Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

So I am having a bit of a late start today. My little one is out of sorts and I am waiting for him to let me know what is going on with him. So far this morning it has been nothing but snuggles and catnaps. On the whole, not a bad way to spend the first hours of the day, but when you have a special needs kids who is not really verbal, I do more watching than napping. My two main concerns are seizures or a shunt malfunction. The seizures are more scary than they are life threatening for the most part, but the shunt malfunction can be deadly. That is why when he gets very quiet and doesn't want to play or do much of anything, I have to watch for signs of fever, throwing up and lethargy. So far we aren't there. He just had breakfast and is now in his room dumping his toys saying "yee haw." I will take this as a good sign.

Many people have told me that they feel for me and don't know how I do it having a special needs child. I think it would be very easy to fall into the poor me hype if I believed it, but the fact is....I have never felt anything but blessed where my little guy is concerned. God and I talked a lot when David was in the NICU those first few months. As he lay between life and death day after day....I realized that I didn't care what his health issues might turn out to be, I just wanted my boy to have a chance at life. I have been nothing but grateful for each day of his life since. It was adversity that definitely changed me for the better.

Adversity, pain and even suffering are often the things that teach us the greatest life lessons and open our eyes like they have never before been opened. These things are humbling and often wash the grains of selfishness, feelings of self pity and attitudes of entitlement from our sight. They open us up to feelings of gratitude and appreciation for just what we do have. Overcoming adversity in life is what helps to grow a deep inner strength that will serve us well and often in the future.

Monday night all of this kind of came home to me while watching Dancing With the Stars. I have always been a devoted fan as dancing has always been my secret ambition, forget that I have no rhythm, skill and I was blessed with two left feet. Still though, I have watched true ugly duckling feet emerge into light, airy, delicate swans on that show. It gives me hope. This season though, the show seems to be filled with people who are dancing to overcome, fight or just out-run adversity. Some seem to be trying to find what they once had...but lost, others want the world to see them differently and still others are standing up and facing adversity straight in the eye and fighting back. Probably the two most amazing are Jack Osbourne and Valerie Harper.  Osbourne is the son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Osbourne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, another autoimmune disease that could eventually leave him wheelchair bound and even take his life. Now though he can dance and he intends to make the best of his time on the show. Funny how that Osbourne family kind of started out as the dysfunctional family we tuned into to laugh at and make us feel better about our own dysfunction. Now though.....they are growing up (all of them) and giving us reason to cheer them on. High five Jack for fighting back!

The other star who has to be the comeback kid story of the year is Valerie Harper of Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda fame. Earlier this year Harper was given a cancerous brain tumor death sentence with only a couple of months to live. Today, some eight months later her disease seems to be in remission. On researching Harper, I found that her doctors feel that it is not if the cancer comes back but when, however they have no time frame on this and she doesn't seem to be wasting any of that precious time on self pity or what ifs. Instead...she's dancing. Her words were profound when she talked the other night about when she was diagnosed and told of her prognosis. Her first thoughts were "Why me?" Then she said, "Why not me?" She has a wonderful marriage, kids and career. She had really lived for 72 years so why not her? Now though, with her living past her expiration date (as she joked) she is going to do what she thought was unthinkable a few months ago. She is competing on DWTS! Amazing!

Neither Osbourne, Harper or any of the other stars competing this season are working the pity angle. They are there to prove something to themselves first and the rest of the world second and whether they stay in the competition for two weeks or make it to the mirror ball, they will be winners in the fact that they faced their adversity and stepped out of their box. I applaud them all.

Lets face it. We don't get out of this life without some kind of pain, suffering or adversity. They are life lessons....sometimes on how not to do things, sometimes on how we treat people and how they treat us and is  just a lesson in bad things do happen to good people so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and maybe like Osbourne, Harper and the rest.....just put on your dancing shoes!


MarniJ said...

I LOVE this blog....You have hit the nail on the head with how I feel today...appreciative to just be here! I have always been one of those that thought how strong you are givien the life you have. And I still believe that! BUT after spending more and more time with you and with David...I believe it is HE that makes YOU strong. Not the other way around. He is teaching you and really so many of us to just appreciate what we have and what we are given each day. I love being in the room, sitting on the floor and playing "Where did you go" with him and listening to his laugh (well really snort!) Or just amazed at when he comes up to me and just wants to hold my hand. He is truly all heart and he teaches us to smile and laugh. He is truly a blessing to your life my friend!!!!

And this is the first year in many that I turned on DWTS show. I watched the first season and then stopped. Not sure why I turned it on Monday but I did. And believe me when I say I had goose bumps as to the people on it. The starts chosen this year are an amazing group of people for sure! I believe I will enjoy watching it and saddened each week that someone is voted off.
Again....great blog my friend!!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Adversity is the great teacher of life. I guess I will have to tune into DWTS this year.