Step-by-step


image“One, two. One, two. That’s it!”

The baby wobbles on legs unaccustomed to being vertical. Anticipation overcomes fear, as she wills first one leg, then the other to propel her. Her delight in the jerky, uncontrolled forward momentum is unabated by her hard landing.

“One, two. One, two. Keep going.”

My father urges my mother on. Parkinson’s Disease is slowly robbing her of her mobility. Her brain short-circuits the order for her legs to move, each step a triumph of will.

Between minus one and plus 80, we lurch through life with varying degrees of control. We might be cruising along, all blue-sky positivity when BAM! Down we go. Job losses or lost loves, disappointments, illnesses.

Our lives are jagged parabolas, learning, growing, achieving, two steps forward and one step back on our upward arc. But as they say, what goes up, must come down. And so we do. Our bodies complain, then loudly protest when we ask them to do what once came so easily. Our memories hiccup when we reach for a name or fact.

One, two. One, two. We can wallow in our setbacks or get back up and forge ahead.

The choice is ours.

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