Remember life when you were a child? The wonder of awakening each morning in your warm cozy bed to the smell of frying bacon. There across the room, your clothes all perfectly matched up and laid out.
Someone made sure you brushed your teeth, tied your shoes and smoothed down that wild bedhead hair (yes, with the approved method of saliva on their palm prior to smoothing your fly away hair). They collected all of the things you would need for your day and drove you to wherever you needed to be at the appropriate time.
I recently saw and shared a Facebook post which stated, “Stupid Cancer. … Some of us want a new house … a new car … a new cell phone … to lose weight … but someone battling cancer wants just one thing, to win the battle.”
I am going to admit that sometimes, much more frequently in the past couple of years, I have whined or fretted about something that simply was minuscule. I have hoped to attain something that simply was unimportant even though at the moment it was my focus.
Your parent has died. What a monumental page in life.
Whether you had a good, bad or indifferent relationship with the parent who died, your feelings for him or her were probably quite strong. Most of us innately love our parents deeply. Most parents share with their children the most unconditional love that imperfect human beings can summon.
So now what? We are now faced with the difficult, but necessary, need to mourn the loss of this significant person and to sort through thoughts and feelings about the death. It is an essential part of healing.
Twenty-five years ago, through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. Together, we have been working towards a future in which all the doors are open to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency for persons with all disabilities.
On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the ADA into law and addressed a huge audience of activists, Congressional supporters, people with disabilities, and their families and friends gathered on the south lawn of the White House. The former president lifted a pen into the air prior to signing and simply stated “Independence, freedom of choice, control … and the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the right mosaic of the American mainstream. Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
Twenty-five years later, how are we doing? As with most questions, it depends on whom you ask.
Recently, I bumped into a friend I had not seen in 20 years, and he told me that I was “aging well.” I was both flattered and puzzled by the compliment. Of course, I quickly realized this didn’t mean I wasn’t aging at all, but that there was something about the way that I was aging that stood out to him.
I have pondered this comment over the past few weeks and considered what “aging well” really means. As I slide into my early 50s, I realize that aging well isn’t just about counting the lines on my face — and yes, they are appearing. It is about feeling good in my own skin.