As my acute troubles continue – chronic brain inflammation with new lesions, losing my vision, inability to feed myself, and confusion- I have been thinking about purpose.
I read Man’s Search for Meaning which is a famous book written by a psychologist who survived the Holocaust. He observed that the people in the concentration camp who had a purpose survived while others did not. His purpose was to reconstruct a manuscript which he had written but that had been taken from him when he arrived at the camp. I believe the best purpose for my life right now is to work on mindfulness and expanding my ability to accept and live with change.
I have been listening to lectures on mindfulness and one of the lectures I enjoyed was about gratitude. Recently, the weather was absolutely perfect. I sat for a couple of hours by myself in my wheelchair on my back deck and enjoyed the light breeze. I thought about how fortunate I am. The things that I thought about were the fact that I can breathe and I am living here with my wife who is alive and sharing a life with me. I thought about the many friends and family who are in my life. I have support every day.
Recently, my cousin and his wife flew out from Alexandria, Virginia for a couple of days just to say hello. I have a friend flying in from Texas next week and in August, my annual reunion of Rugby teammates will be brought to me in Seattle for the first time instead of at my friends cabin in Canada. My family, including the older generation who are all quite healthy, are a source of enormous support. I also have many many friends and supporters at Williams and Connelly in Washington DC where I have worked for more than 20 years. One of my law partners flew out for the weekend just three weeks ago. We watched the basketball finals together. I began thinking of all the families who on memorial day are mourning the loss of a loved one. I am grateful to those who have chosen to defend our country.
Although the journey towards mindfulness is something that I’ve been working on for quite some time, I am going to redouble my efforts. Wish me luck.