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