What is the calibration you use to measure your progress in life? The door facing at my grandparents’ house in New Orleans where Paw-Paw precisely scratched a notch above my head and my shoe size were the measurements I gauged progression as a child. I would gawk at the increasingly widening increments in the doorway to the kitchen with disbelief I was ever that small. Putting my socked foot on the cold Brannock Device was always a moment of excited anticipation. A larger pair of PF Flyers was certain to increase my already blazing speed. If you ever wondered what PF was the abbreviation of….. Posture Foundation.

In my late teens I decided I would be a millionaire by thirty. My wise family doctor would question progress with sarcasm. It took a few years into a terminal diagnosis to realize his sarcastic take on my monetary goal was because there was much to life than a bank account balance.

By thirty ALS had ravaged my body, but I was foolishly holding onto an old lifestyle. That is a number I was fortunate to survive.

Next April I will reach the fifty year point on this journey. I am planning on a beach bash weekend. That is an extraordinary milestone considering the odds I am facing. I am incredibly grateful I have witnessed my children become caring responsible adults. I smile when I see gray hair fall on the barber’s cape. I imagine I have some wrinkles, but haven’t seen myself in a mirror for many years. A wrinkled mug would make me smile too. I am grateful for all of these miracles though I’m embarrassed to admit I wonder too often what I could have accomplished without ALS. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Obviously I never fathomed this fork in the road. Life sure was simpler when everything was measured on a door facing or Brannock Device, but I prefer my evaluation of progress these days and likely would have a less appreciative perspective without this rocky road. Thanks so much for reading. Have a great day! dj

2 comments on “Numbers
  1. careysue says:

    Wow, you have spurred up memories I haven't thought about in years! It's funny how our perspective changes with age and what becomes important changes with age! So happy you've made these milestones in your life, let me tell you the 50 mile mark will be just the beginning of a great adventure!!

  2. Cathy Curths says:

    I'll be 52 in Oct. I was still healthy at age 50 and I didn't think about what turning 50 meant. Now I treasure Birthdays and all the other miletones. Great post, and happy 5oth in advance!Cathy

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