Midsummer of 1990 was a transitional time for me. I had just lost a job that didn’t work out, moved home with my parents for a while and was getting ready to start a Master’s degree program a few months later. I was restless. Knowing my interests but not quite what to do with them, I needed some direction, some focus.
While I was at mom and dad’s house, I found out that my three-year-old cousin, who is also my goddaughter, was going to come and stay with us for a while. Una was a typical toddler. Curious about everything, she had moments when she could give Einstein a run for his money. Loving to be silly, she made up jokes and I was lucky enough to hear her fabulous laugh several times a day. And just like any kid her age, there were times when she demanded attention. When things didn’t go her way, she could melt down quicker than wax at a forest fire.
Since I walked with canes at the time and couldn’t hold her hand when we were going anywhere, she learned quickly to put her fingers through a belt loop on my jeans so that I could guide her where we needed to go. She came up with that idea on her own, without prompting from anyone. Who knew she could teach me a way to make her safer? That was nothing short of brilliant, and I was awestruck by her ingenuity.
Mostly I remember the questions.
“Why can’t we have ice cream cake BEFORE dinner?”
“Why are there clouds in the sky?
“Why can’t you walk like I do?”
Sometimes her questions made me laugh. Sometimes they made me think. Sometimes they challenged me in ways that were outside my comfort zone. My time with Una that summer made me grow in numerous ways and made me see the world around me from a different perspective.
Why have I been thinking about Una and the time I spent with her so many years ago? My blog is three years old this week.
At the suggestion of a friend, I started Health on Wheels during another transitional time in my life. I had just hired my first male caregiver, and I had mixed emotions about how that was going. I was in the midst of recovering from a difficult surgery and wasn’t sure what the future was going to look like on several levels. All kinds of doubts and fears were in my head, and my friend thought they would make more sense if I wrote them down. At the time I was restless. I needed some direction, some focus. I gave it a try.
At first, I was timid. Careful to keep my blog anonymous so that I could pour out my feelings without criticism, I got braver with each post. And just like a three-year-old child, this blog has challenged me, asked me questions and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it has demanded so much of me emotionally that I have melted down quicker then wax at a forest fire. But honestly, I can’t imagine the last three years without this blog. Eventually, I felt comfortable enough to make it public. My blog has been a form of therapy, a way of finding my voice, and a forum for me to get to know myself better, and it has given me many insights I previously didn’t have. Hopefully, I have given others a bit of insight or another perspective along the way as well.
Una has been married for a couple of years now. She is a teacher and she still has a fabulous laugh. Some of my favorite memories of her are when she was three years old and we spent so much time together. She may not remember much from so many years ago, but I do.
The last three years with this blog have been nothing short of amazing. I will continue to listen, to learn and to be ready for what it has to show me. I will continue to pour out my heart and my soul and share the experiences of my life as I understand them. We will continue to grow together for a long time to come.
Thank you for three wonderful years. I am profoundly grateful for this experience.
Who knew a three-year-old could teach me so much?