Dear Jodi, We Need to Talk. Love, Your Legs

Dear Jodi,

It’s your legs. You know, the limbs no longer receiving the GPS signal from your brain.

We need to talk.

Precisely 874 days ago you sent us a letter because we failed you again and understandably, you were sad and upset lying there on that cold garage floor. It was 29 degrees. We felt the chill too along with the same stinging in the knees, the other parts of us all tangled up. We get it. As your legs, your supposed pillars, we felt let down too. You may not have realized that.

The thing is though, we have spent the 874 days since being your slaves. We’re not sure you’ve listened to your body like you think you might have. What you call rest is a made up word. When you rest it is because you’re forced to and you don’t even realize it. You have pushed us, and your arms, and your core, beyond the point of fair operation. Your body is willing to work with you. In all sincerity, we mean that. We did not respond to your letter 874 days ago because we felt your heartache and wanted to make it right. To keep up with you and rise to the occasion. Like maybe it was us. But after years of trying we have something to say too. You have come to totally separate your mind from your body in a way that feels a little resentful. You may feel you have a broken shell to work with, but we feel it is still a home to live in and we want you to feel welcome. We know it feels like we are projecting all the you have’s back on to you. These are our observations, our feelings. It is honesty with the hope of compromise.

So, as mentioned, we have been trying and trying and trying. And what do you do? You go and replace us with wheels! Wheels! Really? We both thought we were all closer than this. You’ve got wheels everywhere now. Upstairs, downstairs, in the garage, in your car, on the back patio. You have wheels for every surface. The road, grass, packed sand, even gravel. Why not keep trying to use those poles that are hiding in the dark corner of the coat closet, hm? Poles are like legs, you know. And if you use two poles, it’s like having four legs.

Oh, right. Here we go. We can hear you now. Wheels are faster, blah blah blah. You’re reserving energy, blah blah blah. Oh, and that fancy fold up thing you call Bumblebee or whatever? You love the color yellow, blah blah blah. Hmph.

This is where we’d like to stomp off and pout in the corner but we can’t because we’re intricately connected, as you mentioned in ALL CAPS in your letter. Remember? The one where you tried to break up with us?

Having a disability can be very difficult. That word makes you cringe doesn’t it, difficult. It sends you flying into the depths of needing to prove yourself. You have had a tough week physically. Slow as a sloth. Us legs aren’t working again, your balance is nonexistent, feet swollen and purple and you are so, so tired. There are peaks and valleys in chronic illness and you’re currently in a very low valley, without the cool girl accent and preppy clothes.

We feel very sorry about this but you know what makes us cringe? Wheels.

We want victory too. We want the carefree joy of running and jumping and showing off our amazing ninja skills. For now, all that joy resides in a dream. And we know we share that dream with you. We also know, as your legs, that we will never give up. We will never give up on you, that dream or the courage to just keep going in any capacity that we can. We are ready for those neural synapses to start firing again like a fourth of July fireworks show. Just because we’ve lost our GPS signal doesn’t mean we don’t catch a nice breeze from time to time that reminds us of the ninja mission.

Aside from all this word slinging we know, deep down, why you use the wheels.

You are driven. You are resilient. You will never say I can’t. You somehow always know the way. We know your story. You’d tell it like this:

I’m a youngish person. I feel vibrant. I’m a wife, a mom. People depend on me. I also have multiple sclerosis that adds an unwanted edge to my game. I also still try to do it all, or at least as much as I can. Probably more than I should and that’s how I ended up where I am now. Totally wiped out. I know I should rest but I am stubborn. We all know ‘being stubborn’ are just empty words masked as an excuse. The truth I am realizing is that I don’t want to feel less. I don’t want to be seen as incapable. I don’t want to burden others to have to do things for me. I don’t feel deserving of that help and attention. It doesn’t seem fair and I have to reconcile these feelings because they are detrimental to my already challenged, and fatigued, broken body. Yet, I refuse to live in this space of lack. There is always a way. I will always find a way. All you have to do is start where you are, with what you have and give it all you can. Adapted, on wheels, however and whatever it takes. Neville Goddard once said that your feelings are different from your thoughts. Your feelings are what you experience in your body. “That which you feel yourself to be, you are. And you are given that which you are.” And therefore, I don’t want to be strong. I am strong.

We feel you grunt and grumble when we won’t move. We feel you grunt and grumble when you have to use your arms to pick us up to carry you forward. We feel you grunt and grumble when the ankles turn, when the feet drag, when you stub a toe because we misjudge a step. We also feel your smile on good days when we move a little faster and lift a little higher to get you around with some ease. Hang on to those good days, there are more to come. We hang on to your smile. The power behind a smile is so much brighter than a grunt and a grumble. Your spirit to persevere is exponentially bigger.

We know you are strong. And we’re going to show up for you every day, just like you show up every day. Repeat. We are going to show up for you every day, just like you show up every day. We hope this is one GPS signal that finally makes a connection.

Love,

Your Legs

 

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