Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Touchstone of Blessing & Love

One week ago today, 17 folks in my circle bravely gathered on one of the colder rainy April mornings of late and walked over three miles for no other reason than to make a public statement that they love and care for me. WOW On my darkest days I will remember their generous giving of time and body heat as well as the generous donations from family from across the country as well as the many emails and phone from well-wishers. With a nod to Sally Fields, 
"you love me, you really love me!"
The occasion was the MS Walk 2011 and our part was TeamJanine. With 16 Members, several donors and many rooters behind the scenes.

Team members were: Sasha pushing Kaylee, next to Carol, my Mom Mary, Karin, Becky. Laura (w/ sign), Leone w/ her granddaughter Alyssa, In matching blue caps & the first to cross the finish line, Reen & Ted, next to them, my hubbie, John, next to him, our Dad, Dan. In the front, me in my wheelchair holding the team mascot Sophie next to my pops Rick and his dog Mojo. And, Janet who took the picture.
Here are some other images from the day:

Janet, Mary, Laura, Me and Sophie-All smiles before the walk and the rain

Sasha, Laura, & I share a smile with Kaylee

Kaylee, the youngest walker at 20 months, returns snug and warm! I believe our oldest walker is in their late 70s quite a range of ages!

My friend Carol might win the the award for wettest hat

Clam chowder to warm up the tired walkers: Sasha, Kaylee, Carol, & John

Leone & Alyssa return
Thank you Laura for walking, on top of working a full day, and caring for a sick kiddo! Thirty plus years of friendship-You're the best!

Rick you deserve the team spirit and purple awards. And, I am buying you a raincoat for Christmas!

And to my Aunts and Cousin who so generously made donations to the MS Society. TeamJanine raised $490. 

What a marvelous way to be reminded that so many people are willing to invest their time, energy, mind, and spirit in fighting MS and letting me know so clearly that I am valued and loved.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Entire Post About Toilet Paper

 Simple Becomes Complex

So, yesterday morning, the annoying electronic despot that rules my days rang at 10am on the precise dot as it does every single day with the message, PX. P is for pee and X is for time. Without this chirping time cop I have little or no sense that my bladder needs emptying and am prone to leaks where my belly is slowly wet or flooding where I resemble Noah, with no ark. Every two hours it reminds me to drag my dead butt in to the bathroom or prepare to pay for the consequences.
Back to 10am yesterday morning and my chirping PX and my Pavlovian response.I've learned the hard way not to hit 'dismiss' and not actually go. When I get to the bathroom I discover there isn't any toilet paper, no problem, there is always some in the cupboard-nope; check the closet-no; I can't find the flushable wipes. I've rolled in circles to every spot that the TP could be but there isn't anything. I know of two or three places that I could check if I could walk. Now, my bladder is suddenly urgently in need, I have no TP, and in some sloppy mix of hating my legs, the incessant beeping of  PX, and facing my third week of chronic nerve pain in my eye and head I break down in tears. Not just a few little frustration drips, but big sloppy ugly crying that doesn't have a whole lot to do with toilet paper. Luckily I found a partial roll on my commode and sat in the bathroom and cried.
A few days earlier I posited to my husband that he had better die before me otherwise I would be sharing at his service how much I appreciated his quiet habit of always filling the toilet paper holder and storage rack. That I found his simple gesture to be a statement of the wonderful care he takes of me. This made yesterday's emptiness and resulting little squall all the more ironic. 
This morning, not only was the roll full, the storage container and the back of the toilet had a small mountain of paper. And, my package of wipes were tucked at the base of the toilet. Yesterday they were hidden in plain site on the edge of the bathtub. He'd taken the time sometime between bedtime and breakfast to build a buttress of TP, his attempt to hold me together while he works across town.
I don't know if this is a story about toilet paper, or bladder function, or kind husbands. Maybe it says more about the every day hassles of my world, maybe it illustrates how fragile my emotional shell is. I do know there is meaning here: in TP, and electronic potentates, and crocodile tears. Thinking about it all now I can smile or I could cry: only time will tell tell.