I hope this little message finds you so well and delighting in life’s little joys.
One morning in May 2016, my Dad woke up and could not walk. He has seen specialists, has had surgery, undergoes pain management, and still his mobility has not been restored. He uses the assistance of a walker, canes, and periodically even a wheelchair. It has been a heartbreaking experience to witness.
He started physical therapy four weeks ago and had his first session in the pool yesterday. My sister, brother, sister-in-law, and I rotate who accompanies Dad at his bi-weekly appointments. I was fortunate enough to be with him when he was introduced to the pool.
I sat at a table reading the most recent issue of Edible Louisville magazine and periodically watching Dad. The first thing I noticed was how much he was smiling. Big, sincere, smiles kept appearing on his face. He was having SO MUCH fun.
In one moment, he caught my eye and, with the biggest smile on his face, raised his hands in the air and hollered across the pool, ‘Look Dawn! No hands!’
At the end of the session, Dad used a cane to get out of the pool and back into his wheelchair. I pushed him into the family locker room where he needed help with tasks that, every day, I take for granted.
He would like to walk.
He would like to be completely independent.
But for that moment, he stood in the pool hands waving, smiling, shining.
It was a little victory.
I would like to lose 20 pounds.
I would like to stay centered unconditionally.
I would like to love reflexively.
I would like to be patient in every situation.
I would like to listen without judgment all of the time.
I would like to be grateful for what is always.
I hear my friends say things like…
I would like to parent without yelling.
I would like to renovate my new house in one day.
I would like to communicate clearly and confidently, especially in my most intimate relationship.
I would like to take better care of myself.
I would like to believe myself completely worthy of love.
I would like to respond instead of always reacting to everything and everyone around me.
There are all sorts of ways we would like to be but sometimes the big picture blinds us to baby steps we are taking along the way. When we shift our focus away from the end goal and seek out waymarks of movement in the direction of our deepest desires, everything changes.
Suddenly, small moments are miraculous breakthroughs that compel us to throw our hands up in jubilation. Little victories are glimmers of possibility and little hopeful signs of what can be. There are moments throughout each of our days that are worth savoring and celebrating. These little victories serve to remind us that we are becoming who we desire and how we want to be.
Let’s look for these moments of hope, possibility, promise, and potential and honor ourselves and each other by celebrating them like my Dad when in a room full of people, he called my name, with the biggest grin I have seen in quite some time and said, ‘Look Dawn! No hands!'