Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

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Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

Getting Back Up


In the past month, I’ve spent more time with my grandson than in the last year. In that time, I watched him evolve from a crawler to a confident walker. While tiny in stature, only a few days after his birthday last week, he climbed down ten front porch steps, navigated my hilly, acorn-filled sidewalk and driveway, and tottered across the cul-de-sac and down a neighbor’s driveway to chat with her son who was fixing a car in their garage.

As I followed close behind, I relished each step anew.

Along the way, little man stopped to pick up leaves and babble on about them. He stooped low for acorn tops and held them tight. He also tried putting them in his mouth—as he had several times before—but always stopped when I said, “No. That could hurt you.”

His delight in the world made our short trip as meaningful as a stroll on the beach, which I actually can’t do any more due to leg fatigue. Waves, sand, and sun take me far from daily concern. And watching little man go where he’d never gone before filled me with a similar peace.

Only a short month ago, he fell every ten steps or so, yet stood back up and pressed on. His mom even commented, “He’s a lesson in determination. Never give up!”

When I pull out the few videos I took in September and compare them to our October walk up the driveway, his obvious accomplishment speaks loud.

There is good in the world! There is triumph! Determination pays off!

But beyond the victory, I learned two things.

First, while little man feels renewed independence, he was never alone. I was always close, keeping a watchful eye, allowing him to stumble, yet keeping him from a hard fall. The visual reminded me that while I often feel like I’m on my own, navigating this wide-open world and its array of medical pitfalls, the God of heaven is always closer than my finite understanding can grasp. Always.

Second, even squirrels and ragged leaves carry a magic when seen for the first time. Little man’s constant sounds of joy made for a sound track like no other. When we walked outside at his home last week, he picked up a leaf, arched his back, and reached up to the sky as if to offer the leaf back to the towering trees. Or to thank them for sharing their spoils. Or just to squeal in amazement at how the planet works.

Then, having reached too high, he lost his balance and plopped down onto the pavement—only to get back up again.

Sometimes we fall when learning something new. But sometimes maybe we should just fall back down in sheer awe of the blue sky, the green grass, and towering trees that blow in the wind.

But no matter how we end up on our backside, it’s most important that we simply get back up again… and again… and again.

About the Author: Susan Schreer Davis lives with her husband, their cat named, Eggs, and the challenging effects of mitochondrialdisease. Learn more about Susan, her latest book and many songs at: www.susanschreerdavis.com

Jordan Whitt

 

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