Category Archives: Family Times

When I Paint

This year’s Art on the Lawn Festival could not have gone any better! I think it all started with the fact that even with all the summer happenings–family and friend visits, a trip to Colorado, a cataract surgery and recovery, a weekend in Michigan, more family and friend visits–I completed all my paintings and preparations in good timing! Not to say that the prior two years I necessarily procrastinated, but this year, I felt in control of the situation…but that came in part of the previous year’s trial and error tactics.

It’s special to reflect back on events and see growth of where you have been and where you are now. My first show, I literally had no clue what I was setting myself into, yet I challenged myself and some of my best paintings resulted from that year. I was very social, but more as a “represent” of The Children’s Tumor Foundation as a portion of my earnings would be donated for continued research. Starting off with a strong foot helped me know which areas that needed shifting and others that I wanted to see more of at the next show.

Last year’s show came all too quickly! My paintings had started to incorporate different medium items; I still challenged myself, but gone were the days of extreme detail sets. I had started to find my fit and style, and enjoyed working painting in ways that challenged me, but more in creativity rather than detail. When the day of the show came, we were better in readiness, as Dad’s well-planned system in hanging my paintings saved us much time and less hassle than the previous year. But I found myself more quiet; my sister did most of the talking and by the end of the day, I was tired of being,”the girl with a disease” story. As I was preparing for this year, that was the first adjustment–it just had to go.

“I’m not putting up any signs for The Children’s Tumor Foundation or anything,” I told Mom as we were finishing putting the price tags on the canvases. “I’ll just have my business cards laid out,” I concluded. Mom said that was fine, her reassurance that it was okay for this to be my day. Best decision I could have made for the day. There was no pressure to discuss my every problem with everyone–though there were some questions asked and I answered or if I didn’t understand, I had the help I needed from my parents and friends. (Not to mention, I probably was a bit obvious with my use of walker, especially trudging on the grass to the bathrooms!) ­čśë

It was a day of art–of friends and conversations; meeting new artists around my booth; and coming home, in complete exhaustion, with a thankful and happy heart.

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I’m Confused

If you and I were sitting at a table, just talking about life and letting conversation flow, I would hope like any other normal conversation, there would be transition sentences to help me follow the train of thoughts of topics at hand. Maybe there is too much of a writer’s dream in that thought. But maybe that is my problem–I read too deeply into things; and my lip-reading often leaves my decoding of transitional phrases not what the transition is even about..so off sometime that my Dad signed to me (after patiently trying to help me understand), ” I’m changing the subject.”

“So, we’re not talking about writing letters anymore?”

“No.”

Such clarity, simple change. After yesterday…I could have used a little clarity, because what I have been living with over the past two or so months is anything but simple change. My Life with NF2 is appropriately labeled more as, My Life is so Confused.

As you know, my summer started with the increasing cataract hazy blur. Add the grey veil in the right eye, correction surgery on the left eye, endless eye drops, full and well recovery for the left eye while the right eye worsens…it has reached a point where I feel more blind with my glasses on than off; and I am already as blind as a bat anyway. Except even bats are better in knowing their surroundings–they see as a result of high pitch sound waves and the echo replies. High pitch frequencies were the first part of my hearing to diminish. So, me: no hearing (which really is not all that unbearable)–but it only becomes totally unbearable when you cannot see or when you see double, all in which is now me.

I would venture to say that 98% of this perpetual blindness is the current swollen right optic nerve. My MRI is on Monday, ophthalmologist appointment on Wednesday and Children’s Hospital on Thursday; next week is going to be a long week. But I have questions and ready for more answers, regardless of what the scans show. When I have my glasses off, my left eye does the controlling, though I try to refrain from zoning my right eye out entirely and keep it functioning straight ahead. Most often though, when I lip-read, write or even type…my right eye acts like a lazy eye. It is becoming a bad habit.

In preparing for the art show, I even painted in this fashion:  one eye and one hand. No glasses.

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When we were setting the dates for my eye appointments in May, I specifically selected at the time (for what I understood) as my last appointment, post-surgery to be after the Art on the Lawn Festival. Summer in all fullness and yet eyes worsening, I was not only counting to the art show, but to yesterday where I had the understanding from earlier on ┬áthat I would be tested in the left eye for the new glasses lens to match my new eye lens they placed at surgery. I felt that would solve some of the bur problem when needing my glasses on…I can’t go everywhere without them; Although I do most often when at home, once even going down the stairs as it made the dizzy blur decrease.

