For an instant after I wake up each morning, my bedridden condition reminds me of the horrors of my past, until someone opens my window blinds. The sun bursts into my room with no apologies. Each sunrise promises me a new day filled with infinite possibilities. My situation, naturally, is not what I would have chosen but then I realize I have immeasurable reasons to live – my grandchildren, kids, loved ones, and renewed hope.
My bedroom window
I’m lucky to have some good memories like driving. Whenever I took a wrong turn, I relished in the opportunity to explore new places. I took pleasure in all the winds of those roads. I never knew what hidden gem I might see.
After I rebound from bad news, I rekindle that adventurous spirit and appreciate each snaking road I meet while on this confusing but remarkable roller coaster journey called life. I cannot see over the mountain when I am in a valley but that’s ok.
My perspective switches to times that I stood on mountaintops. When I was a kid, most days, after school, I’d run across town to a construction site full of red clay hills. I climbed up to the top of a hill, spread my arms wide, and imagined flying like an angel. A delicious aroma of Play Doh and pine mingled with clean fresh air tickled my nose. I inhaled slowly, exhaling dreamily. It exhilarated me. I could see for miles and miles and breathe.
In moments of silence, I slip into my imagination. It whisks me away to sublime places like my red clay hills and my childhood bedroom where I danced. Dance has always rescued me. Gyrating in front of my bedroom mirror transported me to ethereal wildflower fields, overflowing with tiny dancers just like me, dispelling my loneliness. By the age of nine, I had mastered all the latest dance crazes, like “The Twist” and “The Stroll.” I became alive through my fantasy life.
No one can hurt me there.
I have learned that I am only as shackled as I choose to be. Whether or not I can walk or get out of my bed is not the issue. I must remember that each moment passes by only once and linger in the splendid occasions.
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, In addition, the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” Jim Morrison
Categories: Dealing with Disability