Thursday, August 28, 2008

What a Time We Had!

The gals, from left to right. Lolly, Barb two and Barb one.

I finally made it back to the ocean after a three-year absence thanks to the efforts of my angel and friend, Barb one, my new friend and caregiver, Barb two and my dear and wonderful friend, Lolly. We went to Ogunquit Maine, stayed at a lovely old hotel in Perkins Cove, dined in three of the areas most terrific restaurants, did a little shopping in the local artisan shops and even got to walk on the beach. And laugh, oh how we laughed!

I discovered that I was not embarrassed at having to be fed out in public (I was a little worried about that one) but my friends made it all seem very natural so I was quite relaxed and just went with the flow. And I didn't feel too terribly self-conscious when tourists stared at me as I was efficiently maneuvered in and out of the van. (Bless all the people responsible for my awesome van, by the way, without it; none of this would have ever been possible!) My lungs even cooperated and remained strong enough for me to be out of the hotel and away from breathing assistance for long stretches of time. I think it was all that beautiful sea air!

The glow from our trip remains with me and my memories are as bright and shining as the sea glass I now wear around my neck. I am, most assuredly, a very happy woman.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Looking To the Future

This past June marked the end of my fourth year with ALS and I am celebrating. Celebrating because I am beating the odds as I move into my fifth year. I am celebrating because this weekend is my 66th birthday and I am still alive, still squeezing everything that I possibly can out of each day. I am celebrating the joy of family and as I watch my grandchildren grow and blossom I am happy that they never shy away from my illness but continue to share their lives with me. I am celebrating because my husband, who has had a very hard time adjusting and whose pain had started to turn to anger, has started to smile and laugh with me once again.

So much has happened these past four years. Some old friends, intimidated by my illness, have disappeared from my life. But more have stood by me and I have made some wonderful new friends. My ex-husband stays in touch and helps when he can, which is a long way from where we were and a longer way from where he was. And Although I have had to give up my art as I knew it, I have learned new ways to express myself on the computer through art, poetry and commentary. I have learned that I can make friends in cyberspace, very good friends, and that they help to keep me strong, too.

On August 18 my best friend Lolly, my two caregivers (Barbara I, my Guardian Angel and a dear friend and Barbara II, a new friend) are taking me to the Maine coast for three days so that I may enjoy the ocean. We are going to rent a beach wheelchair and walk the shoreline, eat lobster, play cards and laugh in the face of adversity. We will be celebrating!

P.S. we are having a very wet and humid summer here in New England and it makes it hard for me to talk into my Dragon software. I know I have mentioned this before, but the heavy air is relentless and I want you all to know that I will get back to commenting and blogging as soon as we have some relief. I miss you and want to thank you for your continued comments to my infrequent posts in spite of my absence.