These little but big changes–I was in anticipation! Instead, I left the clinic..with a dilated left eye and grey veil in the other…in my now confused mind, I had wasted a day just waiting (literally, almost five hours)–for nothing.┬áI was so frustrated, angry, confused, not to mention hungry, and crying so hard, Mom pulled over on the highway to give me some clarity. I still don’t understand why my surgeon wants me to wait another 2-3 months, have another check and then get my new prescription if the eye is good even now. I don’t think I will make it that long! I am still confused.

But I am also wondering what next week will hold. And I often want to ask God for clarity in this mass of confusion I call a body. Not really a prayer, not really a demand…a simple question: What are you doing? And it’s a question that only faith can clarify.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At my Worst

“You know, this is blog worthy,” I say as I pause to catch my breath. Dad turns around and gives a little laugh. I had just made it down the three stairs from the top of the patio to the gravel; I just had to cross it to get to the grass and venture in darkness towards the flaming fire-pit where we were getting ready to roast marshmallows. If you have ever seen me walking grass, even in daylight, you understand how difficult this situation turns out to be–however, that night I had my Dad walking in front holding my walker to keep it steady and my Uncle was walking close behind me, for in the event I fell backwards.

I continue my mumbling, “Yep. Someone should be video-taping this and then post it on Youtube as one of those ‘inspiring’ stories that goes viral.” At this point I have to stop, because I am laughing at the thought of it and continue, “The headline would read, ‘Watch what happens when a girl, who can’t walk on grass in the dark, goes to sit with her family by the fire-pit.” It actually would be a boring video, because that’s all I did–just sit. Mom roasted three marshmallows for me and then I just enjoyed watching everyone else; can’t lip-read in the dark…and lip-reading all weekend was difficult as it was already otherwise.

Over the past two weekends, we have had two family reunions: the one in which my parents and I made the road trip to Michigan had been planned for months; the one this past weekend was a minor spontaneous overlapping of my Mom’s siblings. Lots of aunts and uncles and cousin times, too much food, games and tourist attractions, relaxation and all the different combinations of simple family pictures–both reunions have special memories–even if they were just short gatherings.

I get emotional when I know that I have to face family and friends, in which I have not seen in quite some time; pictures and blog posts are only a fragment of the physical me…real life is always the real picture. I have had a lot of these encounters this summer–before Colorado, before my friends came for the NF Walk, before the Michigan reunion, and when the other relatives came. It will probably happen before I see my doctors in a few weeks; I haven’t seen them since February…a lot has changed since then. I don’t know why this happens–it just does. The thoughts of how I used to be, and the knowledge of where my body is now…overwhelms and frustrates me at times. And I have to honestly say, right now, I am at my worst. And that didn’t faze my family at all–to them, it was just the real me. Just Mel.

Of course, I am not saying that they ignored it all–no, they were my helping hands and we even talked openly about different health issues. And like all my other encounters this summer, my family showed that where there is love…there is no fear. My thoughts of their initial reactions disappeared and were completely forgotten the moment the first “hello” and hugs were given. That’s what made the weekends so special.

Jesus sees me at my worst…even more than just the physical. He sees my thoughts and intentions, the words on my tongue before they’re spoken and my heart. He sees the real me. And He loves me despite it all. That’s not a fearful or overwhelming thought: it’s unfathamable.

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Double Check

For the fourth time in the past two weeks, Mom and I headed down to the CEI center at Blue Ash (Cincinnati suburb). On the way home today, I think the view and drive was starting to get strenuous and well, boring. To lighten the mood, I suggested the next time we travel down, we play a game–“Like, guess what book I am thinking of!” It definitely lightened the mood. ­čÖé

Last week, it was the left eye cataract correction on Tuesday, with an immediate follow-up appointment on Wednesday morning. My last left eye check was this past Tuesday, in which the doctor told me that the eye looked really good! To hear this and see that my sight is clear made the day! (I am not certain, but I feel I did better too in reading the letters on the wall.) ­čÖé

I was born with a lazy left eye. Being a baby, I don’t remember anything, but it seems from stories that up until my eye correction surgery (around 11 months old), I didn’t see clearly. After my surgery, Mom took me outside and I touched every leaf in sight; almost as if there was a whole new world to explore…waiting just for me.

