As many of you may recall, I have been asked to sit upon a state-wide committee/task force regarding recent legislative changes in safety issues concerning mental health workers. I am both honored by this task and also at times overwhelmed. It is hard work, it takes up some of my free time, and I am not always the most "patient of saints" when it comes to functioning in political arenas. But, there ARE a few people also sitting on this committee who have been interesting to get to know and who's opinions challenge many of my own.
It is from this task force committee I met "Bea"...Bea is the chairwoman who is compiling endless data in the most brilliant of ways in hopes of us meeting our legislative deadline by the end of the year. She presents herself with poise and a depth of understanding that could only come from years of self-examination.
On Wednesday at my latest committee meeting, I had to inform Bea I would need to "telecommute" to the next scheduled "pow wow" because I would be home recovering from my Novantrone infusion...I, at first, only told her I was receiving "chemo" the day before our next meeting. But her puzzled and concerned look opened the door to me disclosing I was being treated for MS...after all, I didn't want her to think I had the dreaded "cancer" or something! LOL
The exchange between us was very brief...neither of us really KNOW each other at all and have only met in person twice. She wished me well and I departed the meeting to return to the regular grind of my job that day without further thought of our conversation.
Today, I received an email from Bea with a request for some information pertaining to our committee. At the very end of the email, she wrote a personal note that said this:
So sorry to hear about your health issue. Are you managing it OK? What is it teaching you?
And so it was, LIFE knocked loudly at my door, asking me once again, "What is MS teaching you?" I was/am surprised by the profundity of which this question has stirred around in my mind all day. I was equally surprised at the level of difficulty I encountered finding the right word(s) to describe my "lesson".
After pondering this question from LIFE, I eventually responded with this:
In response to your personal inquiry about my health, yes...I am "managing" well. Thank you for asking. What Multiple Sclerosis has taught me is simply put: Grace.
Best to you,
Best to you,
Sometimes I am jealous of the language of the Inuit/Eskimo's...they have over 100 words for the English word "snow". (Actually, this is somewhat of an urban legend or, at the very least, a misuse of what defines a "word"...but I like the idea all the same. LOL) This is because "snow" is such an every day, multi-faceted, integral part of their world. They live it, breathe it, drink it, pray in it, build with it, and consider themselves a part of it...snow.
If I could have 100 words to describe my definition of "grace", I still believe I would fall short in my description and not do the word justice. It is a state of being for me, a flexibility, a mind set, a place, a verb, a noun, a joy and a sorrow, and this very moment in time. It is all that is in me and around me, regardless of Multiple Sclerosis, the great teacher and catalyst of my state of "grace".
And, it remains at times, elusive and as magical as the falling snow...sometimes only resting briefly on the tip of my tongue and melting back into my mouth, quietly quenching my thirst.