Many moons ago in a faraway land (Lubbock, TX) we had a beautiful Irish Setter named Tucker, as in Marshall Tucker, the band (I was a fan). Tucker was an escape artist and after one such dalliance he came home damaged and needed a stitch or 20 to close a gaping wound. Marty and I took him to the vet who started to sew up the gash. As the vet started to sew up the gash I had to excuse myself because I got really light headed, I couldn’t take it.
Matt, our son, at 14 was hit in the shin by a rolling discuss which left a small innocuous wound. That small innocuous wound led to a staph infection, two long hospitalizations, long term antibiotics and a huge open wound on both sides of his lower leg. The wound required wet dry dressings and packing multiple times during the day. I couldn’t do it, our 12 year old daughter and Marty could do it. Rough tough Dad was a puss.
I’ve changed, I’ve adapted by necessity. Since the first stroke I’ve been through every procedure with Marty where I was allowed, except for the extraction of a couple of teeth. Even then I was there until they put the instruments in her mouth and then I stepped out, better than fainting, fainting is not a good look for me.
Marty was always an independent thinker and an independent actor who was never afraid or reluctant to tackle any issue or any task. She studied issues, especially medical issues, and made her own assessments and her own decisions about almost everything. She trusted her judgment and she was confident in her own intellect and ability to solve a problem. The key here is she was an independent thinker.
She’s changed; she’s adapted by necessity; the strokes being the driver of that necessity.
We, we humans, see things, we learn things, we get better, we evolve, we adapt. It’s what humans do and it’s pretty amazing. You see it all of the time, people adapting to different work schedules, different climates, different diets, different economic circumstances and different basic survival necessities. Human beings are amazingly adaptable……when we have to be.
When I look back I am amazed at how Marty and I have changed, how much our roles have changed, how much our very simple approach to living has changed. It has been a sea change.
I look at where I am today and what I do today and I am blown away that I have managed to adapt as I have. I am not who I thought I was, I am much more capable, I am much more adaptable than I ever imagined.
And my change is nothing compared to Marty’s adaptation. She is not what she was, she no longer thrives on the problems needing solutions, she watches, she accepts others solutions, she complies, she agrees, she lets life flow around her as she silently watches.
It’s not that she doesn’t think or have opinions or thoughts but Marty has accepted, she has found a way to live her new life. She has adapted gracefully to what is and left what was behind and for those who have known Marty forever, adapting gracefully was not her strength.
It is today and she is the most graceful, accepting and adapting person I know.
None of this is to point out how wonderful and amazing we are. We changed because we had to, not because we are some amazingly resilient people. We are just like you; we are just like the rest of the world. You need to know you can and will adapt when the time comes, you will accept and change when the vagaries of life make it necessary, you will make life okay regardless of the circumstances.
All of us, yes you too, will someday in some way find that you are caring for or being care for, it is inevitable in a time and place where we extend life the way we do.
I always doubted myself and my ability to adapt, to make the changes necessary when life kicks you really hard. I didn’t change or accept easily it just kind of happened where one day you look up and things, when you, are different.
You will too. It’s what humans do, we evolve into better humans. You can count on it.