Tuesday, October 14, 2008

She Ain't Heavy...

I bought a little IPOD shuffle and a waterproof case with waterproof earplugs. If I am going to be confined to a wheelchair, I need my exercise so as soon as I’m well I intend to water walk every day whilst I listen to my tunes. I cleaned my ITunes out of any random music that I didn’t want to hear on the shuffle since a) I can’t control the buttons on the shuffle by myself and b) I don’t want to hear karaoke versions of Copacabana, toilet flush and gunshot sound effects or yoga lessons while I water walk. While I was cleaning up the tunes I came across a recording of my ex singing a song he had written. His voice sounded sweet and to my surprise I was reminded of the fact that I used to love him very much. It’s so easy to forget that when someone has exhausted all your good will, but there it is. I did love him. Part of me wants so much to invent a past in which I never loved him but I did. Life is messy like that.

There is very little in my life that isn’t full of complications and contradictions and so much effort goes into accepting all of it – the hilarious heartache - the tragic farce. Wendy and I were marveling today at all the hits I’ve taken in the past couple of weeks, yet how quickly I’ve bounced back. Can’t walk? Fine, I’ll go to the pool. Doesn’t work out with a guy I like? Move on. I’m taking the hits and playing rope-a-dope with ALS or the gods or maybe myself, I don’t know. I don’t have time to stay depressed – it’s life in the fast lane (remember that song by the Eagles? “She was terminally pretty…”)

But still the complexity of it all challenges me. I want to be able to make a certain sense and order out of my life like how Kris swoops in to the chaos that is my apartment to organize and label my shelves and drawers. Life is not so simple though and there are things that don’t seem to fit into any large category in my mind, relationships I will no doubt go to the grave without having resolved and things I will never fully understand try as I might to get a handle on them.

What I do know is: it’s another gorgeous day. I’m pain-free. My son is growing up to be the most interesting and committed man. I have the best group of friends that exist in the known universe. I have a family I love that loves me very much and tells me so in no uncertain terms. I’m blessed with a helium spirit and I choose to be happy.

Yesterday Kathy was trying to figure out how to get me into a house they are looking at for me. It is not yet ramped so it would require someone to carry me in to see it. We discovered that Mac can carry me around with great ease. How strange. For years I carried him around and now he is cooking me dinners, helping me with bottles and even lifting me up. There was something oddly comforting about it – when I go, I will leave a strong and capable man behind who happens to be my baby but who is ready and able to carry this weight.


Anonymous said...

A man because of you. I think that speaks volumes about how truly great a human being you are. We are all lucky to know you. Joanna

Unknown said...

That part about your son lifting you...have you ever read "Love You Forever?", by Robert Munsch. One of my favorite picture books. Always makes me cry.

Anonymous said...

really hope to meet you
one of these
i will push you
wherever you want to go
as i cannot carry anymore
but i can push
and i can love
and i can realize that
you have changed my life
for the better
without having ever
laid eyes on you

Anonymous said...

You are leaving behind someone who will continue to help me personally grow more than most people in my life. Thank you for Maclen.

I wish more people listened to him like I do.

Anonymous said...

Paul, you beat me to it!

I was just coming on here to say that not only was I picturing that book, "Love you Forever" but that our copy of that book was given to us by none other than Carla herself. Not only that, but Maclen's name is written inside the cover in Carla's handwriting in Black Sharpie.



Jay said...

Hi Carla,

I've been reading your blog for a while and wanted to finally write. My dad was diagnosed in April and I sometimes share with him the humorous things you write. We laughed at your comment about getting a disease named after a baseball player, and you don't even like baseball. Well, he was a baseball player, and we all found it so ironic…

I was wondering if you will be at the ALS Walk on Sunday at Lake Merritt. If so, I would love to say hello if I see you. Dad considered not going but we convinced him that it would be an opportunity to connect with others who are dealing with the disease. We also recently went to Forbes Norris and are so impressed with the folks there. He came away feeling a bit more positive about what he's up against.

Thanks for the inspiration you bring to others. It's helped me a great deal.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it something that our babies become men, and women but are always our babies? You have done such a good job raising a man, one who can now carry you.

Blessing to you both.

Love, Pat

Anonymous said...

that teared me up...

I love you Carla.

Love Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Carla as always you are amazing! I used to feel honored to be able to do the things for my Mom that she did for me as a baby/small child. Sorta like playing it forward...OMG, Love You Forever was my favorite childrens' book to read to my boys...however they hated it because by the end I was always sobbing madly...how could you not have a fabulous son?? I so admire your courage, Blessings, Maureen