Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Change ...

Marlene Terry
Knowing when it's time for things to change and then finding the courage to make it happen is a BIG deal.
Take me for instance. I try very hard to proceed at the same pace and manner no matter how many years go by and how many people tell me I need to make adjustments.

It was like the time I broke to pieces, a  little kitchen cart I'd purchased at a local store.
I was determined to lift the box into my trunk myself. ... After all, I've always been able to do things like that.
First try ... "I just didn't have a good hold on it," I said to myself as it slipped from my hands.
Second try ... " My hands are sweaty. That's why I can't lift it high enough." ... and  "The shopping cart is in the way." ... CRASH!
... The  rest is history.

The truth is most of us are in denial about what life does to us. And we spend a lot of time and energy trying to stay ahead of it.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for trying and trying hard. But in spite of our resolve not to, don't we all grow older and become not as strong physically and with weakening abilities?
The process is normal and happens to everyone. But when we give it our best efforts and it suddenly stops us in our tracks ... what then?

I've always admired my little sis. Her most amazing trait? OPTIMISM!
I capitalized every letter in that happy word on purpose. Because it's the only way I can accurately describe how she lives her life.

From the time she was stricken with polio at the age of 3, she's been a true example of faith, courage and love to all who know her.
She's a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister and friend, who never fails to bring gratitude for what she has into the picture. 
She always puts the happiness of others ahead of her own, not as a sacrifice but just because it's the way we need to be. And she remembers and makes very special, every event and day that's important to those she loves the most.

... She's also a widow, and is now fighting the effects of post polio syndrome, most times relying on a wheel chair to "take her on her adventures," she says laughing. And until just a few days ago, she was the sweet and reliable caretaker for her physically and mentally challenged son.

When he was born the prognosis for Ryan's condition was not good. We were told by doctors that most children with hydrocephalus, never live to see their teen years.
... But with the extreme care and love he received from his family — the one that he's been an active, vital part of in every way — he just recently celebrated his 37th birthday.

"It was my decision," my sister told me when I questioned her after hearing the news that Ryan is now a welcome, and permanent resident at the home of his sister and her hubby.
"He's my boy and of course, I still want to take care of him," Sis continued. "But I physically just can't do for him what he needs. His quality of life will be much better there.
.... "Besides, Erin loves him and he knows that."

Needless to say there are no miracles involved and no happy ending to this story. ... ... Well maybe that's not exactly true.

The miracle is seeing wonderful people doing the right thing even when it means putting their comfort and pride last and the welfare of someone else first.
...  And the "happy ending?" For those involved it might seem to be down the road a ways. ... But with that attitude of love and determination no matter what, I'm sure in time ... that will come too!

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.