Then came glasses: After my few years of cute, red, circled lenses, I started a new school with new frames. It was not the fact that I was a new student that made me popular; It was the patch that I was required to wear over my right eye, so that my left strengthened. I’m not sure if it worked…when I am tired, my left eye drifts–pictures are evidence. Regardless, every year growing up I would have to take an eye test. Until the seventh grade, when lenses actually could be strong enough in prescriptions for my basic near-sighted blindness, it looked as if I wore goggles. Being about the only kid in elementary school with such spectacles, my peers would ask if they could try them on. “Be very careful,” I would say as I watched them just about fall over when their perfect vision met my blindness.

My eyes reached a plateau around high school, and I only had eye tests so that they could monitor my optic nerves through visual field tests. New glasses frames for college days, and I didn’t have an eye test again until I moved here. All was well until the first time the optic nerves started swelling in 2012. My right eye has been my strong eye. Almost perfect vision, it has carried the weight of both eyes for years. Just like my two blood clots, though in the same leg and same area, the side effects were so vastly different that I didn’t recognize the second clot as a clot. This is exactly the same situation for the nerve swelling. My first experience was a solid black dot in the right eye that would follow my every move. This time, it is the grey “veil” appearance that has changed over the past few weeks since doubling the eye medicine.

Seeming that the “veil” was worsening…there are days when I almost cannot do anything without refocusing my eye or it is as if I am seeing through an appearance like looking out the window through a shade or blinds…at my Tuesday appointment, they scheduled me for a regular visit with my ophthalmologist. After talking all my woes–there are many other observations–he checked my optic nerves and reported that the right nerve was just a bit smaller. Why the nerve is smaller yet then side effects more often and in a larger circumference of the right vision? I am not sure. The good news is that the nerve is not larger! The plan in sight for now is to remain on the twice a day, doubled dose optic nerve medicine, rechecking with a visual field test in late August.

Last night, I woke around 2am…just drifting back to sleep, I started mumbling sorts of prayer requests that came to mind. Then I remember saying, “I don’t want to be blind…” I don’t remember anything after that.

Faith is like being blind; it is like when my eyes are unable to focus in the sunlight and my walker becomes wabbly–and when I am about to stumble, a strong grip from a family or friend holds me in place, Faith holds me in that place…where there is still hope.

“Hope In Sight” by Out of the Grey
(2nd verse) Peace, when it goes
Oh, it leaves me with just one hope
No matter how near or how far
Your light is the brightest star
There is hope at both ends of the telescope tonight

Chorus: There’s hope in sight, hope in sight
If seeing is believing, then call me a believer
Hope in sight, there’s hope in sight
Now that I can see You through the eyes, the eyes of faith

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Round and Round

I never took note of how many circular objects you can encounter in a day. It can start the moment that you get out of bed…for me it is taking my walker (circular handles) to the bathroom and brushing my teeth. Circular toothpaste tube, toothbrush handle…the hair accessories such as mousse, hairspray–I finally resolved my shampoo and conditioner bottles had to contain the pump lid or I didn’t purchase it.

Then you enter the kitchen: cups, retrieving coffee creamers or my water bottle from the refrigerator, medicine bottles (specifically a big container of Miralax that seems to enjoy being dropped to the floor,) my special utensil handles, the coffee pot handle (mugs included) and many food itemed jars or containers. Let’s not forget to mention food…even just a few minutes ago it was my sweet potato. You have handles on the stair railings, my painting tubes and paintbrushes, and even the mouse that is battery connected to my laptop. This is just a few things in my house…the list can go on, even down to the Communion cups at church (someday it will be impossible for me to hold one of those without spilling!)

Psalm 150 describes praise to God: praise Him in all things and for all things. You can praise God with your life in many ways, but the psalmist goes on to describe musical instruments, in which can be a mode of how you make a joyful noise to the Lord (in praise): verses 3-6

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

I’ve never been one to consider clanging, or loud clashing, of cymbals to be melodious. And it is not my intentions to have problems grasping circular objects either. It comes as the numbness in the hands increases. Numbness makes it not only weak in grasp, but my fingers to be slippery as well. [The same for my feet: if I am barefoot and standing on carpet, my feet will slide. It is very strange.] In all this, there are some days when the hands just can’t seem to get it right and I spend most of it sounding like a parade of clanging cymbals.

