There is a girl who comes to The Spit named Lizzie. She shows up about every other day for a walk. I first met her when I got here to Sequim, but she was not around for a while after that first time. One day I was busy doing something around here and went back to the cabin. There was a wheelchair inside the gate in my front yard. It caught me off-guard a little and thought it was peculiar, but I was not shocked really… not a whole lot shocks me anymore.
As I was pulling in and looking at it a woman came up the hill on crutches and she was working for it. She introduced herself as Lizzie and I introduced myself, not realizing until afterward that we had already met as I had previously mentioned (after I initially met her she had to go out of town for several weeks and just got back a couple of weeks ago). She talked about having MS but was very non-chalant about it and just carried on like it was no big deal.
We talked a bit and she went on her way and I went mine. She wheels herself down the trail nearly a half-mile in that chair, puts it behind my gate, and then goes the last 198 steps down (her count) what must be a 20% grade ON CRUTCHES! She heads out onto the beach to sit there on a log and absorb life and nature, eating her snacks, smelling the salty air, feeling the breeze in her hair and on her face. She then gets up, gets her crutches out, gets off the beach, and goes 198 steps back UP the 20% grade to get her chair. Going back up the trail in the chair it is a slight uphill slope, but she smiles the whole time.
We talk when we see each other here, as I do with most of the regular visitors. She is a happy, upbeat person and very nice and is going to make me some banana bread without the black walnuts (eww and yuck). She does not let things get her down, and will not let MS control her as best as she can.
I know other people who I will not mention by name who have things in their lives that would have made many give up long ago, but they keep going on. I am not talking about small things… losing your job AND house pale and are, trust me, absolutely NOTHING in comparison to the things these other people are dealing with.
To see these people I know, Lizzie and others, carry on through things that are just unimaginable… well, there are really no words to describe it… so i won’t.
I have had some pretty tough times in my life, but I always had a motto I came up with and tried to live by: “No matter how bad it is, it can always be worse.”. I can sit around and think about how horrible I think that MY life is and “poor me”, but it can always be worse and there are others who are worse off than I am.
It is all about your perspective. You have to stay positive, even though it is not how you feel or WANT to feel on any given day. You have to have hope and stay in control of your life and not let it control you.