In the midst of packing one Friday morning for an impromptu weekend getaway, I was caught by the opening theme of “The View” and remained glued to the TV while they ran through a collage of all the guests they’ve welcomed to the show in the past 3,000 episodes. Then, by surprise (well, to me … I’m sure The View gals were fully aware), Michael J. Fox came out to join the panel in celebration.
As a child of the ’80s, I watched him for years on Family Ties and of course, the Back to The Future movies (love ’em all!). I remain a big fan of the man behind Alex P. Keaton. So when I saw him walk with that slight limp across the stage, I began to well up thinking about what he’s been through over the years as he’s lived with Parkinson’s.
My initial reaction was “sometimes life just isn’t fair,” but then it occurred to me: that’s the mistaken assumption we all make, isn’t it? That life should be fair. I don’t think it was ever meant to be that way. I believe God intended our journey here to confront us, test us, force our hand, so we can show “it” what we’ve got. It’s meant to forge us into something beautiful. We’re diamonds in the rough, aren’t we, passing through each fire and coming out just a bit more brilliant (in the true sense of the word) every time?
If life were easy, how would we know what we’re made of? If it were easy, how could we truly appreciate and soak in all those moments of joy that are handed to us every day? I always wonder how those who live in places with an endless supply of warmth and sunshine ever really understand the beauty of the first early days of spring, when you can feel re-birth in the air and actually smell the earth warming up and coming to life?
Though he no doubt suffers with this illness, MJF remains a joy. “I still have it, but it doesn’t have me yet,” is what he told Barbara, Sherri, Joy, Elizabeth and Whoopi. I love his style. I love his un-oh-woe-is-me attitude. I wish, on my more difficult days, to show that sort of triumphant spirit.
In one of my darkest hours, just after the premature birth and passing of my twin girls, I came across this quote from Albert Camus, a Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” It struck a chord, and gave me hope that I would make my way through the despair. At the end of that long road, I understood without doubt that I could not be taken down. I was strong. I had faith. I was a survivor. And that knowledge is all the equity I need.
By Michelle Colasante, this little lightLeave a Comment