When I was in grade school, I had to memorize Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride”. I still remember it. I recited parts of it from memory at a school gathering. They must have been short on talent to have someone recite a long, old poem for everyone!
I shared this bit of trivia in a FB reply to a comment a friend made about one of my blog posts, Lost Jewels Found, where I’d used a reference to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s ‘forest primeval’ to describe the Russian forest the kids were lost in.
In the spirited FB dialogue that followed, my English teacher friend suggested I should recite it for the grands!
“They’ll think Grandma is the smartest woman on the planet!” she said.
In true FB fashion in which others read your stuff, Andre had been reading my dialogue and quipped, “Grandma IS the smartest woman in the planet. And not just this one!
Anyone who knows me will find this comment to be at least half true, for a good part of my time is spend on the far side with Parkinson’s whether I find the humor in it or not.
So, here’s a bit about my other planet.
When I wake up in the morning I face a few more challenges in thatI require help with most of the ADLs (activities of daily living) like bathing, dressing, eating, chores, and health-related care.
I remember the first time I walked out of Walgreens a number of years ago using a cane and feeling like I was a stranger in a strange land. I later came to realize I was just entering the land of limitations, a land full of landmines, an unfamiliar terrain. Like a while back I hadn’t even noticed that we had an elevator at church. Now it’s the way I do church.
Now I also know a bit more about getting around in this land of limitations since my wheel chair is a vital part in my daily routine. It enables me to bump over uneven thresholds; navigate heavy doors w/o getting ‘banged’ by the closing; courageously enter, exit, and ride contraptions which provide ancient or archaic examples of primitive lifts.
Grandsons #2 , love to try to dismantle the footrests and Grandson#1 still tries to sit on my lap but wheel chairs are kind of hard to get or give a hug or kiss whether a grandson or adult friend.
On this far side there are also new paths to create.This week, for example, my dear husband is wading thru our Long-Term Care policy to jump thru the hoops necessary to get and use our money which is stored there out for my care. So far this has required two long and detailed phone calls. It will also require a home visit to verify my eligibility, and paperwork for my Doctor to fill out, as well as paper work to verify specific claims. They don’t make it easy or fun.
I do have some ‘happies’ in this far side land of mine. My beloved ‘duck’ that lives in my cellphone is one. He is only a nuisance when some stranger in a restaurant seated near me or fellow, harried shopper at check-out begins to ask everyone in the vicinity if they hear a duck quacking. At that point, I will quickly find him in my purse and turn him off.
All in all, this far side planet is not one I would have chosen, but since I’m in the land of limitations and I have decided to bloom where I’m planted, I may as well take time to smell the roses.By Barbara LaTondresse
14 August 2019
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