The following is a letter to the man I spoke with last week.
Not sure if you remember me, but I was the guy with two canes slowly shuffling on the school track .
I remember you as you described a recent heart attack that almost killed you.
Not that your story wasn’t memorable enough, but our short chat before hand is the reason for my writing.
I was walking at my usual slower-than-a-snail’s-pace when you passed me.
We exchanged “Good Morning” greetings when you stepped in closer.
In a hushed, concerned voice you added a heartfelt…”I admire your courage.”
Awkward & embarrassed, I replied “Eh, you gotta do what you gotta do.”
(Yep, I am MS’s version of Forrest Gump!)
Though I appreciated your kind words, I just want to say it isn’t about courage.
It’s about doing what you should be doing.
In fact, we’re both doing the same activity (walking) for the same reason…you for your heart & me to keep limber.
It has nothing to do with courage—just doing the right thing.
Like a heart patient in rehab. Or an MSer doing physical therapy. Even a cancer patient in chemo.
We don’t have courage. We’re just doing what we are supposed to do.
You want courage?
Admire members of the military. They have courage galore.
Or the police. That is courage every shift of every day.
And firemen. Courage squared.
My courage, on the other hand?
You should see how much toilet paper I use just to kill a spider in the house.
As I said before, thank you for the good intentions but I won’t accept your compliment.
Much as you shouldn’t accept it from me.
Let’s just keep plugging away. Making ourselves better.
And leave it at that.
See you again at the track!
My Odd Sock