How do I encourage myself?  Everyone has an escape, whether it be sports, going out, etc., but for those who are physically compromised, including myself, and spend a great deal of time in a mental environment, we rely upon our imaginations for motivation.  One of my favourite ways to make myself happy is thinking about what I would do if I could walk again for a day.  Though it’s only a fantasy of mine, I get excited every time.

Of course, you probably think that one day would never suffice, and you’re absolutely right.  However, gratitude outweighs it all and making a moment last forever is always possible through memories.  These are the things that I would do:

00:01: Unhook the ventilator from myself and tape up the trach hole.  Stand tall and take a deep breath with a smile on my face.  Walk to the foyer and put on my shoes.

00:05: Place my hand on the front door knob for the very first time.  Open and run the hell outside!  Fall on my knees crying on the sidewalk, thanking Jesus for giving back my life.

00:15: Lay beneath a streetlight and laugh like a madman for five minutes, covering my mouth for fear of insects.

00:22: Run to the pathway near the gully and race myself back and forth, screaming, because that’s how I roll!

01:37: Walk to a 24/7 supermarket and relive some of the scenes from Career Opportunities, only legally.  Go WEEEEEEEEE riding a shopping cart and fly down the aisle like a kid in a candy store, free as a bird.

02:12: Shop for breakfast groceries and make the cashier raise her eyebrows by jumping for joy while waiting.  Carry everything home.

03:07: Put the food items inside the refrigerator and head upstairs to Mom and Dad’s bedroom for the best surprise in the world.  Have a moment with ginormous hugs and kisses, then let them return to sleep.

04:58: Turn on the computer and play Crysis 2: Maximum Edition for a couple hours straight with fully functional fingers.

07:06: Write a love letter to the girl I like, by hand, and fold it into a paper rose.

08:39: Cook up a breakfast of champions and have it with my family in the kitchen.

09:25: Make a telephone call to the girl and set a lunch date.  Start preparing a picnic with sandwiches and a potato salad and definitely that ketchup roasted chicken Mom used to make when I was small.

11:13: Get picked up and give yet another surprise by opening the door.  Pull her in for a close hello.  Head to the beach.

12:02: Eat without being afraid to talk and have that forever conversation I always dreamed of.  Run my fingers through the sand and tell her how much I miss the feeling, but that being with her is even better.  Dab mayonnaise on the tip of her nose and make her chase me to the lake.

15:34: When she catches me, look into her eyes and take her hand.  Lead her into the waters and have my first kiss as the surrounding crowd fades to the distance.  Tell how much I missed her for the past years of my life.

16:21: Be taken home via the longest route without considering traffic.  Hold her hand throughout the journey during rush hour and stare at each other on occasion.  Whisper sweet nothings that mean something to her.

18:05: Dance with her in silence on the driveway amid the orange marmalade skies.

19:08: Cook up a storm with the seafood I asked my parents to buy and have a feast with friends and family.  Make a toast and spend time with everyone individually.

22:47: That awkward goodbye moment of swinging my hip to one side, while hugging my female friends, because I’ve never been that physically close to women before.

23:29: Give my new girlfriend the paper rose love letter and surrender beneath the sweetness of her breath washing over my face.  Sleep, for once and for real in her arms.

To be honest, I’ve never written something like this before, but while doing so, it made me smile and laugh and even cry a little.  Having the freedom of expression is so important, and although Duchenne muscular dystrophy left me with merely a finger, I’m grateful for possessing the ability.  I hope all of you give yourselves the same opportunity.  It’s an amazing feeling.