I join many others who are intent on measuring disability by what we have lost, all that we no longer can do. The list only gets longer. Running, walking, driving, playing sports and on and on. That opens a narrow window on the quality of a life. Probably that standard is very male. Most guys just want to be jocks. But is that all there is?
What about all we still are, what we do and give to others? Don’t those count? My kids are grown and gone, on their own, if such exists. A famous anchorman once told me that never really happens. I am involved with my children as I always have been. That has real meaning to me and is somewhere in the recipe for a good life. And what about our spouses and partners? Care giving is not just about bedpans and meals on wheels.
Meredith and I have been interviewed about caregivers and have made the point that everyone in a relationship is a caregiver. We are advisors if not anchors for each other. We contribute to lives. I am not minimizing the pain that accompanies loss. I feel it every day. I am only suggesting there is more to consider as we continue to evaluate our lives.
I have written that who I am sits in my head and heart, not in my sneakers. I am not above wallowing, but coping is an endless mind game. What is missing in life hurts, but what still is there has a positive place. I am currently writing about self-absorption for my new book. Being honest with ourselves is a mighty task but one that is worth working toward.