Learning through my Dad

I have spent a great deal of time in my own thoughts these last few weeks.  I have written many pages in my head that just haven't reached the paper.  The words flow and the cadence is easy, but at 3:00 a.m., who wants to put pen to paper.  And so they are lost, those wonderful Pulitzer moments.  

Sleep has been difficult and the pain has been plentiful although it is such a growing experience; an eye opener into self, thought and prayer.  I dread the pain, I am truly afraid of its return, but it always comes back, just like my early morning clarity of thought.   

A common theme is, "Where did I go?" If I honestly look at myself I sometimes don't recognize me.  My face is  getting round with the steroids and sometimes becomes prickly red.  My skin gets yellow from infusions and occasionally chalky white from reasons I do not know.  My chest has a protrusion where my port sticks out and I can see the tube that leads up into my jugular vein.  At times my joints are locked up to where I cannot move and the swelling in my leg makes it twice as big as the other.  I often walk with a cane now and I have a handicap placard.  Where did I go?

This journey has been a constant daily battle between not looking back and comparing who I will never be to what I have become now.  I can no longer compare me to me.  I may never dance again.  I may never again ride a horse or stroll on the greenbelt.  And while that is devastating, I have found a part of me that I didn't know I had.  I have grit and toughness.  I have good character and I am kind.  I can smile and cry at the same time and I can see beauty through the storm.  I am not angry and most of the time I am not sad.  I am comforted with my faith and secure in who I am.  I actually like who I have become.

I gave a speech yesterday in regard to my Dad who passed away 8 months ago.  The State of Idaho honored him with a Proclamation declaring February 21, 2017 as the Fred Riggers Disability Awareness Day.  In that speech I talked about my Dad as a good dad, one that provided and worked hard for his family.  I told stories of how he evolved with his disability and became a great man for it.  How he helped others by being present for them and reaching out to them.  He was well known in the community as a giver of his time in personal relationships with others.  He was helpful and friendly and loved by those who knew him.  I realized yesterday that I want to be more like my Dad, a person who did not give into his disability but became better because of it. 

I am forever grateful to my family and friends who are walking this walk with me.  I cannot express enough how important it is when you reach out to me; even if I may be slow in responding back.  Every interaction is a Blessing. 

Lynda Wolters