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Failure? Not An Option.

This is a strange group for me to write in. 
I have been married but had no children. Unfortunately due to my disability that was never an option. My marriage ended after five years, but I've never thought of it as a failure.
I never managed to establish a career, I tried several, but circumstances always seemed to conspire against me.
I have never written a book, climbed a mountain, swum the channel, rowed an ocean or pushed from John o' groate s to Lands end.
I have never done great works for charity.or established a pressure group to fight for better rights for the disabled.
I have no job, havn't had since 1986. I have no marketable experience, no useful qualifications.
I have only one friend. most of the others are now dead.
I have no real family to speak of, my sisters have no idea what being me is like.
If I dropped dead tomorrow, only Nigel would miss me, and he'd probably be the only person to truly mourn my passing.
So, not a fabulous success.
I often wonder who the council will move in here when I'm gone. Will they care  for my garden, or will it, like me quickly become  just a memory. Mainly held
in Nigel's mind.
Despite all of the above, I do not feel like a failure, never.
To reach the age of 62 (next week) I have survived for fourty five 45 years as a paraplegic. I have overcome, kidney failure, car crashes, more surgery than I can remember, increased  disability, brain damage, bereavements,  discrimination,  clinical depression and the gradual collapse of my body.
I still live alone. the only help I have is from Nigel, mainly in the garden, and with essential trips to town or hospital.
I feel that still being alive, relatively happy most of the time, and still planning for the future, is an almost unbelievable success.
I have nothing to show for my 62 years on this planet except the fact that I'm still here.
I am still here, a cheerful, kind, helpful, well adjusted, averagely intelligent old  cripple.
Plus I have lived a life  that would make  many others seem terribly dull.
So, my story  doesn't really belong in this group, failure was never an option.
AlmostAristotle AlmostAristotle 61-65, M 20 Responses Sep 2, 2011

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Thank you. Thank you

You are a very courageous man, with a strong spirit and sense of self. You inspire hope in others, such as myself, with your life experiences, but more so your attitude in the face of all this adversity. And, you lived your life, and never gave up, as some of us able bodied tend to do, when life hits us with a raw deal, or at least it seems that way to us. Bless you. You are truly an inspiration.

Wow!!! I know that I for one, and probably all of the other people who have posted, would be honored and blessed to know you as a friend!!! You are truly a remarkable, inspiring and AMAZING human being!!! I know that I, myself, have done several of the things you listed as not having accomplished, I am an abled body able to exercise and move and can not say that I possess a fraction of your spirit!! I know not what it is like to overcome all the phenomenal obstacles you have had to endure, and yet you've done so alone!! My heart breaks with sadness to think of someone going thru all you've done with no support! I am blessed in that I have incredible support, a loving husband, and yet I find myself experiencing great sadness! But your spirit and energy encourage me and remind ME that life is precious and waking up and being happy in the moment, is the great success that I would ever long to accomplish!!! Hang in there and know that you now have many more friends....we're just online but with you in spirit!! May we somehow cause you to feel the support that you haven't had the first 60ish years of your life! You have so much to offer the world and may you continue to do so with a smile on your face and your head held high knowing that you've accomplished much!!!!<br />
Blessings!!!

Thanks hylierandom, I'll settle for 'not dumb'.

Average intelligence?<br />
You seem quite bright to me.

If you had no challenges, physical or otherwise, but still managed to remain a kind person at age 62, I'd find that admirable in and of itself. Kindness, true kindness, can be rare and seems ever rarer. Like you, I've been through a lot, both due to health issues and due to the cruelty of others around me as I was growing up. So I especially relate to and admire a quality you possess in spades: tenacity.<br />
You are truly inspirational.

Thanks Fiammetta, it's always nice to be appreciated.

THANK YOU for sharing your story. You are truly inspirational and I hope to be as strong as you one day.

Thank you grits it's very nice of you to say so.

Your story confirms life and who we are is more what we are on the inside than what we are and do on the outside.<br />
<br />
your have accomplished far more than most people who live their lives striving for more will ever obtain

hey man, your here to make us all wake up and smell the coffee.<br />
What the did the poet say about "those twin imposters,success and failure" ..I treat them both the same...<br />
you are an inspiration.

Yes, you're really greatful. You never gave up. Pain doesn't faze you. And you do have a lot of support online. You're actually better off than me. You didn't let life break you.

Wow! Thank you all so very much.<br />
Your response to the thoughts of mine above, Is way beyond anything I could have imagined.<br />
With an endorsement like this I will certainly never doubt the worth of my time spent just living my life.<br />
It's a truly wonderful feeling to read such positive comments, I am so grateful to you all.<br />
Thank you again.

Bless you, and bless Nigel! I also echo what others have said here. What an inspirational success you are. You have confirmed what I have been edging toward for 20 years. A somewhat solitary life isn't as bad as it seems. Plenty of time for introspection and personal growth to the attainment of a good degree of inner peace and self worth. It's your life and you own it. Thank you for sharing!

U may thing u havent accomplish much, but alot of people can say they got married and by sharing ur words it can help others out there. thanks!

Yes, indeed a wonderful story and I can only echo what others have said. Your positive presence is your great achievement ... something which a vast number of people who are "out there" in the world have failed to produce. An inspiring story which has helped me a great deal for which I thank you.

I love the fact that you can write a story like this. Totally unvarnished and real and never once dive into ridicule or self loathing. YOU, my fine gardening friend, have a LOT more then many.... You already possess what so many seek and complain about, NOT having, ALL the time.<br />
<br />
Many people measure themselves according to the, "stuff" they own or the, "stuff" they can list, that they have done. Sometimes the, "stuff" they accomplish is done in rote with no real interest or passion. Some, do what they do, for money, prestige, or just to impress others. I know folks who work in fancy offices and drive fancy cars, who are totally miserable. Because, "stuff," if not loved with a passion or done for a deeper, more meaningful reason soon becomes tiresome to them. Sometimes all the, stuff, they do and have actually becomes a burden to them and a source of deeper anger. I know people with tons of money but if you catch them in a quiet moment, what they say defines a poverty of, spirit and passion. <br />
<br />
You go way deeper and honestly KNOW and appreciate, SELF. You have carried yourself through a life, as difficult as it's been and still dug deep enough, cared enough and been wise enough to find your passions and honestly appreciate and recognize all the beauty and wonder you have seen and even created.<br />
<br />
You're one of the richest and most real folks I've ever had the privilege of talking to and I thank you for that. I admire you, NOT for your, "stuff" but for the YOU you have been generous enough to share with us here. You and your garden can travel through time in the hearts and minds of all the folks you've shared both with. <br />
<br />
You ROCK Ari!! I was even careful and didn't make up crazy words and go all WONKY with my grammar for this post!! ♥<br />
<br />
We all learn from each other and you're an AWESOME teacher....hugs and hugs

Perhaps you measure "success" differently. There is always a way to expand/change your world. Perhaps communicating with other people here is your way. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you both so much.<br />
I'm not sure why I suddenly had the urge to put these thoughts into print. But having decided to do so It's very nice to have them recieved so warmly. Thank you both again.

i love the way you have written this story .<br />
<br />
And whole heartedly agree with datura

I wonder the same thing about my gardens, Ari. I read once that when the gardener dies so does the garden. But let's not think about that! <br />
You are an inspiration, that's what you are! You are kind and wise and thoughtful and smart. You have overcome more than most of us can even think of. There is a wonderful energy about you. You are a great success as a human being. I'm so glad I've met you!