I think by now my parents are used to the excess noise. However, there are a few times in the mornings where they check in to reaffirm that all is well. In these cases, especially the ones where my hands can’t seem to hold the mousse or hairspray bottles, I think of the Muppet’s character–Dr. Teeth. In Jim Henson’s The Muppet Movie┬á(1979),┬áFozzy Bear and Kermit the Frog first meet the Electric Mayhem in a Presbyterian church. In their rock and roll fashion, the band doesn’t see the visitors until their song is over, to then Dr. Teeth acknowledges: “Our gentle morning melodies has attracted wandering admirers.” Some morning, I might have to quote this. ­čÖé

Because I am deaf, I don’t hear the volume of loudness or crashing dialects when items fall out of my hands. But since I have an imagination, I perceive that they do not all sound alike based on heaviness and materiel make. In saying such, I was startled to find that my “morning melodies” did not cause Mom’s appearance to the kitchen at a faster rate. In dropping items, it normal to have my inner independent pride state phrases as, “I got it!” so it is known that I am fine. If Mom heard the noise, she had every right to assume that I had the situation controllable…which in this one, I did not.

I had been rummaging through my pantry shelf when I discovered a hidden jar of instant decaf coffee pushed to the deepest back corner. Retrieving it, I picked it up (with the right hand) by the lid (Yes, a very silly error on my part!) About middle to the shelf opening I reach my left hand in to help hold the bottom of the jar and fully retrieve it. All happening so quickly, my right hand slips and in doing so, the lid pops open. Trying to save a mess, I fumble with the open jar, but alas, it crashes down–taking with it the remains of instant decaf coffee beans. It just about covered the food and picnic style items we store there on the last few shelves of the pantry. Somehow it got a circular coffee bean slogan on my shirt and all over the floor as the jar (which resemble glass) finally touches ground. (Did I mention that morning I was barefoot?)

I stood, did a little “gasp” then muttered,”Oops,” with a little giggle–though at this point I am contemplating two things: Mom’s reaction and how I am going to clean the mess. My phone was with my walker a few feet over, so I could not text Mom. I didn’t think the story was one for a Lifeline call, so I didn’t press the button. I wouldn’t want to start their morning with this kind of conversation:

Operator-“Melinda? Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I just spilled my coffee.”

Still no Mom, but I was still apprehending the conditions and not really trying harder to get her attention. I suppose I could have just tried blurting out her name, but there I stood, motionless and bewildered. And that’s how Mom finds me when she finally entered the kitchen. One look at me and she bursts into laughter. Laughter…it puts me at ease and I can finally laugh myself without guilty thoughts of finding the situation a little hilarious. Mom gets the vacuum cleaner and the clean up begins; she didn’t inquire about the happenings, though I told her the story anyway.

As much as I try my best, there are some days when my body just can’t seem to get things right. It resembles morning melodies much like a clashing cymbal, so vastly different from the boldness of trumpets, the soothing lure and harp, or graceful dancers that I could desire it to be. And while everything around me clashes simultaneously, I stand motionless, bewildered as if apprehending my current and future state for the first time. But I am not. It has been years of journeying to be able to reaffirm that in all things, God has something greater in sight; to say this doesn’t make me a hero, it makes me vulnerable..because all I currently see is the remains of spilled instant decaf coffee.

Praise isn’t just the simple morning melodies. It’s a trust–and every time a little more of what remains is taken, God says, “Do you trust me?” It is now up to me to decide.

