“It’s a terrible thing,” my father repeatedly said when he became blind. And it was! He had been an accomplished sculptor, bonsai artist, accountant . . . and so much more. He gave it all up – and eventually his raison d’être.
Now I find myself saying, “It’s a terrible thing,” but for a different reason. I have an extremely painful, progressive neurologic disease – and for almost three years have not even been able to sit, not even in a recliner, a wheelchair, anywhere. And I can only lie on select surfaces. And if I do “forget” and sit propped in a wheelchair (as to buy eyeglasses, most recently) I “pay the price” later with weeks, if not months, of severe, nauseating pain. (I have no normal immediate sensation that “tells me to stop”). So it is a “terrible thing” not to be able to sit.
Do I give up hope? My husband says the theologians say that is a sin. But perhaps I can and do live a meaningful life in my small wan – editing a pediatric journal – thereby contributing to physicians’ knowledge, volunteering for church, LAH and Mobile Meals, and by just caring for friends and family (children and grandchildren and my brother) – and especially my beloved husband who never gives up!