Friday, October 21, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

We have a choice.

Honestly! I started doing the Resident of the Week program for the benefit of the residents. I wasn't thinking about me. I wasn't being selfish. Honest!!!
Yet, I feel like I am the one who benefits most from the interviews. The joy I receive from meeting with each resident and learning their stories - gleaning from their wisdom - is such a delight to me. It's hard to believe I get paid for this! *wink*

This week, I interviewed D. D is 73 years old and is a charming man. He loves to sing and knows just about every song there is! Seriously. He sings along with everything. There is a sparkle in his eyes, and almost always a smile on his face.
D also has Cerebral Palsy and is essentially confined to a motor-scooter. He can't read and it is often difficult to understand his speech. He told me about a bike accident he had as a young boy which caused a neck injury and brought an end to many of his physical abilities.
D told me the doctor says eventually he'll be paralyzed. And he can see it progressing already. Numbness here and there. Loss of some use in his hands. It was sad to sit and listen to D talk about losing his physical abilities.
Yet, even as he spoke, I could still see the sparkle in his eyes.

We were almost finished with the interview, and I asked D my final question. "As you think back over your life, what would you say is the greatest lesson you've ever learned?" He looked right at me and said, "I could feel sorry for myself and my problems. But I have chosen to take life one day at a time."
Then I understood the sparkle and the smiles.
In spite of the suffering.
Faced with the option of being miserable or living, D has chosen to live. And so it is with each of us. We all have suffering of varying proportions. We all have the option of feeling sorry for ourselves. But we don't have to. We can live one day at a time, instead.

We have a choice.

Karen

5 comments:

TheUnSoccerMom said...

AMEN! We do have a choice! Today, I will choose to have a great day and be JOYful! :o)

Patricia/NYC said...

Beautiful!!
Choosing JOY today too! :)

Irritable Mother said...

Jodi and Patricia - You are choosing well! ;o)

LisaShaw said...

Hi dear sister,

D has chosen to live indeed. I love this message. I remember when I served in a Nursing Home ministry years ago. I enjoyed listening to the stories of the men and women who could still share themselves. They had a passion about living...they shared nuggets of truth and wisdom from the roads they had walked. It blessed my heart.

Thank you for sharing D. Lately, I've been deliberately choosing JOY and PEACE.

Love you friend!

Irritable Mother said...

Lisa - Yes. There is so much in them, if we are willing to listen!
Love you, too. Bunches!