Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Attitude
Aside

“Sir – At 81, I live in small sheltered bungalow, suffering from severe arthritis in all my joints, degeneration of the spine, diabetes, high blood pressure and occasional bouts of atrial fibrillation. Just over a year ago, I underwent surgery for cancer. Do I let it all get me down? No.

I do not have enough hours in the day. I paint, collect stamps, read, do the Telegraph crosswords, and use my computer, and go on holiday to Europe three or four times a year. It saddens me that I can no longer walk as much as I did, but I hobble to the village when necessary.

I go to aquatherapy classes twice a week to keep my joints mobile and I wake every morning thanking God I am alive, especially when the sun shines and I see snowdrops and daffodils already in bloom. I would like to go on another 20 years as long as my brain remains in good working order.

At the cancer clinic recently, the nurse said I looked younger than she did. My reply was that I am a great believer in positive thinking. There is still so much I want to do and time goes so quickly that I doubt I shall succeed, but in the meantime I shall keep trying and try not to think about dying.
Kay Alexander
South Brent, Devon”

I keep this in my wallet to remind me to put a sock in it when I'm feeling blue.

19 comments:

Eryl Shields said...

I think I'll have to print it off and pin it to my forehead!

I do hope she gets another 20 years.

PI said...

Eryl: as long, as she says, as she has her faculties.

R. Sherman said...

There is much to be said for a positive outlook. There are so many examples of this sort of thing. We really don't know all that our minds are capable of.

Cheers.

Dandelion said...

Where did you get it?

PI said...

Randall:it is quite heart-warming isn't it?

Dandelion: it's months - could be a couple of years - since I saw the letter in the Daily Telegraph and cut it out to keep with me. I often wonder about her.

zoe said...

what a wonderful and positive outlook on life. people like kay are an inspiration to us all.

Kanani said...

Well, I hate to break in here like this, Pat.
But you've just won an award. Dress up --meaning put on your best t-shirt an pick it up!

Kim Ayres said...

What immediately springs to mind is a description of Yossarian in the book Catch 22 - "He had decided to live forever, or die in the attempt"

sablonneuse said...

What a wonderful attitude. We have just learned that my daughter's friend's mum has been diagnosed with bile duct cancer and probably hasn't too long to live. She wrote a very brave letter saying she was making the most of the present time while she still feels reasonably well. She even remembered my son's birthday and sent him a card. I think she has found some of the same spirit as Kay Alexander.

PI said...

Zoe: we should treasure them.

Kanani: it was lovely for an excuse to wear a posh frock.

Kim: to my shame I never read Catch 22 but years ago when I was driving round France with my teen-age son he used to lose himself in it every night

PI said...

Sablonneuse: It does sound similar. Poor lady I hope she is spared pain and if she has to go has a peaceful end.

FOUR DINNERS said...

WOW!!! Got me sock ready for tomorrow....

Z said...

One day, I'll write about my mother's final six months, after her terminal cancer was diagnosed. She was fabulous. After three months, when December came and she was still alive and well, she said "Bugger! Now I'll have to go Christmas shopping after all!"

PI said...

4d: MTL said he used to put a sock in the speaker of his gramaphone to make it softer!

Z: Yes you must write about her. She sounds a fabulous lady.

SpanishGoth said...

Reminds me of my grandparents - they used to joke/brag about who needed the most pills per day - not why they needed them

Anonymous said...

it brings it home, there's always someone worse off than yourself.



Helen

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, I guess I am a wuss....Sometimes allowing yourself to feel blue, allows you to "go on"...we are all different and I say, Thank God for that....I wish I had more of that "Carry on, no matter", attitude.... But, I personally find, that denying what I really feel is more detrimental to my health than not! The idea being that sometimes----for some people---Putting a sock in it will push down those feelings and it will come out somewhere else, and maybe in a worse way....Just some things to consider.

PI said...

Naomi: YOU ARE NOT A WUSS! We all have our ways of coping and sometimes I think the more artistic you are the more you have highs and lows - look at the great artists. This particular example - at this stage in my life - encourages me. BUT if the worst happened and I was without MTL God knows how I would cope and I doubt any slip of paper would help.
I don't want to embarrass you but you are a shining example of how I would like to be. Talented,diligent, humorous, kind, brave and a warn and loving disposition. whatever it is you do Naomi keep on doing it. We need you.xoxoxox

PI said...

Spanish Goth: a lot to do with keeping our spirits up during the war
I think.

Helen: I suppose the thing that inspires me as much as anything is remembering some of the brave children I nursed and the like still exist.