Today I am filled with anticipation!  A trip to New Hampshire to be with my son and his family and my dad.  Dad is there because he lost power at his home in MA after the recent nor’easter.  So, instead of only being with Shaun and family for a weekend, I get to be there for the whole week!  Football season is nearly over, but Conner has a game on Saturday night, and I’ll be there cheering him on!

I have traveled a great deal over the years.  I feel very comfortable about the process, but now, with my illness hovering over my head, I have new concerns.  For the first time, I need to be aware of the stamina required to wait in line, go through security, get on the train at DIA, and walk to the gate.  Then, a change in planes in Chicago, with no prior knowledge of how close the new gate will be to the gate where I’m dropped off.

The other concern is how to carry enough formula to be sure I’m covered in case my bags don’t make it to my destination as planned.  Several cans of formula are heavy, so that complicates things further.  Will I be able to handle the weight of a carry-on?

I decide to change this line of thinking!  I can still walk, thank God, without assistance.  I can talk a little, but when necessary, I have my “Speak it” app for my iPad.  I can get a wheel chair at check-in at DIA, which will help me breeze through security, with my carry-on placed in my lap.  I will be eligible for prior boarding, guaranteeing a good seat, and the flight attendant will assist me in placing the carry-on in the over-head bin.

In Chicago, another wheelchair will be waiting for me, and I will be brought to the new gate.  I’ll bet they will even stop for me to buy a snack if necessary, as I won’t be able to administer my tube feeding until I arrive at my destination.

I’m learning that it’s all in the attitude.  Sometimes, I confess, it is a huge challenge to keep that attitude of “can do” VS “woe is me.”  However, I know it is all up to me.  When I exhibit and internalize “can do” everything falls into place.  This is the attitude that has always been most natural for me, my entire life.  The “woe is me” attitude is new and unnatural, so I should have success when I am aware of my inner emotional status, and vow to change it, if it sinks to that lower, gloomy place.

My grandson, Brennan, who, at twelve, is still mostly a little boy.  He is kind and sweet, sensitive and strong.  He’s a great athlete already, so aggressive on the football field, and stands up to bullies, if he witnesses them being mean to other kids.  This child is special.  There is something about him that is unique and I know he is destined to do great things in his life.  I don’t know if that will mean he will make a lot of money, because, to me, that is no measure of greatness.  But this I do know, Brennan has something that makes him shine wherever he is.  He is truly a gift in my life, and the best part, right now, is that he says he can’t wait until I get there!  How cool is that?  I can’t wait either.

And so, regardless of my logistical concerns about my upcoming trip, I will continue the “can do” attitude that has kept me strong all my life, before ALS.  I will be full of gratitude for my incredible family, so full of love and caring.  I will go on this trip knowing that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to, just like the rest of life.  And I will bask in the love of my New England family.