Today, a disabled man asked the lifeguard at the pool, “How are you doing?”
The lifeguard couldn’t understand or fully hear the disabled man who had to repeat the question multiple times.
Then, the lifeguard responded, “I am doing well. How are you doing?”
The disabled man with a blank to sad look on his face says, “I am doing.”
His response of just “doing” (not well, good, or fine) was like just going on day-to-day amidst very challenging life circumstances of illness and disability–just in a state of being, but certainly not feeling like he was thriving in his current life.
It reminded me of my own parents, survivors of the Holocaust.
After the horror and loss of the Holocaust everything, including coming to this country without a dime or a job was just a cakewalk in comparison.
For 25-years, my dad would never even go to the doctor.
He would say, “G-d is my doctor!”
Only later in life, when all his friends were sick or failing, and my mom was so sick with Parkinson’s would my dad respond to people’s questions of how he was, by saying simply, “Surviving!”
And then often adding, “We are part of the survivors’ club.”
When we’re young, healthy, and vibrant, the world seems too small compared to what we think we can do and accomplish.
That’s good–it gives us the thrusters in life to go as far as we can with accomplishments and progress.
As we age though, the realities of life and health come into vision and we realize that we can’t lift cars with one hand (anymore) or fly lightening speed with just our cape around the globe–we’re mortal.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t do great things for ourselves and the world at any age and with any (dis)ability, just that it many not be as simple or as easy any longer–we have to fight harder and be part of the survivor’s club. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)