Saturday, February 6, 2010

No more "if onlys" -

I was really awakened by what he said.

I watched as his wheel-chair van pulled down the road and parked on a wide curve so he could open the large side door and lower the electric lift and ramp. It was our Christmas visit actually. He rolled up in his wheelchair and sat outside my front door - unable anymore to come in for coffee - He was so excited to meet Gracey-Blue. She adored him. He is a big man, very big - full beard and Santa Claus blue eyes - we exchanged the simplest of gifts - I brought him a steaming mug of coffee. I wedged open my outer storm door door and sat on the bottom stair so we could visit. We spoke from our heats for over an hour.

I was, in what I named, my "if only" mood. I was wishing whatever were different. Such a waste of energy but I gave in and was wallowing. Ick! And so I said, "this damn disease we have, it is so limiting at times - if only we didn't have MS, huh? You would be able to just walk in and have coffee with me"!!!! .......................................He paused and said, "If I never got diagnosed with M S I never would have met you............" I was so stunned and awakened by the strength of his words, attitude, accepting nature and seeing the gift in our disease that I just sighed in awe. And so it was true - he was a machine repair man and mechanic at their family business for years - after he was diagnosed with M S he went back to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor. He did his internship at my work and was under my supervision for two full semesters. My agency hired him as a per Diem counselor and two years later I was diagnosed with M S. We have been friends for years now and he is 100% right - if he never got MS we never would have met. In his heart - I am one of the gifts he received because he got MS. Wow!!
That snapped me right out of the "if only" mood I was in.

I am thinking today of the many gifts I have received that would not be mine to cherish were it not for some tragic event. My whole chosen field of work is an outcome to tragedy - my surrender and drive to turn tragedy in to triumph and I have. There is no triumph in "if only", only despair. I am glad I was awakened in a day to the gifts I have been given - regardless of their origins - actually in honor of their origins. It wasn't always that way - but it has been for a long time. The other day was a set back of sorts - driven by current events all around me where I have felt my life shifting - I am getting steady, firm, on solid ground once again - Amen!

I am going to bundle up and take Gracey-Blue out for a romp in the yard. I will take my cane for balance and watch her puppy frolic with joy and elation - as I feel the gift of my strength to be outside in nature - to feel, see, breathe, hear, touch, smell, taste and move - I am alive and there is hope. Let's all hope.


Bernie said...

So glad that shift feeling is leaving you....and even happier that you are embracing life and all it offers.

It must feel good to take Gracie Blue outside, you both will get some exercise as you play together. Enjoy your weekend Gail.
.....:-) Hugs

Teresa said...

It is good to be grateful, but not always easy... : ) Great post, and I am glad you can see the goodness in the tragic...that, my friend is a gift. ((((HUGS)))) T

PENolan said...

Just saying "hi" and glad your buddy snapped you out of the If Onlys.

Margie said...

Dear Gail
You are truly an inspiration!
You are a remarkable lady and I am proud to know you!

It was so nice to read this post before I get ready for bed.
Thank you for sharing this!

May you always be blessed with days full of joy, love and laughter!

Oh, loved the song!

Good night!
Sweet and beautiful dreams to you!


Unknown said...

The remembrance of all those gifts we have been given (so numerous we forget most of them) is so important for our emotional and spiritual survival. I also forget them sometimes and then comes those silly little similes and metaphors in my head, doing things I thought I had lost mad it all goes away and I remember to be thankful again.

Finding Pam said...

I think it is a God thing for the two of you to have met. I love how God works in our lives that way.

I thank you for posting it. You are an inspiration.

Peace and love,

Tramp said...

Hi, I got to you via RiverDaze. Thank you, you made me stop and think. I'm not younger, I am probably never going to be wealthy(moneywise), I often make mistakes...
Can't I rather look at these from the other side? There are some things that are worth trying to change, some things that I must learn to accept and look at from the other side. As I start to do that many other positive aspects of my life come to mind. I tend to be too busy with the "if onlys" to remember these... Tramp (Brit in exile in Czech Republic)

Anne said...

