A Cheerful heart is good medicine.
This is from 2015.
"Honey, Can you help me?!"
Jeff's panicky voice called out to me from the bedroom. It seemed he had gotten his foot caught in his pant's pocket again while trying to get dressed. This maneuver takes a certain talent that apparently Jeff is abundantly blessed with, as it has become a regular occurrence in our morning routine. It usually happens after his shower while I am blending his favorite BULLET COFFEE. On my way to the bedroom to attempt extricating his foot from his pocket, I pondered the monetized potential of video recording his dressing dilemmas. Is America's funniest home videos still airing? Asking for a friend.
After taming his ever uncooperative sweat-pants-pocket, we prepare for his bi-weekly Occupational Therapy session. Jeff is beside himself with glee. He will be the star attraction with a captive audience of occupational and physical therapists who have not yet heard all of his one-liners and witty observations. I am giddy for an entirely different reason. While he has his 90 minute therapy session, I will be upstairs in the hospital cafeteria, sipping a hot tea, staring blindly out the windows, silently, blissfully, enjoying my alone time even while surrounded by the hoards of hungry doctors, nurses, and visitors clanging their meal trays. Blissful solitude. Serenity now.
Competition still flows through my husband's veins. He was in track and wrestling all through high school and college. Later he got into competitive power and weight lifting. While I am not the beefy muscle-head that he prefers to challenge, I will do in a pinch. He might be wobbly and off-balance, but this man still has the heart of a champion. I imagine when he sees me headed to the shower he hears the distant bang of the starting gun and his race has begun. He must win. Winning consists of Him being ready to walk out the door at least 30 minutes before I am ready to walk out the door. Minimum. And no matter how much time we have until we need to leave, he will always, always come in first place. Even if it means he hogs the bathroom so I am inevitably running late again. I am not a competitive person, but I must admit that I have found myself tempted to trip him when he shuffles past me to get to the bathroom before I finish putting on my makeup . Competition is an ugly and dangerous game, especially when it is contained within a one-bedroom, one bathroom apartment.
Since Jeff's Relapsing Remitting MS diagnosis two years ago, to say that our lives have undergone dramatic changes is a gross under-statement of fact.. We have redefined "normal". It used to be a stationary ideal we took for granted as always being right where we left it. Now normal is fluid and never really looks the same day-to-day. There are of course, some things that we are able to count on. We are blessed with quirky humor, and that brings a sense of stability to us. We have an overwhelming faith that stabilizes us in our ever shifting normality and allows us access to strength and peace that is nothing less than miraculous. In the midst of that we blessed with an undeniable, deeper-than-deep love and respect for one another that keeps our pieces and parts glued together when life could easily blow us apart. In two years Jeff has gone from working as a Heavy Equipment Branch Manager to being on full-time disability and being driven where ever he needs to go. Power lifting workouts at our local gym are now 60 minute Occupational Therapy sessions twice a week (on good weeks). 130 pound curl bar reps are replaced with elastic bands and pulleys that attach to our doors. Holding onto a shopping cart for stability while walking through the local Wal-Mart now brings him the thrill of achievement that uphill mountain cycling used to bring. That is the fluidity of what we now call normal. Tomorrow? Well, tomorrow never comes. Let's just stick with today! Because today
"A CHEERFUL HEART IS GOOD MEDICINE, BUT A BROKEN SPIRIT SAPS A PERSON'S STRENGTH." Proverbs 17:22