Not long ago while I was enjoying an awesome Cup o’ Joe outside on my back patio, I saw one of my older neighbors on his walker with his tiny dog tied up to the walker – this is how he normally walks his dog. A total accident waiting to happen. You can imagine how long it takes him to shuffle down the sidewalk with a walker.
This particular day while watching him I thought to myself “this guy is going to fall.” I used to provide fall assessments to caregivers and their parents for Pete’s sake. I know all the statistical data. Of course, I just sat there and watched him continue on his long journey.
So I go in the house for my second cup of coffee and went upstairs to the loft for my daily reading and opened the blinds to let a little sunshine in and I noticed a commotion at one of the neighbor’s house. The old man had sure enough fallen and one of the neighbors was kneeling down with him. The next thing I heard were sirens from an ambulance coming to the rescue. They performed all kinds of tests and in a moment he got up and walked home.
Two days later I saw the same old man back on his morning walk with his dog once again, tied to the walker. In talking with a neighbor later that day I heard that he had fallen that very morning and the two days before, he had been hit by a neighbor’s car while she was backing out of her driveway.
I couldn’t believe it. I thought, “What perseverance this man had to continue walking the same route, the same way, day after day in spite of what had happened and I’m sure, in spite of the pain he was in.” In all actuality, he had every right to give up and quit, to allow his circumstances to keep him down and inside the house never again to go out, yet he persevered under trial – in and through it all.
I love looking up definitions to words so I looked up the word “perseverance” which means patience and endurance, determination, steadfastness, tenacity, to persist and continue your course. And this one hit me “consistency through whatever.”
We all have stuff that happens along our journey of this crazy thing called “life” be it through financial hardships, divorce, death, illness or daily caregiving. We must continue to remember to persevere.
There are times when I may be having a bad day or faced with a challenging situation and in that very moment I am reminded of my little old neighbor and the perseverance he showed and something in me says “you can do it.”