Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rereading, kindness, and other events

I went back today and reread a few of my first blog posts.  I read the one I wrote about the Today's Good board.  I read the blog post about my friend, Dr. Mayer.  It was suggested to me by my therapist and some of my friends to go back and reread some of the earliest blog posts to see where this journey started, and if there were lessons I could learn from early on,

When I teach Writers' Workshop, one of the hardest things to teach my kids is to revise and edit, especially at the beginning of the school year.  The majority of them are only six years old, so asking them to revise their writing to make it better, or edit their mistakes, is a huge undertaking.  They are of the mindset (and rightly so) that what they initially put down on paper is perfect as is.  It is hard for them to see the purpose of revising and editing,  And even though I can model how to revise and edit my work, and have conversations about how professional authors ALWAYS revise and edit their work, they still go back to their stories during those revising and editing lessons, do a quick once over, and they are done.  Usually no revising or editing.  However, every once in a while, you get a student who takes what you are teaching them to heart, and they reread their work carefully, and see what they have missed, and add those descriptive words, those special touches, that higher level language, in order to make their story better.  And when I say better I mean more interesting to the reader.  Making it so the reader can make a better picture in their mind's eye of what the writer is trying to say.

So even though I am not going back to my writing pieces to revise and edit, I am writing this blog post because I realize I have missed a HUGE piece of my story.  Kindness.  The kindness that my village has shown me is off the charts, indescribable.  I am having trouble finding the words to adequately describe what this kindness has meant to me and my family.  This kindness has come in so many forms - prayers, hugs, cards, soup, books, journals, flowers, gifts, smelly soaps, teas, text messages, Facebook messages, private messages, phone calls, phone messages, donations to worthy causes, meatballs, bagels on a Sunday morning, nights out, smiles, laughs, silliness, rides for me and my kids, beers for Adam, red wine for me, and love.  Lots and lots of love. Each one of these expressions of kindness has changed me in its own individual way. Some have brought me peace, some physical comfort, some have made me reflect on my own giving, and ways I can help others. Your kindness has taught me and my family how to be better.

I am losing strength in my right hand.  I am having some trouble doing things like opening water bottles and jars, writing, and holding things without dropping them.  I am hoping that the medicine that I take for the ALS will specifically slow down this part of the progression of the disease.  I am right handed, and my right hand gives me the opportunity to stay pretty independent.  But maybe I need to revise and edit.  Maybe I can teach myself to use my left hand more, or find tools to compensate for this loss of function.

I am finding that I have longer moments of calm.  More time in the day when I am not crying or feeling despair.  In fact, I am finding that it is becoming a bit easier to laugh at myself.   For example, I was trimming the bottom off of some flowers that were delivered today, and the end of the stem went flying out of my hand and flew somewhere unknown.  I looked around but couldn't seem to find it.  I continued about my business, and it wasn't until later in the day as I was washing my hands in the bathroom that I realized the flower stem had been in my hair for the past two hours!  And this made me laugh, so hard that the dogs came running to see what the hell was wrong with me.

Thank you for the kindness.  I am going to reflect and find a way to pass it on.

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