~Coffee with the Big Kids
So Saturday morning owe about 11 am I was at the watering whole with the BIG KIDS. Yes Starbucks! I do live in Seattle. Once everyone trickled in we were nine in number. Six of the nine were over 60. Oldest coming in at 86. At times there were up to four little conversations going on at once. At times the group would come together in one united discussion. Oh and of course SOME form of caffeine in every cup. BEAUTIFUL.
In one of those departures from group conversation I found myself talking to a big kid. I was asking her about friends we shared in common that had since moved away. While she had talked to them recently she couldn’t quite remember the particulars. She attempted to grasp the recent memory of her conversation with them. Then she shrugged her shoulders, took a swig of her drink and said Alzheimer’s disease. I smiled and chuckled figuring she was making a joke. She giggled too. Then she ever so gently touched my arm and said seriously. I still thought she was being her joking self. But she continued talking.
She told me her mother had Alzheimer disease. And I..I knew that. It just took me back. I wasn’t expecting those words out of her mouth. I felt like I had just miss judged a hell Mary pass from Russell down field. Instead of catching the ball, I took a shot to the head. I asked if she was diagnosed? She patted my hand and said no but she knew what it looked like. Her Mom had and did all the same things. They just didn’t know what it was. Oh well she said, what you gonna do about it.
I felt compelled to tell her my truth. The MS is starting to bother my left hand. It’s getting hard to straighten my fingers. It was the first time I said that out loud to a non-family member or a doctor. As the words slide off my lip I felt lighter. She pulled my head sideways into hers and said, but we aren’t ones to cry. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. With her words the conversation got weightless again. She spoke our truth. I almost forgot for a second. Our disease DOESN’T design our realities we do.
I looked around our little group everyone was smiling, talking and laughing. You’d never know it was a group various health issues of type one diabetes, bursitis, MS, Fibromyalgia, bad knees and etc. The BIG kids have grace. They sip there coffee and enjoy every mouth full. I’m not saying they don’t have fear or anxiety. They just don’t let it run their life. I mean WHY ruin a good cup of coffee?
We didn’t talk about Alzheimer’s or MS progression again. We talked about Alaska and my upcoming trip to Spain. Yes friends you heard me right SPAIN. I’ve never been to Europe. An old friend is getting married and she asked Albee to marry them. I was scared to go at first. Europe as a whole isn’t an accessible place. However, my sister-in-law read Barcelona is a very assessable city. What is holding back but me? There was such peace among the group. Why worry about tomorrow today? They knew what lie ahead them but it didn’t allow it to take away from today.
It’s funny I got a text from a newly diagnosed friend. She’s in her twenties no health insurance. So MS came at a shock. She sent me a website that she thought was cool. I checked it out. It was all about beating MS with diet and supplements. RAINBOWS & SUNSHINE JUNK! I’m not say’n diet or supplements don’t help. Heck I lay in a hyperbaric chamber as often as I can. But when people throw around the word “cure” that’s WRONG. Worse is when people are nieve and believe it. Then they have unrealistic expectations. When things progress they are dashed to pieces. Balance is needed. You can’t out run time and disease often rides its coat tells.
The BIG kids don’t fall for that one. They aren’t trying to change the direction of the tide. Health Insurance is just a part of life. Use it when you need it don’t when you don’t. Just slow down life is only as serious as you make it.
Think I’m going to make it my mantra “Live Like a BIG kid”. Except unavoidable truths, time and tide stop for no one. Diseases may come. Doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Acknowledge them, respect them and other hardships. Yet, don’t be ruled by them. Sit down when your knees hurt. Walk when they don’t. Travel when you can. You never know when you no longer can’t. Oh yea sip your coffee while it’s still hot …I’m just say’n…