Saturday, September 26, 2009

Taken for granted

I'd say on any "normal" day I think about the things that people take for granted as I watch people get out of cars, walk into buildings, etc. All this becomes more evident when I have an MS exaccerbation.

First, my thoughts can be doesn't anybody notice I'm having trouble (and am I that good at hiding it)? Doesn't anyone care? Doesn't anyone want to help? Of course I am told I need to ask for help and admit that I am bad at that, but what to ask for when is difficult. If I'm in the beginning of one of these attacks, and my husband leaves town, then who can help me when I fall repeatedly on the floor, when I am totally exhausted to the point of not really thinking of reaching out, but instead thinking of how to make it minute by minute, second by second, with a 6 year old daughter.

Going back to the taking things for granted, I sat there, exhausted, Fri evening, waiting for my husband to return from his day with my steroids. I sat there, and through tears, pondered it all. What do I want? I wish people would be grateful for the opportunity to get out of bed in the morning without wondering whether their legs would allow them to do so. I wish people would appreciate that choosing a physical outfit for the day is not a contemplation on whether they have enough energy to set it out the night before, or if they will have the energy in the morning, and whether they will fall in the process of doing so. I wish people would cherish the ability to carry an open coffee container into work while carrying 4 other bags. I wish people appreciated the ability to come home and make dinner without thinking of what they could make that would require the least amount of energy and still somehow be healthy. I wish people would realize how easy it is to get out of their car and walk someplace. I wish people who do not have a disability would not compare their fatigue to mine. I wish there was a way out there to ask for help before I notice that everything is going to hell. By the time I notice, I get on steroids and am almost past the help stage.

So to sum this whole rant, I wish people would notice when I'm struggling, I wish they would somehow think of some way to help, and I really wish people would not take so many simple things for granted.

Maybe, just maybe, there's hope in this quote from John F. Kennedy:
"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Some way, I believe God is in the mix of all of this. Right now, I'm not sure exactly where, but I do know he's there.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Times have changed

It seems there are so many opinions being voiced right now about what people used to do, particularly surrounding going to school. They used to walk a half mile to elementary school, used to walk over a mile to junior high, etc. No bus option. I walked too, in what was considered a safe town and a safe neighborhood. I look back, grimace, think times have changed, and ponder how people do not see the changes.

I used to walk to my elementary school, with a large group of kids. In Douglas County, we now have year-round elementary schools which means the number of kids walking home on any given day has shrunk. Occasionally, I used to walk home alone from athletics in elementary school. Two of those times I saw things I should not have seen at that age. I never told my parents—thus, a girl walking home alone was considered perfectly safe.

I walked to and from junior high school—1.25 miles—sometimes on a bike path, always listening to my walkman. A few years after that, under a bridge along the same bike path, a woman was raped. Thankfully I was driving by then.

I have other stories which delve into my college life and beyond—they clarify how society has changed. I know there is a registered sexual offender within the vicinity of my first grade daughter’s school. I know when she walks to school she takes a bike path often crossed by a coyote. I know the things I saw as an elementary school girl. I know how oblivious I was walking a bike path as a teenager. I know the results could have been different for me, and that many times I was very lucky.

I want my daughter to be able to get safely home, to not see what I saw, to not have to encounter the scary situations that lurk in many places. I walked home in a different time when there wasn’t much busing. I would like to think society would realize the value of busing, that times have changed, and that parents want their kids to get home as safely as possible.