to the "in sickness..." part of our vows? As a parent, mothers and fathers make a commitment to get their kids through anything, but often, life breaks down people’s strengths. Siblings and relatives connected by miles don’t always talk, so sometimes, things are seen in the abstract with, “Oh, X has Y. Did you hear about that? That sucks.”
We can’t always expect people, even close friends, to feel the pain of diagnosis and life difficulty now and to come. That’s a fact of life. But through it all and despite our difficulties and idiosyncrasies, they do.
For this, I am lucky to have people who understand and care, genuinely and infinitely. That's a good thing.
To exemplify that feeling, I am incredibly lottery winner lucky to have a wife who loves me and supports me while joining me for doctor’s appointments and still dreaming about tropical vacations with me as well as thinking about going to New Orleans and the Canyonlands / Yellowstone / Tetons trip we want to take. I don’t often say just how much I love and appreciate her, but for all our lives have seen and accomplished since our first date on December 1, 2007, life has been better with Heather. It’s nice to be able to go home to her and share a life and thoughts on the day. Love is a good thing, and I’m glad I get to love her.
By the way, we met on Match Dot Com. Yes, online does offer great love opportunities.
I also have a family, from my parents to my cousins through to aunts, uncles, and other titles too numerous to mention, who feel every bit of this journey. I’m strong for them, and they’re strong for me. It’s what it has to be. It’s hard to see people silently going through pain over where things are and will be, but for the most part, I’m pretty positive. How can I not be? I’ve got Missy Elliott’s “Pep Rally” to scream along to.
And that is one dang good song.
But family and friends, yeah. I may not always talk a lot or seem like I’m listening, but I am. I’m appreciative for all I’ve got. It’s really the only way I can be.
I appreciate those who read the blogs, buy the books, go hiking with me, yammer on the phone, send messages, hang out, offer advice, send mix CDs, or who represent my history. You helped make me me.
Thank you all! You guys and gals rock. Mucho love.