Tag: life lessons

Time of Orphaning

Time of Orphaning

death, Grief, Short Story
It’s tough when you are orphaned at seventy. I say that without rancor or irony. I’d known Mrs. O’Donall and her daughter for fifteen years, which at the time of this story was the entire length of my life. The ladies - as everyone called them - were fixtures in our parish. Each morning they arrived at St. Anselm's at precisely six-fifty for daily Mass. Their consistency was such that my mom said she "could tell time by them." They generally made their way into church arm-in-arm and always sat in the first pew. While the younger lady was fragile, tentative and wide-eyed, the older one was stern, sturdy and quick-minded. With her daughter in tow, she worked on the Annual Church Carnival Planning Committee and in the Women’s Auxiliary as well, relied upon to help the nuns clean the sac

Celebrating Sixty-Seven Years on the Razor’s Edge

"Life" Issues, disability, Family, General Interest, Healthcare, heart, inner peace, Joy, serenity, spiritual growth
"Rise, awaken, seek the wise and realize. The path is difficult to cross like the sharpened edge of the razor, so say the wise." Katha Upanishads, verse 1.3.14 SURPRISED TO HAVE MADE IT TO SIXTY-SEVEN In gratitude today, I celebrate sixty-seven years of life, forty-seven years with my world-class son, and sixteen years of survival beyond my medically predicted expiration date. In 1999, I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and given two years to live. (No, I have never smoked in my life.) Thanks to the boundless patience and kindness of my son and the compassion and good offices of an extraordinary medical team, I'm still here, sometimes home-bound and always bound to toting an oxygen tank. These complications don't keep me from enjoying the CitySon Philosop
“Living” – that being the operative word  – With “Disability”

“Living” – that being the operative word – With “Disability”

disability, disabled, Grace, Joy
I have been living with a chronic potentially life-threatening illness for many years now. It's been enlightening and not just because of what I've learned about myself. I've found it interesting to observe people's reactions to physical disability, in my case that means visible life-support (oxygen). Sometimes we actually become invisible - especially if our hair is graying - and sometimes we are treated with kindness (always appreciated) or with an inappropriate solicitude (not appreciated). You don't need to shout at me. You don't need to read forms to me. My lung capacity is an issue, not my hearing, my mental acuity or my ability to take care of myself and negotiate the world. Honestly, chronic exhaustion and needing help lifting, carrying or shopping are inconveniences, irritating an