How is Pádraig doing?
Life goes on. He is trying to keep a work-life balance. ‘Work’ being a good rehabilitation programme, ‘Life’ being a good time with family, neighbours and friends.
Pádraig went to a therapy centre in Lindlar/Germany specialising in Speech and Language therapy for some weeks a bit more than a year ago. His rehab programme has continued at home and, since January, in An Saol’s Day Rehabilitation Centre, in the company of other families, supported by a team of enthusiastic therapists, new and familiar ones. He has continued to travel and went to several places around Europe. His friends are visiting and he goes out to meet them. He has been at parties, walks, and some truly amazing fundraisers.
Life has been full of surprises. Some good, some pretty challenging. Most of incredible intensity. I try to learn from all of them.
One day, many years ago, Pádraig asked me to promise him not to never ever tell any of my jokes again, at least not in front of other people, especially not his friends.
I am on my own here, nobody is listening. And, strictly speaking, it’s not even my joke.
It’s an old Jewish joke about Man making plans and God laughing. Like any good jokes, it’s short.
It connects well with a psychological condition described for the first time in the 1970s by Ellen Langer, a researcher at the University of California. Where else and no better time than the 70s.
We all make plans. And not just that. We believe that they will work out as long as we just try hard enough. When our plans by chance then work out it reinforces the illusion that we are in control. It’s what we believe makes up a “happy, fulfilled life”.
Sister Stan and Fr Peter McVerry said last week in separate interviews on Radio One that the current situation demonstrated how fragile our world is. That we now have a chance to re-adjust our views on ‘return on investment’, on growth. On the destruction of our environment, our social fabric and our relationships. That it is wonderful to see how people rally and care for each other. That we are learning how to handle situations today which yesterday we thought we couldn’t even face.
“Social Distancing” is going to be the 2020 Phrase of the Year.
“We are all in this together” is going to be the Lesson of 2020.
When this is over, we’ll all be living in a different world.
Martin Walsh said:
Thank you! Still cycling? Our epic trip up to Napa feels like a century away.
Sharon Broderick said:
Good to hear from you again😀
Thank you, Sharon! Hope you are keeping well!
Diane Rose said:
I’ve missed your posts. Wise and astute as usual! Welcome back.
Not sure which post you read, Diane:) I miss good conversations with good friends. One day, we must meet again! Hope you are keeping ok.
Ruth O Dea said:
Seeing your post this morning makes me realise how much i missed them. It gives me new hope for what times can seem a very hopeless future.
If Padraig can weather his storm we can can face ours . Many thanks for sharing your renewed energy.
‘You took the words right of my mouth’, Ruth. When I wonder what sense all this makes I look at those I care for and I know why I am here. It’s not always *that* easy, but at the end of the day that is our ‘mission’ in life and gives it meaning. Hope you are keeping well.
It’s good to hear from you again and the update on Padraig amazing progress. Take care in this worrying time.
Thank you, Terri. Hope you are ok too. These are crazy times but we are so lucky to be where we are. Hope you are well.
Kay Uí Chinnéide said:
Glad you are OK.
Thank you, Kay. Good to hear from you. Hope you are well.
Fiona Lennon said:
Hi, I am delighted to read your post and hear about Padraig. Take care and keep safe. Thank you. Fiona x
Thank you, Fiona. Great to hear from you. Stay safe!
Mannick (... of John, from Spain) said:
What a surprise yesterday evening ! Thank you Reinhardt for coming back ! So happy…
I have been thinking of you so much, especially over the past weeks, wondering how you are doing. Hope all is well!
Kathy Kennedy said:
Delighted to see this update. welcome back!
Thank you, Kathy! Good to hear from you too!
Eva Pérez said:
Hola y me alegro de leerte otra vez. Deseando estés mejor y que Pádraig y toda la familia podais sobrellevar este confinamiento añadido.
Un abrazo grande y mucho ánimo, os admiro mucho, lo estais haciendo muy bien
Saludos a todos. Cuidate!
Hola Eva – tomando en cuenta todo lo que está pasando por el mundo nosotros estamos muy bien. Estar en contacto con nuestros amigos ayuda mucho. Tus palabras de apoyo nos dan la fuerza, la esperanza, y la confianza para seguir. Yo te admiro mucho at ti porque eso de pensar en otros, cuidar a otros, preocuparse por otros e intentar apoyarles es lo mejor que podemos hacer con nuestra vida. Sé que suena algo ‘cheesy’ … 🙂 Gracias
Christina Janssen said:
So happy to read your post today! Im glad you are ok, thank you for the update!
Hallo Christina! – When all this is over, we must meet!
so glad to receive another post after so long. Thank you for sharing your thoughts again. Whenever it is possible let us know how Padraig and the family are. Love to you and Pat from
Gisela and Heinz
So good to hear from you, too, Gisela! We are all ok here. Not bored at all. I am beginning to like the quietness outside. Always wanted to live in the country and always regretted a bit that it never worked out. Now it feels like as if the country has come to us. Not having to think about what to shop for – we aren’t going to shops at the moment – is no loss either.
In Ireland, more than half of the people dying die in nursing homes. On most days, the average age of those dying is 80+, on some days 90+. They don’t even make it into hospitals. And they are not allowed visitors, even on their death bed. Wo soll das alles enden?
Hope you all stay healthy and safe.
Good to hear your news. Sometimes I send Padraig tweets; You are relentless in your efforts to improve Padraig’s quality of life and I am so glad his friends remain a constant force. You reminded me of my mum who passed away 2 years ago: I always was great a drawing up timetables and plans (not so good at studying) and then in later life I still had so many plans. The wisdom of my mum a GP running her own rural practices of 50+ years used to say to me just what you wrote about only her interpretation was shorter “God sees you make plans and he laughs”.
Inverse is a link you may be interested in. It is Tesla and he has interesting article today about psychological impact on people of this enforced social distancing.
Keep Safe; Keep Strong.
You too – it’s great to see how you keep going, Michelle. Life is full of challenges. Mostly, they come out of nowhere. There is no such thing as a smooth ride… With the help of each other we keep going.
Donna Parrish said:
Reinhard, it is good to see this post. I think of you often and had hoped that all was going well.
Regards to all your family.
It is good to be in touch again, Donna. Alive and kicking. Thank you for being with us! Hope you’re keeping well.