Even in pain, there can be joy–a tale of two arms

My arm ached this morning when I woke up. Titanium rod, metal ball and socket, cadaver calve tissue binding the clavicle, minus bicep, triceps and deltoid. My journey with cancer 24 years ago severely limited mobility in my right arm. Over the years, I learned to adapt using one arm. Learning the art of removing plates stacked in the cupboard, asking for help with changing lightbulbs, doing one armed downward dogs during yoga. My left arm helps out where the right one can’t.

Most recently, Kayman asked me for an “airplane ride”. She loves to be lifted into the air. I remember seeing parents with babies at the park a few years back. Lifting them up in the air, and feeling a longing to do the same. As much as I wanted to do this, I never will be able to.
The other night, my heart sank for a few seconds when she asked. Then I shifted and told her to ask Michael for a “ride”. Below are some pix of the next 2 minutes that made my heart sing.
Since I couldn’t do it for myself, I gave myself some love and acceptance and asked for help.

When life hands you lemons, you CAN make lemonade. Instead of being angry, bitter about the things I can no longer do with my right arm, I try to be in a state of gratitude and acceptance. Grateful that I have my right hand from which I am typing out this blog. Acceptance by looking at physical challenges one at a time, so that I do not overwhelm myself with all of the things I can no longer do. I focus on what I CAN do, taking action steps to move forward. I can’t give Kayman an airplane ride, but I love giving her the biggest hugs every moment I can.

I love this quote by Joseph Campbell:
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

So today, I leave you with this. Wherever you are in your life right now, find one thing joyful to celebrate. If you are struggling with life transitions as a result of events in your own life, know that you are never alone and you don’t need to go it alone.

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