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NF Walk–A Mile in Mel’s Shoes

This past weekend marked the NF Walk that took place in Cincinnati. Being my second year attending, it had both similarities and differences: Same park, same 2-mile trail, same purpose–to raise awareness of the disease (NF1, NF2 and Schwannomatosis) and fund raise for The Children’s Tumor Foundation, in order that the research for new treatments may continue. Like the year before, the presence of Storm Troopers resulted in group pictures and rounds of high fives. Except this year, as the Storm Trooper started talking to me, I just looked at him and said nicely, “I have no idea what you are saying, because I can’t read your lips.” Maybe it is because he is used to little children “oohh, Storm Trooper!” responses, I think my comment caught him by surprise as I noted the way that he tilted his head and then looked at my friend, Tasha. haha. Not much he could do there to fix the situation, but he did talk a bit more (I assumed) about this as he was making hand motions around his “still lips.” It was kind of obvious that most people don’t small talk to Storm Troopers in this way. None-the-less, after our many pictures, he ventured to other participants and we got ready to start the walk with the others.

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Last year, with my parents gone to Colorado for a conference, my team–“We Walk With Mel,” consisted of my sisters Marcia, Melissa (brother-in-law David) and my aunt/uncle who drove up from NC as a surprise! The Children’s Tumor Foundation hosts many walks throughout the summer in different major cities. Last year, there was a walk in Denver in the early Fall. Unable to physically attend, I was there in spirit as my childhood friend, Tasha, teamed with sister Megan and roommate from college, Calli, to form their own team in my honor to walk. It was very special to see the pictures of friends I grew up with or went to college with there in Denver walking the course for the CTF. I am very humbled and blessed by all the support given both last year and this year for this cause. Thank you.

This year was exciting, because the team, “A Mile in Mel’s Shoes,” had ten people! My parents, Melissa and David, my friend Tracy and her kids–Seth and Lexi–and this year, Tasha joined me here on the walk with our other childhood friend, Chelsea. What a beautiful day it turned out to be, even with my initial plans of pushing the wheelchair until I needed rest flopped. Sitting the whole two miles was not frustrating or embarrassing; for the first time, I did not feel like I was a burden, even though I weigh 150 lbs. and it was HOT and humid. My family and friends took turns pushing me, with the hills and lows of the trail–they led me to the very end of the course and cheered with me upon finishing.

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Team “A Mile in Mel’s Shoes” was physical evidence that no matter what you are living through, those who love and support you will see you to the end. Likewise, the team is surrounded by those who were present in spirit…praying and contributing financially. When I think of all those in my life, I am seeing the fullness of how one life reaches to another: Some may have to cheer to you from the side-lines; some may have to walk ahead and when you need them, they call out to you offering advice based on their own journey before yours. And still others may just walk beside you: They cry when you cry, laugh when you laugh, or carry you when you don’t have the strength to do it on your own. In my own journey living with NF2, I have been surrounded by these all in their own ways, in God’s timing. And I am in awe of God’s goodness in this, because I could never in any wildest hopes or dreams, make it on my own.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:15, ESV

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The Room at the Inn

I’m not much help in preparing the bedroom upstairs for my friends visit this weekend. The main problem is that I just can’t get up the stairs…every step says, “Caution!” Like a trail of red flags, so I just don’t enter. Even if I got upstairs, I am useless in changing sheets; So I resolved to help with any needs for cleaning or preparing either on the main floor or the basement (where we will be using my painting studio to decorate with fabric paints the t-shirts for Sunday’s NF Walk.) ­čÖé

With thoughts of vacation, I couldn’t help but giggle in memory of my hotel experience from the Colorado trip two weeks ago. Last Fall, when I was having weekly PT and OT sessions, my Occupational therapist and I discussed a wide variety of ideas to supplement my needs in the areas where I was physically struggling to perform the daily tasks. She also helped me be aware of resources available for when in time I needed more help. Most of the “when in time” resources seemed irrelevant at the moment, since my physical body overall was doing pretty well.

“When in time” moments started catching up to me around February–I think the first being the shower chair. At first I was embarrassed–even to show people my room was enough, because with the bathroom door open, you can see the raised toilet seat handles. Not your typical bathroom. But I quickly dismissed this notion of blush, because it is when I realized that being independent in this area, I saw a blessing.

My OT mentioned a few other future reference ideas, one being the handicap room in hotels. At that time, I had only purchased the walker for my PT exercises as balancing in my Ankle FootDrop braces was near impossible. Even in February, I only used my cane when I left the house. Now the use of my walker is 99%. I even purchased a second walker to keep for house/back patio/basement use, while the older one is left in the garage for when I leave. The plan has worked smoothly, I think.

