I have never been an optimist, but I would not consider myself a pessimist either. I have always been a realist. The glass is neither half full nor half empty, but instead in reality, it's just half of a glass. Being a realist has not been a blessing however when it comes to your diagnosis. The delusional state of optimism seems so warm and inviting, but it is so hard to fight my realist thoughts. The reality is that you have an incurable and progressive disorder that will forever be part of our lives, and some days, the sheer magnitude of this reality is suffocating. I have struggled with looking at the bright side and finding the blessings in the diagnosis still over 2 years later.
A few weeks ago we had an unusual rain storm in February. As you will learn, it is rare for it to rain in February in Wyoming. It was a brief down pour made more intrusive by the 60mph wind driving the rain drops against your face in temperatures near 40 degrees. I pulled into the preschool, and watched several other parents hurrying inside and scurrying back to their vehicles with their toddlers in tow. I pulled my jacket up over my head and sprinted into the school. We gathered your belongings and started out the door. I paused briefly before exiting the building, making sure your jacket was zipped and your hood was up, and our eyes met. Your face lit up when you noticed the rain. A few steps out into the wind and rain and you stopped in your tracks, started giggling and shrieking, and dancing around. The wind was blowing your hair, the raindrops were running down your face, and pure joy was emanating from your smile. We took a moment and danced in the rain together as the other parents hurried past with quizzical looks on their faces.
In that moment, you showed me what I have been searching for since your diagnosis. You showed me that the reality of your joy, your innocence, your love, and your character are stronger than the reality of your diagnosis. Your joy is pure and contagious. You innocence in unadulterated by pessimism. Your love is deep and endless. And Your character is timeless, strong, and one of a kind. You have this uncanny ability to find the beauty in the moments that others find uncomfortable. And for that moment, I was able to find a small sense of peace. Peace that you will "be OK" despite your diagnosis. Peace with being a realist, with being who I have always been. It is OK to not always be optimistic, but instead live with the knowledge that some realities are stronger than others. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain........even the cold, blowing, freezing February freak rainstorm.