Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #64: Resilience
There is a catch to this week’s challenge: I don’t want you to use the word itself, but to illustrate what resilience means to you.
It is not true that life is one damn thing after another — it’s one damn thing over and over.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Please be careful! I hold my breath.
I don’t speak because he can’t hear me…outside two stories beneath my dining room window.
I can see him walking his lively little black dog. Across the grassy area between my building and the road. Painstakingly. Slowly. Steadily. In the snow. In the rain. Blistering heat. The dog needs her walks.
In one hand he grips a long retractable leash. The other a sturdy cane and plastic poop bags. His body, bent over, lurches to the side as he walks, his left leg immobile in a metal brace. With each slow step of his right foot, he drags the other leg along. At what looks like an impossibly treacherous angle.
Step. Drag. Step. Drag.
Periodically he stops, balances on the cane and reaches down with the green plastic bag. His pup patiently waits, tail wagging…clearly used to the routine.
My neighbor has not always been like this. I met him when we moved into this over-55 community 3 years ago…and he is several decades over 55. All I know is he suffered a brain aneurysm maybe 10 years ago. Lost the use of his left leg. If he falls – and he does – he can rarely get up by himself. Add leukemia to the mix.
He drives. Goes to the grocery store. Once back home, he transfers full shopping bags to a cart. Pushes it to the elevator in the garage. Slowly. Steadily.
He attends condo meetings. Cookouts. Pizza parties. He and his wife traveled to Europe last winter. Back in the day they skied on a regular basis.
He just does what he has to do. Offers of help waved off. Always a smile.
It looks so damn hard to be him.
But he keeps on keepin’ on in ways I can’t even imagine.