Oct 17, 2010

Uphill in a Storm


"Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel." ~Aesop

Grandpa Phil, Mike and Tami in Yellowstone, January 2008

I've done two posts with this picture on my personal blog and my mother-in-law has also posted about this picture as well. It's getting a lot of attention, this one little photo. But it speaks volumes to me. This is a picture of my husband's grandpa being pushed in a wheelchair, uphill, in a snowstorm, by his son-in-law and daughter (my in-laws). And look at Grandpa Phil's face - look closely - see that giant smile?

Grandpa Phil has a condition called Ataxia. I've been told Ataxia is like a combination of Lou Gehrig's disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Basically, his body is slowly and irreversibly declining, and has been for many years. But every single time you see Grandpa Phil - EVERY time - if you ask, "How are you doing, Grandpa?" or "How are you feeling?" He will answer something like, "It's the best day of my life!" or "Never been better!"

To mimic a quote by my friend Keri, Grandpa Phil is a man who has Ataxia, but Ataxia does not have him. His strong spirit and positive attitude cannot be taken.

I hope next time I'm in my proverbial 'uphill trek in a storm,' that my face can be reminiscent of Grandpa Phil's in this photo. Maybe I'll need assistance from others, like Grandpa Phil got in this situation. Is that hard for a stubborn person like myself (and Grandpa Phil, mind you) to accept? You bet! But is it okay to need help when you're unable to do something on your own? Of course! What if there is no one there behind us to help us up the hills in life?

Trust me.

There is always someone there to help us.

"Do the very best you can. And when you have done that, you just place the matter in the hands of the Lord. Go forward with faith."

~Gordon B. Hinckley

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