There is a first time for everything and the Colorado trip held no exceptions. There was the new way I checked through security, pushed in a wheel chair and now the hotel room. Mom and Dad helped reserve a handicap room, but before one gets to their room, they must get in the hotel. We pull in the parking lot and see the main lobby doors cut off in entrance by the yellow “Caution” tape. Looked more like a crime scene from Law and Order episodes. Mom goes to check-in using the only other door on the building,which is the back entrance.

The room itself is quite nice. The only significant difference I noted between this labeled room and a regular room was the bathroom. The doorway allowed room for a walker or wheelchair to easily enter and maneuver around. There was a handle attached to the wall by the toilet, along with a telephone. I suppose if you fall off the toilet, the assumption is that you can reach the telephone to call for help. The shower “chair” was what made the whole first-use-of-handicap-room experience worth it (in memories sake)!

In conquering difficult situations from the eye and body of a disabled person, I often mutter to myself (sometimes probably louder than I should) the fact that if TLC ever wanted a new reality show that I would volunteer; a show following individuals with disabilities and how they overcome the obstacles they face daily…what ones make them cringe, cry, laugh. What situations are easy or ones that are absurd. Most importantly, how it affects those closest to them. Anywhere I travel, someone has to retrieve or pack my walker from the trunk; I can get locked in public restroom stalls, because my hands can’t get the knob to open; or retrieving items at the grocery store often requires a helping hand. Mom and I like to swiftly shop our lists separate, so the last time I was choosing a coffee creamer, I asked a kid looking at the sour cream next to me if he wouldn’t mind helping me get the bottle, as I was nervous to drop and have it crack,┬áthen spill (just from previous experience at home.)

It is in this “reality show” thinking that I had to laugh. I envisioned the crew filming me as I show the viewers how the shower is set. It was like camping. At the one end, the shower is the standard shower head (but you could detach it)–the other end is “the shower chair.” Now, I can’t complain, because being able to sit was appreciated; however, this wooden beam of a chair that you folded up and down (but was too heavy for me to fold up upon wanting to get out of the shower) was right in the way of how you normally exit a bathtub style shower. I was barely able to keep a grip on the handles and was thankful not to have fallen completely out. The next shower, I had to have Mom fold the beam up for me before I exited.

I understand that some hotels are older, but in the newer hotels–like the one we stayed in the night before our fight back–I do not understand why there has been no consideration for the shower set-up in handicap rooms. One would think that a walk-in style shower with a sturdy set chair attached would be more efficient for those who cannot get themselves in a bathtub shower. The thought just crossed my mind that weekend as the first hotel gave me much more insight to think of as well: if you’re remodeling the lobby, please make your residents aware that there are missing tiles on the floor when they come in after two days of no continental breakfast to find the place empty of chairs or tables. We used my walker to transport the served cereal back to our room. ­čÖé

I may sound on a rant but I don’t mean for this to be so. I just want to make people aware that life brings unseen hurdles in your path and sometimes one needs a helping hand for safety–hence the handicap ramp in the hotel parking lot. Quite frankly, I would not have even called it a ramp, but a slab of steep, skinny, sloped concrete. It was only wide enough for my walker, so if I were using a wheelchair, I would probably have felt safer just hopping the curb. There was no hand railing either; I wanted to quote Marlin from Finding Nemo:┬á

Bob: Hey, you’re doing pretty well for a first-timer.

Marlin: Well, you can’t hold on to them forever, can you?

Bill: You know I had a tough time when my oldest went out to the drop off.

Marlin: They’ve just got to grow up som – THE DROP OFF? THEY’RE GOING TO THE DROP OFF? WHAT ARE YOU, INSANE? WHY DON’T WE FRY THEM UP NOW AND SERVE THEM WITH CHIPS?

Bob: Hey Marty, calm down.

Marlin: Don’t tell me to be calm, pony boy.

Bob: Pony boy?

Bill: You know for a clownfish, he really isn’t that funny

Ted: Pity

­čÖé

Never before my own handicaps and disabilities did I even think of these situations or how an individual lives each day overcoming even the smallest of difficulties. I’m not suggesting that life be easy, because it’s not and experiencing scenarios such as these is very humbling. It keeps me aware of my surroundings and ever thankful for the help in time of deepest need.

*Finding Nemo. (2003). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266543/quotes

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