I’m still here, however slight. I have been living in the long months of utter exhaustion, surgery, anaesthesia, attempts at recovering and then the realising I will never be able to go back to the life I once had – the life before long term illness. For the first time in 12 years I may finally be coming to terms with that.
There may be no more Bethells beach, Mount Baker, or Kilimanjaro for me. Not in this lifetime, at least. I may never live my dream to walk the pilgrimage route across France and on across Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. I can only hold on to that dream as that: a dream. At one time I had the ability to follow dreams and make them real. Now I walk much slower through what is real.
I have to admit that I am not one to lightly give up on dreams and goals. So I am making compromises and holding them in a different place inside me now. Meanwhile I try not to look backwards at my abilities of 12 years ago, or 6 years ago, or even a year ago when I could accomplish more than I can today. The more my life becomes narrowed by illness the more I am finding what counts, while seeming small, is actually limitless – because what is left, after all, is something so precious it is without price – it is this – this precious present moment.