Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who am I??

It is the most basic of questions--Do I define myself by an internal or external set of parameters or some combination of both? Do my roles; wife, mother, daughter provide my meaning? Are my possessions the arbiter of who I am (I certainly hope not). What of my skills and former profession, my education, my accomplishments.
I could easily take on secondary progressive multiple sclerosis as the primary definer of my self. I would rather see MS as an 'impactor', but not the who of me. But, so much of what I have done, what I have lost, and what I deal with every moment of every day is seen through the lens of MS. Separating the who of me from the illness seems as improbable as untangling a spiderweb.
The basics:
  • Wife, to John--20 years on June 18th
  • Mother, to Braden--he is away at Bard College at Simon's Rock in SW Massachusetts
  • Daughter to parents in Eugene and Veneta OR
  • Sister to an older brother, in Cabot, VT
  • Diagnosed with MS 9-years ago
  • Diagnosed with Secondary Progressive 7-years ago
  • Using an electric wheelchair--9 years, 4-years full-time
  • Left wonderful job at the UofO 3 years ago--on full disability
The cornerstone of who I am and how I live my life is being a Christian. I look to the book of Esther for inspiration. If I didn't carry a bible, attend church, and other outward trappings of Americanized Christianity--would those around me see Christ in my life through my words, my actions, my attitude, and how I deal with adversity.
I don't strive towards some brittle, barbie doll, pasted on smile version of the 'suffering Christian.' I desire a life full of compassion, humor, passion, pain--living the days that I have with as much joy as I can. And accepting that that may include kicking, screaming, pushing, whining, as well as fear and loneliness.
That is why I decided to write this blog--to explore the question of "Why do seemingly bad things occur," and "what is life like living with a rotten disease," and"How my faith in God doesn't guarantee some type of white picket fence, mini van driving, ranch house golden life. "
So, if anyone chooses to read along with me as I write this--don't expect perfect or pollyanna answers. Just one woman of faith who does her best from day to day to live with MS.

1 comment:

Widmer Cousins said...

Wow, I'm your first "Follower." Is that a little creepy? Sounds like I'm going to follow you everywhere!! Jill