Tag Archives: Resilience

Courage at Twilight: Stair Lift

I spent the morning researching stair lifts, also known as chair lifts, the makes and models, the Acorns and Brunos, leasing verses purchasing, wondering if it were time to make that move. I hear Dad grunting on every step, and Mom wheezing at reaching the top.  Sitting with them in their bedroom, I shared my research, and asked them what they thought about the idea, and the timing.  Dad acknowledged that climbing the stairs is hard for him to do, but he can do it.  He worries that once he stops doing a hard thing, he will lose the ability ever to do that hard thing again.  He thinks it best to keep on exerting, fighting even, doing everything he can to be strong and capable.  Mom and Dad had been going to the rec center six days a week before Covid shut down the nation’s gyms.  They would make a circuit through the many machines, strengthening back and arms and legs and heart.  He wants to go back, because his muscles have become soft.  He knows he will be starting over again.  I, too, seem to be always starting over after some injury or event (like moving) has knocked me out of my exercise routine.  I used to become discouraged about always starting over, but now try to be grateful I have the opportunity to start over, building on yesterday’s strength, and to keep working at life’s challenges, believing that every effort at living ultimately is strengthening and redeeming.  So, Mom and Dad said no to the stair lift, for now.  Dad wants to keep working as hard as he can.  He is not being stubborn about the stair lift, or walking, or working in his yard to the point of collapse (literally, like today, when he sank to the grass on shaking legs that just would not hold him up anymore, and crawled to the brick mailbox to claw his way back to his feet, while I stood inside obliviously baking a guava cream cheese tart, and how did no one driving by see him lying on the grass?).  No, not stubbornness.  Instead, he is fighting for his independence and his dignity and his strength, fighting for his life.  That example I can absolutely respect and emulate.