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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It’s Their Decision

My nose has been close enough to a grizzly’s snout that I could feel the warmth of its breath and smell the salmon it had consumed, but that wasn’t nearly as frightening and an overwhelming sense of helplessness than sending my children out in the world.

Years of foundation construction, years of influence and you give the bicycle a gentle shove as they wrestle with the handle bars over reacting over correcting while gaining independence. It always seemed unfair to me that young adults make the most life determining decisions when they possess the least wisdom experience tutors.

I must boast, I am an extraordinarily fortunate and blessed father in that Hannah and Hunter have heeded the confessions of my many mistakes and have followed my advice. A day is on the horizon when decisions are made that I will struggle to support possibly totally oppose. I dread the occasion, but will have to accept.

Over the years I have been contacted by spouses, sons and daughters seeking information and guidance on how to cope with a decision their loved one has made. I am referring to the monumental decision ALS sufferers make to prolong life with artificial ventilation therapy, a ventilator.

It is the most difficult correspondence because often the husband or wife father or mother has decided not to take life prolonging measures. For me it was not a decision rather a portion of a theme to remain above ground because I had a responsibility to my children. If anyone would like to discuss life on a ventilator please leave a comment or contact me on facebook.

Statistically the individual battling this damn disease is older and as fate would have it the rock of the family, losing them is beyond comprehension. I inadequately attempt to comfort the family member while stressing decisions must be respected. Living as a quadriplegic is the greatest challenge of my life. I totally understand individuals not to extend this lifestyle. I can also sympathize with family members wanting to preserve life. In these nightmare situations never disguise love, provide the assistance and information that is requested and make them confident your support is assured.

If the parent of a young adult fledging the nest or have a loved one contending with a terminal disease decisions must be respected and when possible wishes carried out. Not easy stuff, but imagine the shoe on the other foot. Thanks so much for reading. Have a great day! dj

P.S. I truthfully loved the bear encounter, but if I wasn’t such an oddball it would be a good example don’t you think?

1 comment:

  1. I would have loved the bear encounter, too. Exciting and frightening at the same time. Much like life itself. Big hug for you!

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