Unable to life a finger to help...
Lungs drained every half hour...
All bodily functions requiring the assistance of others...
Speaking on an outbreath about 4 seconds long.. Sentences, phrases, words, carried on an exhalation as regular as a metronome...
He can get around anyplace his wheelchair can go, but his lungs need care every half hour, so he's not going away by himself for more than 30 minutes.
Let's admit he had the money for the best care, and he was able to live at home and travel from time to time - but let's just hang out with what could have shifted in him to change from being suicidal to genuinely feeling: "I am so lucky... so lucky, it's unbelievable!"
So, even with a broken body... Indeed because his body is broken... He sees things with new eyes, with fresh insight, with clarity...
He can see his children and his wife; he can hear what the children say to him. He can be present; he can witness their lives.
Sometimes a van takes him to where his family is doing something e.g. a soccer game. Depending on weather, he can watch them from his wheelchair.
And they want him to see them. They love that he listens to them and takes in what they are experiencing. He is there for them through their highs and lows. He is there to take pride in their accomplishments and milestones....
The connection between him and each family member is, if anything, magnified by the very limits of his body. He cannot playfully sneak up on them, or run and hide from them, or spontaneously take them aside and have a private conversation.
He is not living under the impression that there are things he can do that will make them happy. He's not under the illusion that what he does from them is what they will remember and what will make them have a good life.
It is clearer than every he is living to drink them in, to drink in life.
Now a receiver of life more much more than a provider/doer/manager/handsome Hollywood leading man.
Now he is simply being.
Now he is simply being available for whoever shows up. That’s the message his broken body sends.
And because there is so little he can do to “earn” respect, or to “do his part” with chores or childcare, etc.. when he sees the connection with his family is still there… a simple “yes” arises from within his deepest being.
His sense of connectedness still has some highs and lows, as always. But now, more often than not, his deepest self is resting in being... and resting in the Higher Power behind all life… He is profoundly taking joy in others, in his reflections about them when they are not at hand, in their presence when they are with him.
He is simply open, at every turn ready to delight, ready to love, taking it all in… family, the weather, nature, life… yes.
Something like that, don't you think?