Surrounded by people and things that I love, I think about issues of freedom and the future.  Many of us with  serious medical problems see ourselves as incredibly unfortunate to be given the trials we have to deal with.  Like how unfair it is that we can't do what other people take for granted. And how some of us might not live very long. And how bored and frustrated we get by the restrictions placed upon our lives.  

I believe that we are all incredibly *lucky* people. I mean that. Every single one of us. We have families who love us, and dedicated medical professionals who care for us, the best of friends, and a place to share our feelings and opinions. We are able to think, to dream, to express, to pray and to love without restriction. We are *free*, and freedom is the most wonderful thing. Not all of us may be free to run and play, but our souls are free.  

No one in our worlds places restrictions upon our freedoms to express, or to worship, or to love whom we please. Just fifty years ago, in Europe, many of us would have been killed for what makes us special (I just watched Schindler's List). And so I say we're lucky. Because we were born in a time when we're allowed to be special. When medical care can treat us as best it can. When people are starting to realize that a broken body doesn't equate to a broken mind.   

We have our families and our freedoms, though sometimes I think we forget that. I know I do.  When I think of the future, I see myself surrounded by my family and my friends. I feel their love, and what could be better than that? 


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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 15, 2004