I run through my day without giving much thought to my abilities to swim, play golf, tennis, travel or dance. I can use my hands to create works of art (yet to be achieved) and shop for groceries. I am self-reliant not only because of the things I have been taught but in my sheer ability to exist independently.
Because of MS my mother has endured years of physical setbacks and bouts of illnesses that have robbed her of the very fundamental abilities that I know I take for granted. It took years of slow, declining health to put her in the place that those who don’t know her assume she lives in today.
My mother has taught me that a wheelchair is a seat, not a contraption that defines her. Although she can no longer play tennis, roam through Bloomies or cook for one of her legendary dinner parties, my mom lives in a much more vibrant place than outsiders comprehend. Self-described as being a “difficult, pain in the ass, who, if not married to your incredible father, would have been dumped long ago,” she is guided by her sense of humor, grace, wit and wisdom. Here is a woman who is as much concerned about her figure and style today as when she was 20. She is a faithful friend and confidante to many, but most importantly the barometer I look towards when my own life gets a bit out of hand. She embodies hope, courage and compassion to such an extent that I know I can overcome, endure and achieve anything I put my mind to.