Posted by: sistermom1 | July 1, 2011

Just Keep swimming….

When I was first diagnosed with MS, it was all I could do to keep moving forward in my daily life.  One day I thought about one of our favorite movies — ”Finding Nemo”.  In it, the very intense fish that went with Nemo’s Dad to find him- Dory, kept repeating to herself  “Just keep swimming” as a reminder of what she needed to do.  It was soothing to think about — and as I began learning how to deal effectively with my unexpected reality, I was able to use it to remind me to keep moving forward — that somehow,  I would really suffer if I remained still and unmoving.  Like a shark that stops moving — I might even die (not literally — but inside!)

I have read some very encouraging words shared by Daisaku Ikeda.  This is one of  many quotes about the importance of moving forward no matter what that continue to encourage me whenever I feel stuck:

If you failed yesterday, strive to win today. If you were defeated today, strive to win tomorrow.

I was reminded about the “Just keep swimming” phrase again through a dear friend who I had not seen in almost 20 years.  One day I decided to search for her through facebook.  She had been my roommate in graduate school, which is also where I met my husband.  A dear person with the most amazing and heartfelt laugh I have ever heard, “P” was someone I wanted to reconnect with, and within a few hours, we did.  Making a long and wonderful story short, over the years, “P” has become an accomplished tri-athlete who has developed a love of open swimming (that is swimming in open waters, not a lap pool!  Can you imagine?)  She uses as her fundraising website.  I smiled when I saw it — another great reminder!

She stopped by the other day.  I cannot express how special that visit was — not only to me, but to my husband and children (Meeting a non-family member who knew Daddy and Mommy before they got married?  Wow!)  Catching up about her journey was so very special.  Something she said to me really pushed my thinking about what this detour has been revealing to me about my family. 

When asked about my family dynamic in the past, I mentally drew a big circle with myself in the middle – as the hub of the wheel so to speak, with everyone needing to revolve around me and my needs (for better or for worse).  In speaking with “P”, she made the comment about how difficult managing our family would be if my husband were a different kind of man.  She said “He is the hub of this entire operation, isn’t he?  It doesn’t really work without him.”  Her comment really took me back and made me think about our life together and how it does work.  Despite this major curve ball in our lives, it really does work. 

She was so right, and after thinking more about it, I have re-thought my image of the way our family works.  Sometimes it is a huge wheel with my husband in the middle.  Sometimes it revolves around my needs, other times, the needs of our children.  Our family is a living, breathing entity that fortunately has been tended to and given the space and room to develop into whatever form is required for us to move forward together.   We just need to keep swimming….

“P” — thanks so much for visiting us.  It was great seeing you and learning more about myself and my situation through your energetic presence contagious laughter.  Good luck swimming!



  1. That reminds me of my favorite line too…Keep Moving Forward

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