We have a cabin in the mountains, and every time I leave it, I wonder if it will be the last time I see it. It sits at 8,500 feet in the Eastern Sierras. Rushing streams and snowy mountain peaks are right out the backdoor. It’s my “happy place” and my lungs are threatening to take it away from me. My lungs struggle to find oxygen at altitude, even with my oxygen concentrator cranked nearly to the max. I can no longer hike, and even strolling along the backyard creek is difficult. Climbing the stairs in the cabin requires a rest half way up, as the 8L of oxygen blasts into my lungs trying to find a way to my blood stream. My heart is pounding, I’m dizzy, but I still I don’t want to face the reality of it.
I enjoyed every minute of my Thanksgiving visit but felt a sadness tug at my heartstrings as we descended into the valley on our way back to the lowlands. As we were driving, I looked in the review mirror, saw the mountains lit up, and quickly snapped the picture above. Almost simultaneously the Eagles came on the satellite radio and I smiled. It has always been one of my favorite songs, and it reminded me to keep pushing forward.
So that’s what I focus on. I have to remind myself to enjoy now, not to focus on my increasing limitations and dreading the future. Until the inevitable day comes, I’ll keep taking it to the limit…just one more time, one day at a time.