Grandson teaches grandma how to get the juice going

Clouds hung like drapes over the blue mountains. The rain did not let up but kept coming down in showers that drenched the ground. I looked out my window and wondered when it would let up. Sure, it was good for the trees, flowers, crops and all, but it was depressing.

Not that I had anything better to do. I didn’t. I was just unhappy. I wanted action, not to vegetate and be doing nothing. I could write, but my mind wasn’t working. I could think of nothing that would put this writers block to rest and let a little sunshine of an idea come alive.

I hadn’t been writing for such a long time I didn't think I could get the juice going again. I was sitting at my computer and pushing keys.

I called my oldest son, and he sent me some pictures of my grandson, Lee, skydiving. That was quite a feat because Lee has been a paraplegic since a devastating automobile accident when he was 19 years old. He’s now 28.

He had such a big smile on his face when he and his partner were exiting the plane. It showed the ground and Lake Washington below them. One of the pictures showed him touching knuckles with the man who was taking the pictures. My eyes filled with tears.

It took courage to do that when you had no control over your legs.

I told my son, “Lee is such a strong person. He’s adjusted to his condition and made the best of what he has been given.”

Jim said, “No, I think that he has learned to accept, and he has the courage to do what he can and sometimes he reaches beyond that.”

Lee had two more quarters to go at the University of Washington, and he got his BA in political science specializing in foreign and Asian politics.

Whenever I start feeling sorry or down about myself and my life, I think of him and the courage he has shown in his short one. It makes me realize that I have been given so many gifts to be thankful for. Sure, there have been pitfalls and setbacks and losses. Some I thought I would never get over, but time has a way of softening the edge of grief. What lies ahead, good or bad, will pass too. It’s just part of being human and living.

Some of us have bigger bumps in the road than others, and how we face them determines who we are. I’ve learned to face each day as a challenge and embrace what I have in the now. He’s been my inspiration.

Catherine Crandall lives in Medford.

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