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  • Writer's picturepfq143

Border Patrol

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

"Things are changing. Against my will, but they are changing. I cannot deny it. I could, but the path to growth and enlightenment is through this tunnel; through recognition, acceptance and embracing my transformation." pq (!)


[I have to tell you: I just read those lines outloud and they kind of break my heart. I mean, to look it in the eye, to take it on, to acknowledge and accept that this is my path-- that this is my journey. There is a part of it that deeply saddens me in a way that few people see, if any. In the quiet stillness of the night sky, when I alone reflect on my life's vector, my kintsugi

path. Or driving alone when I hear a song that pierces me to the core, like Chris Martin singing "Up & Up." But then something magical happens, as these moments are followed by ones that rise...and rise and rise and rise, a crescendo that leads to a celebratory summit. It is not that the sadness has been wiped out, but rather it has morphed into HOPE and COURAGE and PROMISE to a point where I am inspired to embrace my destiny.]


The border. Or rather, the Border-- the fine line on the precipice between too much and not enough, between "I can; I will," and "I will not-- the risk it too great." It is the constant friction between pushing myself to take on a challenge such as I did Wednesday, snowshoeing to the top of "Ralph's Run" at Wachusett (right side of trail map). It would either be an epic triumph on a glorious, sun-drenched 50-degree day and give me the sweat that I crave, or end in frustration and despair if it was too much for me. There are voices, both real and virtual, on both sides of this coin:

"You can't do that-- it's too dangerous. You could get up there and not be able to get down. You could fall on your (still healing) broken ribs...then what?"


"You can do this. You CAN do this! You can maximize your chances of success and minimize the risks...yeh! We're goin for it, baby!"

(You know where I ended up...and btw a huge shout-out to my girl, Kim, who makes anything possible!)

Social Distancing, March 18, 2020


The Border is evasive and mobile, and is different for everyone. My Border is now directed by my progressive disease, PLS. I will do everything in my power to drive the Border out, to push it away, while knowing that the Border has its own will and that it may, in fact, close in on me-- a duel of push and pull. This, I know, is the constant, however: that I will show up every day to push the Boundary away, and I will fight it with faith, belief, grace, courage and gratitude...

(And with fun and joy. Yes that's right-- fun and joy. With COVID-19, Social Distancing and responsible quarantining, that means plenty of carpool karaoke, for example!)


The past few months, then.

I'm having more trouble. The Border has advanced. It's hard to look back and identify significant changes since I am "in it" all day, every day. I attempt to look back 3 months, 6 months, a year, to compare my capabilities then and now. I ask Kim, friends, family, and anyone who might have a perspective. I sort through the data to uncover the trend. My hypothesis on the shift in my condition appears to be correct.

I'm having more trouble walking; more trouble standing; more trouble getting into a sitting position; more trouble getting up from a sitting position; more trouble turning, more trouble descending stairs (I'm still a beast going uphill!), more trouble doing everyday stuff. The rib incident signified a shift in the Border. As in a chess game, I've been "checked."

But not deterred...this game is far from over.

I close a chapter, and open a new one-- one with new dreams and new opportunities. But with opportunity comes risk. What do I need to change? How can I be more safe? Where are the opportunities? Where is the new Border? What does my new frontier look like, and how will I change my navigation? How will I get more help? I need to move, but where? And how will I manage until then?

I recognize and acknowledge the change. I accept it. I will get through it. I will manage it. I will embrace it. How? By saying "yes" to life, like Mom always did. I will show up every day to put one foot in front of the other. And that's how I'll find my El Cap...


Find open spaces and social distance (now a verb). Reach out to someone. Stay connected.


The Next Chapter

I see a beautiful path...calling me...
What Do You See?

I see the beauty of my path to the unknown...calling me...


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Mar 26, 2020

You are leading the way for all of us my friend showing strength and giving us a gift to be close to you from reading your poetic and heartfelt words... you are wiser than you know and i will always believe in you........thank you for sharing with us your journey...and I know your Mom is proud of you for who you are to so many. I am grateful for you. xxxxx


Mar 24, 2020

Thanks Rich. I can't tell you how much your thoughts and words mean to me. If only I could be half as eloquent as thou! You're absolutely right; each of our borders is being tested, and I would add that our collective border is being tested as well. And thanks for your memories of Bev-- the 3 of us have so many crazy memories, yeh? I will do my best to live up to your billing. Just know that you are an inspiration to me; always have been and always will be. Can't wait to make more memories with you. Praying for all of us to carve the goodness we can from this COVID-19 crisis...Love to the boys and Mols...


Mar 24, 2020

Q, this is beautiful stuff. Not sure you know how revealing and inspiring your words about The Border, but they truly are. We're all meeting our Border this year for sure, and we're coping - with distance of course. But you are so far ahead of us man. Was it Einstein who said In the midst of our difficulties lies our opportunities - yeah that's you? Anyway, a wonderful read; Bev would be damn proud; and hi to Kim!

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