Sunday Morning. Human Spirit. Gratitude.

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You wake up this morning. You may be a bit stiff from your work-out yesterday. Or still recovering from your long work week. But you can and do get up and get on with your morning.

The first thing you have to get used to is total helplessness. You’re dependent on somebody else for everything. If you want your ear scratched, you have to ask. You soon learn that you can’t ask every time the problem arises, or you’d be asking the whole day. And you remember all too vividly the itch that assailed you in the middle of the night before last, the one that wasn’t worth waking somebody up to relieve.

You grab your cup of coffee and your book.  Or the morning paper. You turn the pages.

Another personal loss, for me, is books. The act of writing has been distorted, yes, but not as much as the act of reading, which was always a solitary pleasure. Since somebody else has to turn the pages, the solitude is over. Few works that I want to read are available as audiobooks. The alternative, of my not being able to read at all if there’s mental degeneration, is horrific.

Q: Where do you find an invalid? A: Where you left him. His words. So much truth, so much spirit.

I’ve been immobilized for five years. In addition to losing incalculable personal pleasures, like daily walks with my wife, I also lost a musical career as a jazz and classical guitarist, though I still teach a few advanced students. I published several books of fiction and nonfiction before the disease hit, but my days of roaming the world as a journalist are over. Now I write by dictation. […]

You find yourself, unavoidably, living in the past. Happiness isn’t is, but was. You try not to contemplate the future too much. Nor the future of the person you love.

Read Anthony Weller’s inspirational essay in wsj.com: Paralyzed From the Neck Down.

Find his bio and web page here: AnthonyWeller.com


Photo credit: weheartit.com

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