Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On Orange Carpets and Little Deaths

My friend Lisa arranged for someone to come by yesterday and help with my living will. I don’t know if the woman – I’ll call her P – would want her name mentioned or not so I’ll just stick with P. She is a remarkably intuitive person with a wealth of information and experience. As a healthcare professional herself she was also able to talk about things like when to get an attendant, a new wheelchair-friendly apartment, etc. One amazing moment occurred when she pointed to my wonderful orange shag rug and said ‘sooner rather than later you’re going to have to get rid of this and it will be harder to do that than it will be to die. That’s the richness in all of this.”

I understood her completely. An illness like this is a series of “little deaths” as she called them. I have experienced very minor ones like decrease in energy because of my medication or divesting myself of sexy shoes but the deaths will get bigger, deeper, harder ( did that just sound like a caption for a porn sequel?) and I’m going to have to be ready.

Sometimes I walk down the street and I say out loud “It’s a beautiful day and I’m walking.” It’s hard to imagine from this vantage point saying “it’s a beautiful day and my wheelchair is faster than that stroller – in your face, stroller!” but maybe I will.

In the meantime, I try to balance the little deaths with births and resurrections – old friends I lost touch with blessing me with their presence, working on getting clearance to drive my beloved Miata again, and awaiting the visit of Annabel, Atticus, Allison and my dear baby brother Jason.

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