At the MS gym that I am now a proud card carrying member of, which I never saw coming due to my negative preconceived notion about it, they are making a quilt to raffle off as a fund raiser for the gym. They want everyone who is so inclined to to take a square, make a design that represents them and how they feel about MS, how they deal/fight it, and write why they chose that design. I took a big square and a little square, not out of greed but because they want people to make both if that is their wont, and it is my wont. I puzzled over what I would do. I tossed around different ideas, like making a big friendly dog with a blank look, because that is how I feel when I go in there. I go in happy to see everyone and feel like I slobber all over them, which I probably do but they are too nice to tell me so. I finally came up with my idea and am now going to share it with you. No need to thank me; I'm generous like that.
I am going to make on the big square the Chinese sign for courage and on the little square the sign for hope. I have always said that for me having MS is more about courage than hope, and if I ever get another tattoo -- highly unlikely, the 2 I have are more than enough -- I would get the symbol for courage.
Hope is all well and good in a passive kind of way. I do have hope for the future and what may come of studies about MS, but I can't put all my diseased eggs into that basket. I do not foresee a cure for MS in my life time and can only hope for better drugs to help slow it down. I hope for medicines with better efficacy and with less side effects to come down the pipelines soon, but don't want to pin all my hopes on that lest I be disappointed when they do not come down that clogged pipeline.
Courage is active and I like active. For me, hope is sitting back and waiting, whereas courage is facing what is. Do I have the courage to face what this disease has done and most likely will do to me? Some days I do. Other days when I think about what the future may hold for me, I lose my courage and get scared. Then I start wrestling with the "what ifs," which I HATE and try to remember that I need to deal with what is right now and worry about the possible outcomes when they come. I want the courage to look this disease in the face without flinching. I want the courage to deal with what may come and to accept it with grace. The courage to deal with how the public may react to me -- mainly because I struggle with that some days and want the courage to go out even on my worst days instead of hiding at home. This is a scary disease and I think "courage" should replace "hope" as our catch word. It takes a lot of courage to face this disease and I need as much as I can get. I don't want to be the Cowardly Lion anymore.
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