Thursday, May 17, 2012

To Walk

Several years ago, I was in California, taking care of my aunt and uncle for a spell.  He had broken a hip, and was in the mid-stages of Parkinson's disease.  While I know some grow angry and bitter, his sickness had turned him into one of the sweetest men I've ever met. 

She was dying of cancer, and was not in the best space while I was there.  One night I got quite angry with her.  As is my habit when I get angry, at the first opportunity, I put on my walking shoes and got out of there.

I walked for about thirty minutes, then came back feeling much better.  calmer.  ready to let bygones be bygones.  No one mentioned the argument again, until bedtime.

I customarily put Uncle Jim to bed while I was there.  That night, as I was tucking him in, he looked up at me and said, rather wistfully, "Isn't it wonderful?"

"Isn't what wonderful?", I snapped, not as over my snit as I liked to pretend.

"To be able to get up and walk.  Just because you want to.", came the reply.

Instantly the remaining bubble of my anger was gone.

"Yes, Jim.  It is wonderful.", I replied, and I meant it.

Until that moment, I had taken my ability to walk freely completely for granted.  It is wonderful.  I want to walk, I stand up, I walk.  The same would never be true for him again in this world. 

Uncle Jim walks freely now.  He has moved on.  His words often come back to me when I'm having a pity-party for one.  and always, my hurts seem a little smaller, of less import, as soon as I recall the conversation.

"Isn't it wonderful?"

1 comment:

  1. Your memory made me cry. So often, I'm an ungrateful wretch. I shall commit to noticing how often I am able to do things "just because I want to." Thanks, Janice. You are wonderful...just because you want to.