"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
July 1, 2013
Walking Wherever I Can't
by Kathryn H. Kidd

When I’m sitting in front of the television or in my office or somewhere else in our house, I’ll get it in my mind that I want to walk across the room and turn on a light or get something or do something, and I’ll come pretty close to doing whatever it is that I’m thinking about doing.

It’s so easy it almost comes as second nature. In fact, it is such second nature that I almost — almost — hop up and do whatever it is that comes to mind.

The only problem is that if I actually made the attempt, I would no doubt end up in a heap on the floor, and we would have to call the friendly Fire and Rescue people yet again.

I have learned from experience that the people who work at Fire and Rescue are nice, and that they provide their services in our county for free. Nevertheless, I would just as soon stay in my wheelchair and let the Fire and Rescue people watch Judge Judy, or do whatever they do at the fire station. They don’t need to pick me up off the floor once more, risking strained backs and other tortured body parts. It’s a lot better on everyone if I just stay where I belong.

My brand new neurologist has a name for my malady. He calls it “critical illness neuropathy,” and he says it will keep me in my wheelchair at least another year. Unfortunately, my nerves have not communicated this to my eyes. My eyes see things and say, “Ooh. You need that. It’s time to hop up and get it.” And my body just wants to do the hopping.

My eyes are persuasive little critters, and there are two of them. There is only one of my brain, so my eyes tend to gang up on my feeble little brain and convince it to do things it shouldn’t. More than once, I have caught myself at the beginning of a leap to do something or another, only to lean sheepishly back in my chair. “Back off!” I tell my brain. “Not today. In fact, maybe not this year.”

I find it ironic that most of us find ourselves in the opposite situation. In most cases our bodies are perfectly capable of hopping around and doing the things that need to be done. The big problem for most of us (and even for me until last December!) is getting our brains motivated to the point that they send those signals to our muscles and get us moving to do the task at hand.

It is just too easy to read another chapter, or watch another TV show, or sleep for a few more minutes, or eat another potato chip. If we are not careful, the sun is soon setting, the day is over, and the tasks for the day remain undone.

The Lord allows us to have adversity in life because it teaches us things. One of the things I have learned from my latest little adventure is to be thankful for the simple things that we I used to take for granted. When I was recovering in the rehabilitation hospital, Fluffy used to bring a dice game that we played when he came to visit. We played Farkle often, because it was great fun and good therapy for me.

I was a pretty pathetic sight each time I tried to pick up the dice cup and dump the dice out onto the table. It took a lot of strength and concentration, and the dice would often go in many different directions, leaving poor Fluffy to scramble around the room looking for missing dice. Now my arm strength is pretty much back to normal, and I can do things like roll dice and shuffle cards without giving it a second thought.

Even after I am once again able to hop around my world the way I used to do, I hope I will remember to grateful for the “simple” acts of motion. Standing up to get a book off the shelf, walking across the room, and leaning over to check a pot on the cooktop are such thoughtless acts that most of us do them without a second thought. Yet there are others who would give anything to be able to do such simple tasks.

As we express our gratitude to God for his many blessings, let’s not forget to thank Him for the little miracles that don’t warrant a second thought until we lose them.

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About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

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