It’s Sunday. I’ve always been a church goer, but for the past several years, I haven’t darkened a church door. It’s not because I had a “tiff” with anyone, it’s just because getting ready to leave the house in the morning is difficult. With my husband’s progressing MS, I don’t go any more. You see, mornings are more difficult for him than any other time in the day, and nowadays, most days are a struggle. He’s healthy except for this mean disease that keeps stealing away my husband a little bit everyday.
I’ve never thought of myself as a patient person, but I’ve learned to take a deep breath; nowadays, I take more than one deep breath as I wait for my husband to do the simplest things–like getting dressed, preparing his own breakfast or taking a shower. These things the rest of us take for granted. But Ken has to concentrate on each the step of the process to get things done.
There’s a part of me that wants to do everything for him, but I’ve learned that human dignity requires all of us to have a purpose. For someone disabled by a cruel disease, this is still important. For them, just getting out of bed every morning is a purpose. So, I hold my breath as he goes through his day, trying to do things that often cause him to take a tumble. I used to rush to his side when he fell, but now I wait for him to call me if he needs help because he has to try to get up for himself.
We all should learn from persons like my husband. How many time we whine about petty things that go wrong at work? How many times do we run late and get angry at the driver in front of us? Or how many times do we curse a neighbor when they don’t cut their grass as soon as we think they should?
Walking through this experience with Ken has helped me to see that ALL the important moments in life are small. A gentle touch, a kiss, a smile, and especially the laughter. So, I guess it’s no surprise that these things are also important to the characters in my novels. I try to bring these tender moments to the forefront in my writing because when we boil down all the important things in our lives, these small daily events are what we all need, and this is where true happiness hides–in the small, everyday events that most of us rush by.