Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude is always the main focus of my writing. Today, I want to honor a nearby neighbor and all those like him who have life-limiting physical disabilities and disorders, but never let those disabilities and disorders stop them from living life.

Sometimes when I’m feeling sorry for myself because of having a high physical pain-filled day, I often find myself thinking of this young boy who lives a few doors over from me. If I had to guess, he’s probably around 15 years old or so, and from all the times I’ve seen him outside, I believe he has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that causes great difficulty in walking, bodily movements, muscle rigidity, permanent shortening of muscles, and problems with overall coordination. Yet, every week, he’s still outside cutting his grass, showing a fierce determination to complete the task, no matter how difficult it may be for him. I’ve personally watched him from afar with admiration at the energy I see coming off of him as he does his weekly chore. The look in his face tends to say it all, which is something along the lines of “I won’t let this condition beat me!!!” Ironically, it also appears that his lawnmower is not even the self-propelled type and for all those who cut the grass that utilize such a type of mower, they are heavy and hard to manipulate for even the healthiest of individual. That’s why it just amazes me seeing this kid strain at every movement of his body, pushing and pulling his mower around his yard with only one goal in mind, to keep living his life as best as he can.

My physical pains in life are nothing compared to what someone like this boy will go through having a disorder like cerebral palsy. Neither are they even close to the struggle’s others have battled with having disorders and conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, paralysis, and loss of one of more limbs. Yet, I’ve known individuals who’ve had those life-limiting conditions, that haven’t let them limit their life whatsoever.

One of my dear friends in fact has Parkinson’s, and recently after a very risky surgical procedure, they’ve regained some of their mobility, enough so that they have started planning their training for a 5K. That’s pretty inspirational if I must say, especially to someone like me who has been on the sidelines more than not from doing heavy physical activities like that for over a decade now because of my own health conditions.

So, as I mowed my lawn today, groaning through all the stiffness in my body due to the Fibromyalgia that’s still within me, I thought of my dear friend with Parkinson’s, I thought of my young neighbor with Cerebral Palsy, and I even thought of all those who have disorders or life conditions far worse and yet have pushed themselves to make it to something like the Special Olympics. It’s because of all of you that I continue to keep pushing my mower week in and week out, to keep going, one step at a time, both in my weekly chore, and in life in general. I’m truly grateful for all of you in this world who have a life-limiting condition, but have never let it stop you from living life to its fullest, which is why I’m happily dedicating today’s Grateful Heart Monday to each of you!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson