Thursday, June 30, 2011
Lost In Thought!
Tomorrow is another orthopedic appointment and another x-ray. I would be lying if I said I'm looking forward to it. I do desperately hope to see some white fluffy stuff which would mean new bone growth but I'm not holding my breath.
As I worked with Sam today I found myself giving him more hugs than normal, taking more time to appreciate his smile, watching him in amazement and wonder...just being with him. I felt myself counting my blessings, acknowledging the positive changes I see in Sam and that Sam has brought to my life. I was appreciating Sam.
I think I go through these motions and emotions to prepare myself for what ever we find out. It would be so easy to fall into despair or get to that point that I allow myself to feel bad...to feel defeated...no one would blame me, it's understandable with everything we have gone through with Sam.
But...that's just it...that's what Sam has taught me. Resilience!
"Resilience" in psychology is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” and function better than expected (much like an inoculation gives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure to disease). Resilience is most commonly understood as a process, and not a trait of an individual.
Sam has taught me how to cope with stress and adversity, how to find the positive in the negative, how to stop and count my blessings. Each step of this journey with Sam has made me feel more, think more and pray more. I don't question the "why's" as much as I wonder about the "how to's". Let me explain, when Sam was born with Down syndrome Jeff and I made a life changing decision to accept, move on and keep moving forward. That change in perspective has stayed with us and with each new challenge we have not focused on the "why" but instead have focused on the "what do we need to do now". To me the "why" would only be a guess and it would it more than likely lead to a thought process of negativity...and most of all...it wouldn't help Sam.
If I look to Sam, be with Sam, work with Sam....we find the joy despite the challenges. If I can put myself in Sam's shoes...approach life the way he does...I can't help but succeed. Sam is not worrying about what he might not be able to do, he is not placing limitations on his life or his happiness, Sam is not dwelling on the challenges...he is instead living his life to the fullest. Not worrying, not feeling sad, not holding back, not giving in or giving up, not dwelling on things he can not change...he is happy, he is moving forward, he is loving, he is laughing, he is enjoying EVERYTHING!! The only time Sam is frustrated is when we try to impose our ideas of how we think Sam's life should be. Sam enjoys learning but he requires it to be something interesting and fun. Hmmm...wouldn't that be the best environment for all of us to learn. Sam wants to interact but he requires people to slow down, sometimes stop everything they are doing so that they can listen, feel, think and really interact...but most of us have too much to do, not enough time, not enough patience. Hmmm...wouldn't the world be a better place if we were all more patient and we didn't rush through our lives or our interactions with those we love. Sam finds something that makes him smile each and every day...a show on TV, the ladybug on the window, saying "Good Morning", saying "Hello" to a stranger, singing a favorite song, seeing his dog "Buddy", eating at a favorite restaurant, having ice cream, riding his bike, throwing rocks in the lake, walking along the beach, smelling a flower, seeing a movie, getting mail...many things we all take for granted.
Now many can say that Sam lives a simple life. Really???...How simple is it to have hip pain everyday, to struggle with hearing and processing, to have fine motor issues and mobility issues due to low tone and medical issues, to have difficulty breathing or staying healthy, to have difficulty putting your thoughts and ideas into words that you can express, to have balance and vision issues, to have a body that metabolizes food differently and produces excess stress to your system, to struggle with speech and oral motor movements, to hear but not always comprehend, to speak but be misunderstood and yet through all of this choose to be happy, to move forward, to not dwell but instead to live life to the fullest.
Whatever tomorrow brings Sam and I will face it together and we will continue to focus on the "How to's" instead of the "Why's" and we will smile and laugh and...move forward.