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    Jonathon’s First Steps

    It happened on October 11th, at around 11 in the morning. Jonathon is my aide Robin’s first grandson. Now, Robin is younger than me, but her first born, Jesse, had Jonathon when she was just 21 years old. He started out by taking four steps, and after faltering and falling, got back up and did seven more. The way Robin tells the story, her and Jesse were out of control laughing and crying and jumping up and down. Jonathon was only 10 ½ months old when he did this, and kept looking at his mom and grand mom in wonderment as to why they were screaming, laughing and crying.

    Now, I’ve spent some time around Jonathon when he was ramming around in a walker, so I wasn’t that surprised to hear the fact that he actually walked. In fact, Jesse brought him up here when she came to visit to show me what he could do. I gotta tell you how adorable this kid is as he is walking. Even when he’s not walking he really personifies adorable little babies. Let me rephrase that. Jonathon is not a little baby. In fact, he also personifies chubby babies. Which actually makes him even more cute.

    I was telling my mom this story, and she of course felt compelled to tell me about the first time I walked. I think I was just under a year old. The way Mom tells the story, I got myself up to a standing position, gave a rather brilliant smile, looked both ways and took off throughout the house. There was no falling, I clearly had places to go.

    And still do. I’ll have you know that just last Wednesday, I walked 80 feet at physical therapy. I mean, I try each and every week, and my physical therapists are one hundred percent behind my succeeding in this, but my MS, being as unpredictable as it can be, doesn’t always cooperate. Although I still have the same determined look on my face that I had with my first steps.

    People have told me all my life that I’m stubborn and determined. This fact is true. That certainly is the reason I fight every moment of every day to do as much as I can for myself. If someone suggests that I "try harder," I always respond the same. "There is no one that wants to do it more than I." But to keep trying so hard every day I simply cannot afford to lose hope. I’m well aware of the reality of the disease of MS, but I’m also equally aware of the power of positive thinking and actions.

    Maybe that’s why I identify so much with Jonathon. We may not know where we’re going, but we’re determined to get there.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"