I am a lucky man! I am not rich from an American standard of living. I have a nice pension that allows me to live comfortably. Have a roof over my head,a car to drive, food on the table. I can live in a foreign country and enjoy what the country has to offer. I rent out my house in Las Vegas to afford my quiet adventure, but what if I lost the ability to see, hear, touch, smell or feel. Would life matter?
All the money, travel would be meaningless if you did not have these senses. I appreciate the early morning squawking of fifty parrots in the tree. The sounds of monkeys howling in the early morning. Barking of dogs and the meowing of the neighbors cats asking for some attention. I can live without the loud sounds of trucks and sirens blasting the airwaves. I love the sound of quiet that makes the sound of wind vibrate in my ears. Quiet would be devastating to me if I became completely deaf. If all I heard was nothing, silence is defeafening if all you heard was the ringing in your ears. How do deaf people do it? Live?
I love a beautiful sunset, sunrise and the smell of nature. Imagine not being able to see a loveones face because you had an accident that caused you to go blind. Would the memories of things and people pop in your memory and show you a vivid picture of what was? I think of these things and work at looking into people, places and things. Trying to get a memory to enjoy. It must be frustrating not to speak, not to have the ability to communicate.
My Mom had a stroke recently and Is paralyzed on the right side. She struggles to walk, but what is most debilitating is she can not speak. You can see the frustration in her eyes and body. Simple practices, like counting to ten is impossible. Saying I love you is lost. She looks at you to say something and cries in frustration. Why does God make diseases that cause people to suffer? Put me down before I needlessly suffer.
What would you do if you lost both your arms in combat? I could not imagine not to be able to hug my wife, girlfriend or child. What a devastation that must be. My heart goes out to anyone who can not get or give a hug. A simple jester of loving that some people lose. Feel is essential in my daily life. The petting of my little dogs on my lap or the hugging and caressing of my girlfriend throughout the day. I love awaking to my morning hugs. I love to hear the sounds of nature and I love the closeness an early morning hug and kiss gives me in bed.
Slowly I am losing my hearing. It comes with old age and I always had a hard time hearing. My best friend is almost deaf. He hears because of hearing aids. He and his sister were deaf at birth. Their Mom took a drug when she was pregnant that caused this affliction. They are two amazing individuals who learned to cope with deafness and you would not know they were deaf when you first meet them. Not until you try to talk to them when their back was turned and their hearing aids were not in.
My friends are examples of how you can enjoy life with disabilities. My girlfriend has psoriatic arthritis. A painful, swollen of the joints that make her immobile and in terrible pain. We get up early in the morning to get chores done. We go on excursions early in the day, because by one or two o’clock she is done. Simple tasks, like grocery shopping needs to be done in a motorized cart. Costa Rica at times is difficult for her because of the rock roads, no sidewalks and no electric carts to help handicapped people. She can not take long walks or hikes. Can not see waterfalls or walk in zoos or visit museums. With the help of a wheel chair we can go to some places, but not all countries have disability access.
I am a lucky man. I am reasonably healthy and enjoy all my senses. I hope I grow old gracefully. What if you lost the ability……
The muscles are stiff and the bones ache
The mind is slipping, is it too late?
No more birthdays; too many years to count
No time to sit and pout
Go for a walk in the early morning
Watch the sunrise in its orange glory
Fix a little breakfast and read the paper
Maybe play some word games a little later
Maybe go to a movie and have some lunch
Go to my favorite restaurant and visit the wild bunch
A few friends I made through the years
It’s a couple of hours of good cheer
Thank God for descent health
Just a little below stealth
Make sure I take all my pills
So I can keep walking up those hills
Have a light dinner
Check the television for a lively thriller
Stay up late reading a book
Fall asleep: only a few hours it took
To start a new day
There is a price you pay
You lose precious time
Live it sublimely
Each day I wake
An adventure I will take