I don't mean to write ad nauseam about the mental and emotional journey I am on, but if you are reading this, I suppose you already know it's coming...

Of the lessons learned today, or rather lesson reminded, is the sense of happiness, freedom, and courage. What it takes to find these three things, feel them, own them.

When looking at my cutest boy, this quote comes to full light. Happiness can have so many connotations, mean different things to different people, as does Freedom. When I watch my boy, in a body that doesn't work, I am reminded that I am free in so many ways that I don't realize. I have the ability to move my legs when they are uncomfortable, get up out of my chair, move my feet, trunk, toes, when they are falling asleep. He has to wait for someone to do those things for him...someone to notice, ask him, wait for his growl...yet he is happy. This makes me think that in many ways he does feel freedom...it is just different than mine. I need to honor and appreciate all that means to me and to him.

When I look at someone who is differently abled than I am, I need to remember that my reality may not be the same as theirs. My son was born this way, he has never known what it meant to crawl, walk, run. His entire world is reflected from his chair. I don't even think that those actions are a part of his reality. He doesn't miss them because he has never done them. Others have a different sense of reality. For many, they were healthy at some point and have progressively gotten weaker. They have to struggle with loss of movement, loss of strength, loss of a sense of freedom. This can be difficult...far harder than many of us would ever know.

Each situation requires courage...courage to deal with the loss, courage to fight for strength, courage to breathe. So many of us take these small things for granted...we don't notice them. They seem unimportant. One thing I had to learn eleven years ago when the cutest boy was born...appreciate the small things because they really are the big things. These are the things that I am noticing and appreciating this week...a hand reached out to help up a step, feeding someone who can't do it for themselves, pushing someone to help them go faster.

Happiness...Freedom...Courage...each of these requires more...to be courageous is to put yourself out there knowing that you might fail, knowing that you cannot predict the outcome, yet I see examples of this courage hundreds of times a day. Freedom comes from that courage. Being willing to take a chance, try something you haven't done and succeeding gives you freedom...freedom to try again, freedom to take a risk. When you do these things, you will find joy, happiness.

Sometimes it is just listening and watching dancers doing the tango or taking the rocks off a target so it is easier to knock over. Sometimes it is laughter from a child, or a high five, or a smile that starts the day. Regardless, I am striving to be more courageous. With that courage, I hope to find freedom...freedom of my mind and spirit. With this freedom, I will surely find the final prize...happiness, for once I have found that, I can make it happen again and again.

Happiness...freedom...courage...what will you do to find yours?


  1. very beautiful. Courage is certainly key to having a full life, no matter our limitations...and we all have them. I help my folks, who are both in wheelchairs (ages 90 and 93), and I think about these things every day. Very insightful piece.


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