No. 822



Every once in a while when I get to thinking about my lot in life, at this particular time, I am reminded of the story of the man who felt sorry for himself because he had no shoes, then he encountered a man who had no feet.
As individuals, when we are facing adversity, regardless of the source, we can usually find others who are having a much rougher time than we are. To be sure, adversity is just a part of life, and how we handle it can mean the difference between sanity and insanity, happiness and unhappiness or even life and death. The word “lot” has a number of different meanings, including a parcel of land, a batch or group of products, a number assigned as a result of drawing or casting lots and several others. However, when I say my “lot in life” I am referring to fate, as in a card game - playing the hand we are dealt.
If you happen to be going through a rough time, regardless of the reason, what I am going to say to you in this column is meant to be a source of encouragement and a way of mentally dealing with the problems you may be facing. If you have read my column for very long, you know that my wife Viola has Parkinson’s and has had for the past 15 years. In spite of this, we have had a great quality of life and have been able to accomplish more than we ever dreamed possible. However, the inevitable is now beginning to come about. Parkinson’s is winning the battle, as we knew it would. Over the past few years I have seen her go from walking with a slight limp, then to walking behind a walker, and on to a power chair but still able to stand, move about and do many things.
Then, in just the past few weeks, she reached the point where she can no longer walk or stand, which means she is totally dependent on me or someone else to take care of her and meet all of her needs. To exacerbate the problem, Viola happens to be a very fastidious person, this is to say, she has a special way of doing many things and she wants them done the very same way they have always been done. It’s taken me a while, but I am learning and life is getting much easier. It is amazing the things you can learn when you have to. My domestic skills have improved dramatically over the past couple of months. I am now doing the laundry, cooking, grocery buying, dish washing and many other household duties, while continuing to write my column, volunteer for our Lions Club and doing all I can to provide leadership for our wonderful “Bookcase for Every Child” project.
When I have told this to a few of my friends, some have responded by saying how sorry they were for my present state. To this I have replied, don’t be … this was part of the contract I signed many years ago. The contract, our marriage vows, did not say for better or better, it said for better or worse. We just face life and each new day one at a time. I am happy to report that I have found some relief when a wonderful lady, who is experienced in dealing with those who have Parkinson’s, has come to help me and stay with her three days a week.
I am not complaining. I count it all joy that I can be here to take care of her during this time. She certainly took care of me for many years. Now, this question please. What is your lot in life? If it’s rough, how are you handling it? A positive attitude certainly makes a lot of difference.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)