Letters to Taylor: On Acceptance
You’ve never tried to change me.
The last few days have been rough for you. Of course, “rough” has many different meanings. For you, it means that you haven’t wanted to eat much, your limbs have moved aimlessly without purpose, and seizures shake your body randomly. Yet when I came to sit beside you for awhile just now, you grabbed my hand and held it as if to say:
It’s okay, Mom. I’m good. Just be near me.
You know what? I’ve never told you this before, but it’s been a long time coming.
I’ve never felt more like I could just be my own self than when I’m with you.
Yes, you. You have this almost magical power to allow a soul to exist without judgment. I want to be just like you. I want others to feel at ease around me, to feel like they can simply be who they are in my presence without an ounce of re-thinking. I’m working on it. Over the years, I can think of different encounters we’ve had with people and bottom line, some people have a hard time accepting folks who are different from them.
But you? You’re a pro. You accept people just as they are.
This disease of MPS, I’ve bucked against it, yelled at it, and wept over it until I couldn’t weep anymore. I’ve hated it with a passion; the torment it puts you through wrecks me. But eventually over the years, I had to leave the state of denial and come to a place of acceptance.
Initially, I had to accept the diagnosis. I had to come to grips with the fact that your skill loss wouldn’t be temporary, but that it would continue for your entire life. I’ve had to accept the things you would never do. No basketball games, no ballet, no piano. Each day, I’ve learned to accept outcomes. No school. No graduation. No college. No wedding. No grandchildren.And continually, I’m learning to accept moment by moment changes that are ever so slow and gradual. We’ve moved you to a soft-food diet because your body won’t process anything more. We’re learning how to gently move your legs for you as you forget how to move them on your own.
There’s an old prayer that says something like, “Lord, grantme the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change thethings I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” I guess you could say that theway I’ve learned acceptance has been trial by fire. But you? You allow me tosit here by you and without saying a word, you grab my hand and hold it, invitingme to be.
I sometimes think that part of the reason God has you here to teach me is this very lesson. That when I realize that he is always extending his hand, inviting me to simply be with him, then I have learned the most beautiful lesson of acceptance.
Thank you for teaching me once again.
I love you.