Finally Growing Up

For those who have visited the Cape, you know the peninsula is dotted with sand dunes and endless stretches of beach. There are crashing waves and mild kettle ponds, created by receding glaciers. We live on the Outer Cape, also known as the lower cape, in spite of the fact we have to drive up the Cape to get there. It is no wonder I am confused.

What does not confuse me is how much I adore the place.

I have been visiting Cape Cod since I was a kid. Running up and down the dunes, hiking the trails and swimming across ponds were a part of summer I took for granted. No more. I have written about that in this space and see no need to repeat myself. I think my tales of frustration have crossed the line into tedium.

It is time to get over it. What was was, and what is, is. I am a lucky guy. It has been a privilege to have this place.   I sit on a bench overlooking a vast stretch of ocean that is timeless. I feel small there and lucky to be alive. Siblings, nieces and nephews and their children surround Meredith and me. How cool is that? Family dinners are festive, forever fun. Life is a series of cycles. How could my

Life not have changed? Maybe the more we have, the more we want. There can be an unintentional pull toward entitlement when we are denied perfection. That becomes a sorry state.

I may not have it all, but I am fortunate for all that is mine. Meredith asks if I mind if she goes jogging on the beach. I know she fears her run will make me feel bad. I look at her as if she has a screw loose. Please go, I say. My mother never left my father’s side when he was sidelined with MS. Please don’t become my mother, I say. She gave too much of her life looking after a man in a wheelchair instead of occasionally watching hundreds of seals diving for fish in the harbor. I am fine. I miss a life I once loved, but I do not feel sorry for myself.

Life is good.




18 Responses to Finally Growing Up

  1. Jane July 7, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    Well said, Richard.

    • steve rubin July 20, 2017 at 8:03 pm #


  2. Hilary July 7, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

    F MS. Life is great. Your life is great. Enjoy your great life and family. Blog about the Cape! I miss the Vineyard.

    There is not a second I am not in pain since I was diagnosed in 2011. But my life is still great. I knew I married the best 21 years ago and she proves it every day.

    I have the same situation with my wife when she goes out to walk or run without me. Sometimes I go biking at the same time. But I never stop her.

    Don’t let MS win. This included with the family. Life is (still) great.

  3. Jan July 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

    Yes, growing up. I’ve told a few close friends that I don’t think I’m ready to be an adult. (We have two grown children, mind you: we all get quite the chuckle out of that).

    RE your, “I am fine. I miss a life I once loved, but I do not feel sorry for myself. Life is good” and encouraging a spouse to do as able—I’m kind of “getting” all of this (after 12 years of MS and worsening issues).

    Messaged my local neurologist today to request an MRI check and maybe a scooter. Said that I can think, write, type, swim, and drive, but the physical is really tough and mostly painful. “Walking” out of the pool, navigating the shower and slick bathroom floor have left me with forearm bruises to help ensure that I don’t fall. Feels like walking on ice with wet bare feet and no blades or leg strength.

    And yes, as you said, “I may not have it all, but I am fortunate for all that is mine.” Family, friends, and people in my everyday life matter. Everyone has something. MS does seem to make it easier for others to be real, too.

  4. Jane July 8, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    We are riding a good wave here. Richard’s blog is such a blessing. We may need to do things in a different manner than before MS, but we will not let this nutty disease stop us. Keep going. Live well.

  5. Ken July 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    Absolutely Love These Words ! I am learning to live in the Present, Live in the Now, not looking back, it is history, and nothing can change the “back there”, not looking ahead, I do not know what tomorrow holds, and it does not have to affect TODAY, This moment, of this day, is Good, that is all that matters !

  6. Liz July 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    4 years ago I started to train myself to live in the moment. I’ve found it a wonderful place to be. Others not so fortunate. I’m glad I found out about it in time.

    • Hilary July 9, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

      Exactly. Love what you have and stop mourning what you lost or never had.

    • Ken July 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

      Yes, around 4 years ago for me as well, “living in the moment” is the “treatment” for a lot of regrets and sorrows.

  7. Pat Harper July 10, 2017 at 5:19 am #

    Good to hear. That’s something that I try to purposefully bring to the forefront of my mind as often as I can, to remind my self not to let the perfection slip by while focused on the imperfection. Be well.

  8. Jan July 10, 2017 at 9:09 am #

    From a post from a friend marking the five-year mark of her husband’s (far too early) passing and a thought to their three children:

    “You have three choices: you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.”

    I think that also can apply in other situations, as difficult as they may be. Attitude matters.

  9. Amy Hunt July 11, 2017 at 9:59 am #

    I am at our place, the non-confusing mid-Cape, with our parents, and little kids running around happy, including my own. No, I can’t go to the beach with them. My spouse is a great golfer, and I say “go!” But there is much I can do from my wheelchair, and this summer is the best ever so far. Delighted you are enjoying and counting your many blessings.

  10. Dale July 16, 2017 at 1:44 am #

    Why don’t you just move here? Summer is the worst really. The shoulder seasons are best. We could really use more year rounders like you and Meredith. Not folks that move here and then want to change things to make it more like their country club lifestyle from back home. There is so much more to Cape Cod than just beaches and sharks.

  11. Dale July 20, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    Seeing no one has chimed in here I will take that as a happy sign all are busy enjoying life. That is a very good thing. These comments did help inspire a bit of an attitude adjustment though, summer is challenging for me. But we’re running a big experiment using oysters, think a little more testing them for quality control might be in order. That should improve my attitude considerably.

    I was recently miserable over not being able to teach my kids finally how to properly clam this summer, especially the one who has mastered the family stuffed quahog recipe. The other two like fish (one cod, the other salmon, go figure) but not shellfish much (yet at least, how can Cape Cod kids not like clams?) So working on letting that go. They’ll inherit my cherished fillet knives and hopefully will not abuse their spouses for using them to cut tomatoes.

    Yeah, all things considered, life is pretty good. Just lock up your fillet knives.

  12. Jan July 21, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

    OK Dale, I will chime in with a bit of drama…my left hand is casted, as I fractured my wrist in two spots after my ankles caved and I dove onto our sofa of all things…makes typing rather rough, but where there’s a will there’s a way! Never thought I’d actually use umbrella bags, but they come rather handy in the shower.

  13. Jan July 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Brain capacity is 100%. The physical, well…

    • Dale July 22, 2017 at 7:00 am #

      Awww Jan! Not fun any time of year, especially summer. Turn it into a good story, one that gets better in the retelling. Every booboo has a story.
      Heal fast!

  14. Jane July 22, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    Oh no, Jan. Take care of yourself. Look at it this way: a fractured wrist beats a fractured head. I find myself having to “think” more as I move around. Jeez Louise.