It’s hard to believe a new year has begun. As they say “out with the old, in with the new,” right? As I reflect over the past year, I realize I have experienced some truly wonderful, beautiful moments. Times that made me sing even though I can no longer carry a tune. Times that gave me great joy and created memories that I will hold on to for the rest of my life.
It was also a year filled with pain, weariness and sorrow. Those are the times I wish I could forget but know I won’t because those moments are still a part of who I am. If nothing else, they have made me stronger. And trust me, I need all the strength I can get right about now.
Last year at this time, I was working to regain the use of my legs. And although my legs never returned to their full function, does that make me sad? Angry? Fearful? Sure. But I’m not going to let my disability stop me from living even if I do it from a chair.
My daily routine is different now. My needs are different. The things I consider important have changed. But me…I’m still me. No amount of ability or disability can change that.
Think back over your year. I’m sure you’ve had both beautiful and terrible moments. Times that make you still smile to this day and others that bring tears to your eyes. That’s called life…and you lived it. You experienced it. And although your experiences have changed how you do certain things, why you do them and when you do them, they haven’t changed the person you are. You are still you.
You may live life differently than you have in times past. You may need additional tools to help you get through your day. You may get tired and weaker faster than before. You may even do everything slower, but you are still you. YOU ARE NOT MS.
You are an amazing, beautiful, lovely, precious, delightfully unique individual. There is no one else in the entire universe like you. You have so much to offer the world, even with a disability. Don’t allow MS the satisfaction of stopping you from enjoying life or even from enjoying today.
With a new year in the making, choose to be thankful for all the beauty to be made. I can’t promise you that the new year will be wonderful and void of any pain, but I can promise you that together, with each step along the journey, we are building a path that just may ease the burdens of those that come along behind us.
MS may only leave destruction in its path, but we are leaving a legacy of strength, resilience and beauty. You didn’t know you were doing all that, did you? Don’t ever underestimate your value and worth. You are priceless and those bricks you are placing along the way…well, they just might be rubies and emeralds!