A few years ago when my children were young, I home schooled the boys. On an educational standpoint I'm sure this was a mistake but life is made up of more than that. Education is vital yes but there must be balance.
For example: Doctors are expected to obtain so much information and people's lives hang on the decisions they make. Wow, nerve wracking for sure but what about the emotional factor? Recognizing that these issues hold a huge emotional side as well and to find a doctor who has both sides of this type care is extraordinary! So I figure if I did nothing, at the very least I taught matters of the heart.
Part of my teaching included a community service. So we pondered awhile and decided on MIFA. At that time the Collierville Library was looking for volunteers to come serve lunch to a small group of elderly people and play bingo as well. Perfect! So we decided to dedicate every Tuesday to that.
They were a great group of people, all ladies and one gentleman. Oh how they enjoyed my boys. The ladies were talkative and at times sassy even. And the man was quiet and gentle. You could feel his spirit and his eyes were so kind. His name was Mr. Grady.
He struggled to walk and do some of the simple things we all take for granted but never did he give up or become frustrated. Pride with grace. He, at times, would ask for assistance, which I was always thrilled to help. Despite his physical needs, his mind was sharp and he loved to play dominos. He was a natural wiz with numbers and was so very patient with my boys and enjoyed teaching them how to play. We loved him dearly. Although he thought our only lesson was how to play dominoes, we know and still talk about his amazing strength despite adversity.
One day I asked Mr. Grady what was his condition exactly. He told me Parkinson's. I truly never gave it another thought because he was NOT his disease! He was Mr. Grady! A very sweet yet strong man who had so very much to offer all those he came into contact with.
Over time I have thought back on those days and how glad I am that my boys got to experience this. Now those of you who know me are thinking wow, how ironic! Yes it is! My lesson was so much bigger than I could have ever imagined. And when I have days where I struggle and I begin to get frustrated with my disease, I think about my dear friend Mr. Grady and how Parkinson's was just a small part of who he was.
We all possess the ability to do great and wonderful things but it's our perception of great and wonderful that holds us back. No, I can't physically go and build a house for the less fortunate or become a nurse and care for those in need but I can smile and take time to listen. I can offer all that I am with love in my heart and I can show how to have joy amongst the burdens. Not to mention I can play a mean game of dominos...
Isn't it funny how life has a way of coming back to you full circle?
Copyright © 2008 Paula Lyon