Saturday, November 13, 2010

Second Anniversary

            Tomorrow, November 14, will be the second anniversary of Brooke’s accident, and hence mark two years in various hospitals, two years of paralysis, two years of breathing challenges, two years of spasm and pain.  It is also two years of the most extraordinary care and concern, more affection and love and deep emotional and intellectual communion than can have characterized practically a whole previous life.


How do you celebrate an anniversary like this? 



Elisabeth said...

I suspect you might celebrate it as you would any major anniversary, with joy and love and gratitude. As well as a little grief and sadness.

George Constable said...

I wish you would celebrate it with immense pride in your bravery and generosity and eloquence. But you won't, so I'm going to celebrate it that way for you, and I'm sure a great many other people will too.

R. Alta said...

However you choose to celebrate (or not) for yourselves, the rest of us will surely be celebrating the fact that you are both still with us, still writing, and still making the world a better place for your presence in it.

Lorraine Seal said...

We marked your anniversary by climbing Untersberg, Salzburg’s most prominent Alp, in your honour. We ascended nearly a km vertically, from 480m at the base to 1450m, a distance of 6 km each way.

It was hard work, and frightening, because there are times when the mountain falls away just feet from the trail, and the rocks can be slippery. There are times when I could only go on by keeping my eyes on my feet, watching each step, placing my poles carefully, not looking over the precipice to keep from panicking.

There were, though, times when I could stand back and look at the rock face overhead with its delicate shades of rose and sienna against pale grey. Pockets of snow shone stark and white in dark crevices, and there was a bronze haze of trees across the valley. Below, in the distance, fields stretched still emerald green and the steeples of tiny churches rose over clustered houses. It was beautiful, a kind of reward for effort.

I thought of your courage as we climbed. Climbing the mountain was, for me, a one-day adventure in overcoming fear and inertia, a test of both physical and emotional stamina. It pales to insignificance beside your daily test of courage as you move forward, creating meaning as you endure and overcome pain, discouragement, fear and the hardships of physical paralysis.

What you wrote in ‘What I Live For’ resonates: You keep going much as one climbs the mountain, in order not to give up. You keep going also to explore the self. Part way up a set of steep, slippery stone steps, I thought ‘Why am I doing this?’, for truly, I am shaken in high places. But it’s for some of the same reasons, isn’t it? To explore the self and the world. And, it seems, you keep going for the rewards of discovering the joy of connecting with others. In doing so, you share the beauty of your soul – your spirit – giving us a remarkable example of true transcendence.