When I was a little girl (ok, I’m still little), I wanted to be a Go Go Dancer when I grew up.
I wanted to wear the boots and hot pants and dance next to the lip-syncing band on American Bandstand. Dancing was something I was naturally good at. It involved me totally, brain and body, and I could loose myself and forget I was a shy, ADD, black girl. Actually, I was a tan, Italian-American but the kids in my very white, suburban, Orange County, CA neighborhood couldn’t tell the difference so I was “that black girl”. Dancing got me through the night. It was the reason I wasn’t a teen mom. I studied dance, marched and danced in Junior High Drill Team, was the Vice-President of High School Dance Club, then grew up, and realized there were not many professional dancing jobs for 5 foot tall women so my dreams were crushed. Besides, go go dancing went out of style.
But I still danced – in dance classes here and there, aerobics classes, in front of the TV, in clubs, at weddings. I even just recently reached what I feel is the pinnacle of my amatuer dancing career – I taught myself how to shuffle so that I can embarass my teenage son in front of his friends. I did it and it worked! But dancing hurts now, literally, my hips are useless after trying to force ballet turnout as a teen, trying to force 2 babies through my wee hips as an adult, and trying to kick tall people in the head in tae kwon do (which is rough because EVERYBODY is taller than me). Dancing has stopped being my therapy and now just makes me hurt and dizzy.
About 15 years ago I thought, “What, besides dancing, did I love doing as a child. What gave me joy?” And I remembered that it was crafting. Coloring books, macrame, finger painting, cross stitch, those craft kits for kids you could buy at the toy store. I even dabbled in crochet and knitting as a child. So I just followed my intuition and started doing crafts that interested me. I ended up sticking with crochet and knitting. I get the same joyful experience that I did with dance – total body/mind involvement – especially with complex patterns. And to top it all off, I always ended up with something beautiful and artful when I was done! And I could give it away and give other people joy! Yea!!
And now I discover that I can design my own crochet patterns, and they kind of make enough sense that other people can follow them and make their own beautiful stuff! And people will actually buy them and not ask for their money back! Who would of thought I could do that?
Which FINALLY brings me to whole point of this post: My husband of 24 years, whom I have known since we were 11 years old, was just diagnosed with ALS. He may have 2 years, he may have 20…but I know what is ahead of us. Watching him slowly become so completely paralized that he will eventually only be able to move his eyes, trapped in his body, his mind perfectly fine. This is my future, it can be predicted with certainty unless one of us dies in an accident before then. But I have my family, my friends, and my crochet. And a little bit of dance…