It Has Been a While...
Hello, <<First Name>>! I must admit that it has been a while since I have sent out an edition of my "Motivational Minute". I apologize for this delay but I feel compelled to explain why I have not sent this sooner. As of last August, I am back in school! I am finishing up my college coursework with the goal of graduating from Utah State University. This had been quite the adjustment but it has been very rewarding. I started off very slow but I think I am finally in the swing of things and have it somewhat under control.
The Best Lessons are Taught by My Children
In this "Motivational Minute", I want to give you a lesson from an experience that I just had this morning with my son on the way to school. The little moments with my children are usually the times that teach me the most.
I find that I am often in a deep thought, recollecting of times past when I was more physically able to do things and not so limited in my abilities. I sit and get carried away in the visions and thoughts of things that have been hard to see fade within my body. Even though I have been dealing with this disability for a little over five years now, I still focus on this probably more than I should and this is something that I am really trying to change. It just takes time, just as it takes time for any change that we pursue in our lives. But you see, that is just it. "There is nothing so inevitable and unchanging than change itself. The things that we touch, see, and feel are always changing" (Marvin J. Ashton, October, 1979
). It is just in how we deal with these changes that is so important. So let me tell you about this experience that has already taught me so much about the changes in my life.
As we were getting in my van to go to school this morning, my son said that it must be hard for me having to walk with a walker all of the time. This started a conversation and I told him that it was definitely hard. We talked about a few of the things that I was once able to do that are not within my ability anymore. Then, I told him of two specific experiences that I had during my employment with the National MS Society. I told him about the first time I ever saw someone using a walker (like the one that I have now). I told him that I was in an elevator of a hotel where a coworker and I had traveled to host a PEP (patient education program) and there was a man with this little walker with a seat. For some reason, I remember that moment and I remember how I never imagined that I would be in the same condition, even though I had MS. Then I told him about another time when a client called in to the office and I was talking to her about different things that she needed. This client mentioned something called "hand controls" and I remember how I had no idea what those were. I did so much research for this lady and I remember how after I sent her the information via mail, I made a file in my office for this just in case someone else ever needed that information. Again, never did I imagine that I would be the one that would need this and now everywhere I go, I drive with hand controls because I cannot lift my right foot. I have to say that I probably remember those things so vividly because those were some of the things that I feared the most that could happen with this disease.
It was at this time that I was very clear to my son and I told my son that yes, it is hard for anyone living with any disability but I went on to tell him that you just have to make the best of each thing given to you, whether it be a good thing or whether it be a bad thing. This is how we learn the lessons needed in life so we can return home to our Father in Heaven and say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7
). I am glad that through these things, I am not the only one being taught but so is my family. In and through it all, we are blessed.
We are blessed by the changes that we face in our lives. "We need not feel that we must forever be what we presently are. There is a tendency to think of change as the enemy. Many of us are suspect of change and will often fight and resist it before we have even discovered what the actual effects will be. When change is thought through carefully, it can produce the most rewarding and profound experiences in life... Yes, there is pain in change, but there is also great satisfaction in recognizing that progress is being achieved. Life is a series of hills and valleys and often the best growth comes in the valleys
" (Marvin J. Ashton, October, 1979).
Remember that we can and we must Triumph Through Trials
in our lives. Take care and I will see you in another "Motivational Minute".
Alyssa M. Audd