Keeping on an even keel throughout life is virtually impossible. Highs and lows are normal. Achievement and failure. Content and discontent. Happiness and sadness. The pendulum swings backwards and forwards. Our emotions and feelings vacillate accordingly.

Not sure about you but I find life a dilemma. As a Christian I am called to be content and generally speaking I believe I am, but it is very difficult to see your wife suffer with a debilitating disease and sit back and display contentment with that situation. Parkinson’s is unforgiving in its relentless progress of stealing the body’s ability to move. This year I have seen my wife’s independent mobility reduced almost to the zero point. It means that to stand or move she has to hold on to something or someone at all times. No more going to bed, getting up, sitting down, standing or walking without assistance. Think about that. How that affects everyday functions 24 hours a day.  It’s a heart breaker!

To act contented and simply say “It is what it is” appears callous and unfeeling. Yet to wallow in pity, and even worse, self-pity, does little to remedy the situation. Keeping focused on the sufferer automatically removes thoughts of self and the accompanying feelings. I find it helpful to constantly remember that Rita has had no choice in the matter. She did not ask for this. She detests being in a state of dependence and wishes every moment that it were not so. My responsibility is to alleviate as much of the discomfort as possible, be it physical or emotional.

Am I content? Certainly not with Rita’s condition. I am grateful it is no worse than it is. I am grateful that I have the strength at the moment to support her in this trial. I also realize that there are always people in a worse position than us. None of us know what life will bring. We cannot anticipate tomorrow’s problems. We only have today so we deal with issues on a daily basis. We have to believe and trust that as life changes we will have the wisdom and ability to change with it.