SISSIE21
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Gratitude for movement

Friday, September 30, 2016

I have been taking care of my neighbour who is also a friend for a few days. She has a very serious motor neuron disease which has taken her from being a very active woman (a few years back we went to Zumba together) to a woman who can not walk, eat or do even the most normal things without help. She has a group of people who care for her, her family, home health care workers, friends, neighbours, etc. I usually help out when her other caretaker goes away.

Every time that I go over to her house, I am shocked at how fast this has gone. M was the person who encouraged me 4 years ago to start at the sportschool and lose weight, going with me the first time. She took care of our beloved kitty cat for a month each summer so we could go back to the states to visit family. She was so active, always busy, biking, gardening, even painted the outside of their house! My DH used to tease me and say I needed to be more like her!

It breaks my heart to see a woman in her 50's so dependent now on all of us for everything. And I mean everything. She can't do even the most basic things by herself. She has a wonderful family that love her to death and do so much and then her friends and neighbours that help out. But still, how hard it must be for M. Her mind is totally fine, but because she is so weak, it takes long minutes to have her point to the letter board to tell me something even basic. She is even too weak to text now...

Today is one of my days to help out. I volunteered because her normal caretaker needed to go away for a few days. Am trying to stay upbeat and give her all the neighborhood news as I feed her. We watch a TV program together or listen to music or just chat. Well, I chat and she has to listen! I do make her laugh alot, which makes me feel good, like I am hopefully brightening her day.

I always leave incredibly grateful for my muscles and arms and legs that still work. For the fact that I can walk outside whenever I want and feel the sun on my face, can pick up anything, can play my piano, can communicate without the help of a letter board. For having a problem (being overweight) that I can DO something about. That I can fix, even if it's hard. There are times I am upstairs on my treadmill, tired and wanting to stop. And then I think about M, lying on the bed in her livingroom, right across the garden from me, and how much she loved to go to the gym. And how we used to go together...

I am grateful for the chance to do this for someone who has helped me out for almost 20 years when we moved into this little dutch village. I hope with all my heart that she will be able to stay at home with her family till the end.

You just never know what life is going to bring you. I watch M and her family deal with her illness with courage and grace. I am grateful to be a witness to what love in a family can mean. And today, I am once again, grateful for my health.

Thanks for listening. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CGPS1795
    You and M. are now on our prayer list! I know all too well exactly your level of gratitude for just the simple ability to move on my own. I have discovered and am very grateful for the joy I bring to Mark who enjoys Zumba along with me. His physical therapists are overjoyed by his improvement in movement.

    Thank you for your kind words on my Video blog - I'm sending you a different link. I hope it works for you. Sometimes I find that the Spark video blogs take a long time to load.

    Heeft u wonen eigenlijk in Nederland? Ik hield van mijn bezoeken. Mijn tante woonde door de overstromingen, toen ze er voor de Amerikaanse buitenlandse dienst werd toegekend.

    Did I get that right?

    Video blog: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gwp2cffy6
    4z4utl/A%20Carl%20in%20All%20Si
    zes%201998%20-%202016.m4v?dl=0<
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    Here's the blog to go with the pictures: http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blo
    g.asp?post=how_i_ditched_my_fat
    titude_lost_200_pounds_and_foun
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    emoticon emoticon Carl
    1733 days ago
  • CHERYLHURT
    Grateful for legs and arms that move.
    1756 days ago
  • ITHILDRIEL
    You've made me grateful too. emoticon
    1756 days ago
  • PATRICIAANN46
    emoticon You are a wonderful friend and I am sure that she appreciates you very much. You are so right...............we are not promised tomorrow. So much can change and I have NEVER been more aware of this as I have been since I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. My walking has been severely affected and even though I am NOT afraid of surgery, I am hesitant because with back surgery of this kind, I have been warned that it may not work and even if some of the pain goes away in my legs, it may get worse in my lower back.............and the surgery may have to be repeated with time. You can see why this is NOT something that I want to jump into.

    I think that we all have to do what we can with what we have. I am NOT giving up...........I am just finding new ways to try to keep in shape.

    Thank you for a great blog............. emoticon
    1756 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    emoticon
    1757 days ago
  • MARTYLYNN1
    When I have felt sorry for myself due to health issues I try to stop and remind myself there are others who are much worse off and count my blessing. It is so great that you are able to help your friend. So sad that this has happened to such a wonderful person, as you describe her. I will add M to my prayers.
    emoticon
    1757 days ago
  • LJCANNON
    emoticon Praying for You and M. I can imagine a little of what her Family and Friends are enduring. As you said, it does make us Grateful for what we're able to do.
    1757 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13002992
    Good on you as you care for your neighbor!
    emoticon
    1757 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    Very sad...but you are right, life is so unpredictable...we need to live each day to the fullest and strive to be our healthiest happiest self.
    emoticon

    1757 days ago
  • COMPUCATHY
    Wow...you brought tears to my eyes. Praying for M. It sounds like she is a real blessing...and now that blessing is returning to her through the love of friends and family. It does make us think...and appreciate...and be grateful. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon
    1757 days ago
  • WATERMELLEN
    You are a great neighbour; how seldom we get a chance to "pay it back" and you're above and beyond. Moving feels so good, and the ability to move is such a gift. (Appreciated particularly when the work out is over!!)
    1757 days ago
  • CHERYLHURT
    Lovely!
    1757 days ago
  • RO2BENT
    How very nice
    1757 days ago
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