Watching a love one suffer has a way of changing one’s perspective on life.
My dad is terminally ill (suffering from a combination of COPD/Emphysema/Interstitial Lung Disease and paralysis of the diaphragm). I watch helplessly how he struggles to breathe even as he simply sits on the couch. The mere act of walking to the bathroom, or even eating takes his breath away. He no longer sleeps at night because that is the time when anxiety is at its highest point. Meds are slowly becoming less and less effective. He knows the end game, and is dreading it.
My dad was once a very active and vibrant man. Just seven or eight months ago he was playing catch with one of his young grandsons, or working on a project out in his woodshed/man-cave, or driving out to the post office to pick up the mail. Now, all he can do is just sit on the couch and watch the television. All he can do at best is watch as life passes him by.
Recently this has changed my perspective in regards to my disabilities, and how I let them affect me and my life. Sure I have a hard time seeing or hearing things around me; at least I am still able to do the simplest of them without any assistance. Even if I have to learn how to use the walking cane, I can still be independent. I don’t have to worry about trying to fight for every breath.
Yes, I may lose my vision entirely but I’ll still be able to do many of the things I love and enjoy. For my dad, once he loses the ability to do something, that’s it. The end.
I now feel I have no more excuses to make for my disabilities especially after watching my dad struggles with his physical ailments.
“When it rains it pours. Maybe the art of life is to convert tough times to great experiences: we can choose to hate the rain or dance in it.”-Joan Marques