Now, five years later, things have changed but only slightly. I have to keep exercising. I still swallow with an effort and will start coughing if I drink water too fast. And when I’m tired, my muscles can’t function normally. So, after five years, I remember Eric’s words and have to agree with him – the wisdom of hindsight, as they say. I’m a different person from the past “me”: I can’t juggle jobs or type fast or even translate and interpret fast – especially if I’m tired. I can’t walk, not even with a cane. And I don’t know if I will ever be able to set aside the wheelchair, or talk loudly without slurring my voice or twisting my tongue.
I receive the Brain Pickings newsletter on my email every week. Its editor, Maria Popova, picks a topic and comments and chooses quotes around it. In reading Brain Pickings, I came across Katherine May’s book Wintering. The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. Some of the passages resonated with me. May says that misfortunes happen to everybody, including ourselves; chance is unpredictable. But we can learn from our special mode of disaster – of winter.
I’m trying to learn from our winter (it isn’t mine alone: it is Eric’s and Nathan’s). I’m learning to get past the fights, and listen to Eric and share my fears with him. I’m learning to slow down and watch him; to keep quiet and hear him; and appreciate who he is. I’m learning to listen to Nathan, and am trying to help him whenever he needs my help (I have plenty of time to chat!). I’m learning that I have to create an opportunity for us to be together; I enjoy our chats (when I don’t feel annoyed) and discovering who he is in the bottom of his mind.
Spending most of my time in bed can help me get closer to them and take pleasure in knowing who they are.