“I wish I understood things better than I do.
I wish I had made better choices in so many areas.
I wish my dad was still around to talk to.
I wish I could re-live my kids’ childhood.
I wish I could re-live my own childhood.
I wish my family of origin wasn’t so messed up.
I wish I had better coping skills for the daily pain that lives with me.
I wish I could grow a garden.
I wish doctors could figure out what is wrong with me.
I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.
I wish I was a better mom.
I wish I knew what my gifts are…if I even have any.
I wish my above wishes could come true but since wishing doesn’t work that way for real, I will keep on keeping on as best I can.”
The above showed up this morning in my Facebook memories. I wrote it originally in 2008. At that point in time, all my kids were living at home. My oldest hadn’t even graduated from high school yet. I was homeschooling. I was a theatre mom, a soccer mom, a choir mom, band mom, marching band mom…the list could go on. Reading the above wish list, I see that pain was a part of my life at that point and doctors had not been able to figure out what was wrong. Fast forward eight years to present day 2016 and that mystery has been solved. It was actually solved in 2013 when a doctor told me the reason for all that had been plaguing me for the previous several years (and probably before that). As you may know, that reason turned out to be MS.
What struck me as I read this list, though, was that many of my wishes are still the same.
There isn’t a day that passes without me thinking about my dad and wishing I could talk to him again.
My wish for a garden came true for a short time. I did enjoy growing vegetables that eventually made their way onto our table and into canning jars to be preserved for when winter’s chill dominates. That is no longer a possibility, though, having left the house and the garden beds behind, exchanging them for a townhouse where there is no land and rules against raised garden beds on the property.
Sensitivity is still an issue. Just this past weekend, fresh tears fell as we passed a rabbit dead in the street. I imagined him innocently hopping out into the road and suddenly being hit by a passing motorist. Even as I type that line, I fight back tears.
I once thought that growing older would bring the fulfillment of most of my wishes. Sadly, that has not been the case, at least for me. In fact, I could probably add to my list of wishes.
The last line is also still true. I know merely wishing something doesn’t bring about fulfillment. I also know that sometimes the things we wish for will always only be just that–wishes. That leaves me with a hollow feeling, though. You see, sometimes the pain, both physical and emotional, is just too much. In my mind, I visit the place where wishing draws me away from reality because the alternative to retreating to that wishful place is not pretty. To keep going, though, is sometimes difficult. It sometimes takes every ounce of strength I have to make myself continue this path of life that is often difficult.
One foot in front of the other. Stumble. Fall. Get back up, a little slower but up none the less. Right foot. Left foot. Suppress the fear that looms large and tells me I’m going to fail anyway so why try. Ignore the voice that tells me to just throw in the towel, that life is not worth it. Sometimes that voice is really loud. Other days I barely hear it. Keep walking because wishing isn’t going to keep me in the game.