2006 A year of extremes

I tend to look back to see where I am in life around this time each year. It’s a good time to look back at what I’ve really liked, what I wish never happened, and all of the important moments falling in between.

Probably the biggest occurrence of the year in my life was bringing home A. As she has grown and gone from an 8 month old little girl who couldn’t so much as roll over or sit up (even with help) to a little girl who crawls everywhere to explore, I can’t help but be happy for her. The little laugh I first heard as Cat tickled her and now hear constantly never fails to bring a smile to my face. All in all the time I spend taking care of her is one of the things in my life of which I am most proud. Being able to do other support duties so my wife can take care of her the majority of the time ranks up there too.

It’s been a year where I spent large swaths of time unable to do some of the things I have traditionally enjoyed greatly. As I got double vision, reading became extremely difficult. This kept me from reading to A., from reading by myself for fun, or even just reading road signs. That was a little scary, but the facial palsy and the puking in the car after the spinal tap were worse. Ah well.

With all that my body went through in my first flare that lead to my diagnosis of MS, I am still thankful that my body let up enough for the week and a half to allow me to head down the Grand Canyon. Quite honestly, that was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever been on. So what that I was dizzy as I climbed up to the grain storage cutaways? The view was great, and quite honestly, one of the things I miss most about the time before MS was working out hard enough to have sore mussels to rub. Some things are just unexplainably satisfying to the soul. I think the Shakers got it right: “Hands to work, Hearts to God.” I can certainly appreciate the feeling of correctness that comes from working hard whether that be climbing a mountain, staying up to read a book to a young kid before bed, or splitting firewood from a tree that had to come down.

All in all, even with the diagnosis of MS, the lack of energy, and the symptoms that occasionally mean a lack of dignity, I can’t help but think this has been a year where the ups have done a more than adequate job of keeping my spirits up. As I type this, I can hear A’s laugh echoing in my head. I guess it’s still been a good year. Here’s to an even better year for 2007.

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