On a typical Sunday, I often extend my right hand asking, “How are you this morning, Chris?” And her usual response is a heartfelt, “Blessed.” That frequent exchange at church is quick, and so powerful.
Just that one word: blessed.
Dan and I often have discussed the concept of being blessed. Since we both are living with Multiple Sclerosis and the disease’s frustrating side effects, it can be difficult to see ourselves that way.
We realize that our recent recent trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was a blessing. We met fantastic people and shared our story at the MS Society’s On the Move Luncheon. This annual event for the National MS Society Louisiana Chapter gave us an incredible opportunity to talk with and meet others living with MS and to help increase awareness of Healthline’s MS Buddy.
But sometimes we think there is no way the words MS and blessed belong in the same sentence; especially when we think about our numb hands, incredible fatigue or less-than-cooperative bladders. MS and cursed seems more accurate, right?
Honestly, haven’t all of us living with chronic illness had moments where we’ve felt cursed? Like our bodies and the world are out to get us. It is a horrible feeling. Like when I’m trying to type this essay for our blog and my hands ball up into a fist and I can’t type. All I have to do is get my fingers to straighten out to push the keys. But my MS keeps it from happening. Things like this happen, and I feel less than blessed.
Feeling cursed while dealing with the realities of MS is a place we mentally visit now and again, but we can’t live there. We need to recognize and appreciate our blessings, no matter their size:
Blessings like the “Buried Treasure” event where Dan and I met in 2002;
- The support we get from friends, family and the National MS Society;
- When Dan’s clumsy, numb hands effortlessly button his shirt collars or tie my shoes;
- When I can feed myself — including cutting my own food — through an entire meal; and
- The mere fact that we wake up every morning.
And blue skies and sunny days also are blessings to be appreciated 🙂 For as much as we could go on and on about how we seemingly are cursed, Dan and I know our list of blessings far outweigh the bad if we take the time to realize them.