Any reader of this blog notices that Me, Anne, Wanda, Kathy, Zed, Deborah and everyone else who has bravely written in this blog have one thing in common:
- WE ALL VIEW PAIN AS A FACT. Pain is in our lives despite all of our attempts to alleviate it, and that a wise course is to simply accept that here and now, we suffer chronic pain.
- WE ALL HAVE ARRIVED AT A LIFE OF PAIN FROM SOME OTHER PLACE. Before we were afflicted we had lives much like yours. We had our ups and downs, successes and failures, joys and tragedies. We could not imagine chronic pain and probably never even thought of it unless we witnessed it in someone else.
- WE ALL AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER LIVED WITHOUT CHRONIC PAIN. We ran, swam, sat for hours at length enjoying iced tea with our friends; we brought children into this world, played with them, hoisted babies effortlessly onto our shoulders, cooked, gardened, or tossed footballs. We moved our bodies aggressively and without thought.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE ARE ALL MOVING FROM WHERE WE WERE, A LIFE WITHOUT PAIN, TO A POINT IN THE FUTURE. TO REACH IT, WE WILL HAVE CROSS A BARRIER OF PAIN TO GET THERE. Obviously, we began a trek through a wilderness of pain that ends as with all humans in our passing from this life to the next. We can tell you the date this "new" journey began.
- WHY US? Why not us? Why not you?
A better question than, "Why us?", is "Why not us?" Or maybe even, "Why not you instead?" Did we do something wrong to warrant this special punishment, or were we so strong that an impediment was needed to slow us down, or maybe to humble us. Perhaps I hurt today because there is something else I'm supposed to be doing with my life than what I had been doing. While I can see the merit in being humbled, I DO NOT think that that the wrath of a loving God is visited upon me for (in the words of Iggy Pop) ..."some weird sin".
No, the easiest thing for me to believe is that I am the way I am because of two reasons, both bridging the spiritual and practical worlds demonstrating that they are one in the same. Yup. It's that simple. One, I choose to view my pain as a special calling, not to convert you or anyone else to my way of thinking, but to demonstrate by living my life by living it; and two, that my life is a pathway that winds its' way through a crowd of people; I'm easy to spot in that crowd. I'm the guy hobbling on by with a shillelagh to keep me from kissing the street.
So I live for my example in which I'm like all people, flawed. Not just because of the limp, but also the occasional grimace or frown or just general bad temperament. It must sound like either my mind has come adrift, or my ego's wildly out of control. Neither. I'm trying to live today very differently than I did a few years ago.
Back then I lived very comfortably. I had a great, but easy job on Wall St.-the reward of many years of hard work, missed birthdays, overdue and gooey sentimental Valentines. I skipped one time events like the 3rd grade orchestra, and championship games for which I contritely swapped box seats at Red Sox games. I gave diamonds instead of myself. I bought-off my guilt with things. I'd fly to NYC from a family vacation at Cape Cod, returning late that evening to stories of a baby's first swim in the ocean. For these trade-offs I got money and prestige. At the age of forty I spent a night in a coronary care unit, only to find that my heart was fine, but that I was depressed and a victim of an anxiety disorder. Nice vacations and gifts made all things right until bang! one day they weren't.
Now, I live in pain, but do my best to share pleasure. The insidious creep of all that I ever thought I wanted in my life was there...but my life was empty. Today I know people I'd never have known.
Today, the people in my life are my family, and the wonderful people I've met blogging. Today, I'm coming to know God, and how to pray to him by doing things. I was going to write He wasn't a moment too soon, but I realize instead that I wasn't a moment too soon. All it took was a little (lot) of pain for me to realize the grace bestowed on me.
PS. To special Friends, just the thought of whom brightens my day:
My Wife, Sarah, Rachel, Zac, Molly, Mum, Dad, Omi, Upu, Anne, Wanda, Dorothy Gantenbein ( http://www.dorothyphoto.com/dorothy_photo/) , Her Mom, Kathy, Deborah ( deborah-weatheringmigrainestorms.blogspot.com , Val, Jim F., Jim Walton, Lord Matt ( http://lordmatt.co.uk/ ), Zed, Kev. Bobbie the Cop, Big Dave. Vince, Nickie (http://puppybraille.livejournal.com/ ), Liz Strauss (successful-blog.com ), Michael Dorn (http://disstud.blogspot.com/), Zubli (http://synchronity4change.wordpress.com/ ) 2k Bloggers (http://sandbox.2kbloggers.com/ 233 people who left beautiful comments, and the hundreds more who braved the keys to write me an email. Sincere apologies to those I've forgotten.