HI Gail,
Some very good advice from your friend. Sometimes we do need certain words that will help us snap out of whatever is bothering us. It has happenned to me as well. Snapping out of the "if only" mood, does help us appreciate all the gifts and joys we have in life and you have many,
Take care and smile.

Gail said...


Yes, the shift is sowing down - settling. Thank you for all your love, understanding and kindness.

Love to you

Gail said...


Yes, a true gift indeed. I do see the gift in all of it - I may have a temporary blind spot but it clears. Amen.

Love you'

Gail said...


Yup, snapped me right out of my 'if only' mood!!! Always so good to see you here.

Love you Texas

Gail said...


I am humbled that I ma an inspiration to you - one of such natural gentle kindness and love.
ANd thank you for all your loving wishes for me, I fel your love.

Love Gail

Gail said...


Thank you so much for your kind words of support. Yes, we often lose sight of the many gifts and blessings and then a word or a smell or a song remind us and we are back in "gift-mode"! :-)

Love to you

Gail said...


Yes, God does work in the most mysterious of ways. So nice to see you and I SO appreciate your understanding words to me.

Love Gail

Gail said...


In reading yur comment I am reminded of "The Serenity Prayer".

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know difference.

I am honored you visited me and I will go over to your place very soon. And my son studied in Prague for a year as part of his studies at NYU.

Looking forward to knowing one another better.

Love to you my new friend

Gail said...


Thank you so much for your understanding words to me. And yes, we can't see and or appreciate the gifts in all situations if we are stuck in "if only"

Peace and love to you

Cordie'B said...

What an inspiring article, Gail. It so reminds me that even through our adversities, we must keep hope. Also, I must add we must keep love.

Although your illness may cause you to have limitations, you are still a vibrant and inspirational force to humanity. Thanks for keeping hope alive for so many of so often through this forum and in the other ways you share with love ones, friends, and strangers.

Blessings, Peace, Light and Love,


Diana said...

I always called it my if onlys. You know, if only I would have done this or said that. But I hate living in the past so I shake it off quickly! What a nice friend you have Gail and I'm glad he visited as it seemed to help your frame of mind! You go girl!
Love Di

TheChicGeek said...

Gail, there is always hope! Your words are beautiful and thought-provoking. Life is a gift and I'm so happy you are embracing it! You are a treasure. It is good to be here and say hello :)))
Still on hiatus...and I am happy, living and loving....and missing you!

Stay well sweet girl!

Gail said...


Oh ues, love is the main ingredient to everything. And "thank you" for seeing that I am much more than limitations. Your kind words mean so much to me.

Love to you my friend

Gail said...


I love that you shared that you too have the "if onlys" from time t time. They really are such a negative place. And yes, my friend is an inspiration. :-)

Love you

Gail said...


Enjoy your hiatus. I am so happy for you that you are out and about living and loving. And I am honored you took the time to visit me.

Love you

Nikki (Sarah) said...

sending you hugs are the best. Sarah

Gail said...


thanks SO much for you kind words and for stopping by.

Love Gail

VICKI IN AZ said...

This is a beautiful uplifting place.
Thank you for reminders. Tender and timely. I am so glad your friend could tell you what a blessing you are so that we could all benefit from the lesson.
I'll be back.


Gail said...


I am so glad you stopped by an that you will be back. I appreciate your kind words to me and I am happy you were inspired by my experience. :-)

Love Gail

Mark said...

I love this story! Such wisdom. All things happen for a reason, it is up to us to be aware enough to discern the reason. Thanks for sharing. Great song!

Gail said...

Hi Mark-

thanks so much for visiting and for your kind and wise words to me. Yes, a;; things happen for a reason. Glad you liked the song. :-)

Love to you