Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Top 10 Traits Cystic Fibrosis has Instilled in Ronnie

As some of you have read in past posts, I often say that I'd rather have Ronnie with CF, than date the man Ronnie would be without it. I truly mean that. I believe Ronnie has been shaped by his CF and many of the character traits that I have fallen in love with have been instilled in him because of his CF. Here's the top 10:

10. Reliance - When Ronnie is sick, he is forced to rely on others. When Ronnie's well, he insists other's rely on him. He understands the beauty of symbiotic relationships. He understands the give and take in a healthy relationship. I love that he isn't too proud to allow me to take care of him when he's feeling off and his insistence that others rely on him.

9. Acceptance - Ronnie's accepts the fact that his has CF; he embraces it. He has realized that not everything is in our control, and when you can't control a reality what can you do? Accept it. Since he was young, Ronnie has owned his CF, been proud of it...even flaunted it. There is much to be said about someone who can take a challenge, accept it, and embrace it.

8. Discipline - It is not easy to get up an extra 30 min to an hour and a half early every day before school. It is not easy to remember to take meds every morning. It is not easy to exercise 6 out of the 7 days in the weeks, especially when it hurts. To manage his CF, Ronnie has been required to do all of these things. The result? Discipline.

7. Optimism - Ronnie understands there are 2 ways to view life: the glass half empty and the glass half full. Many people who have hard times or struggle at times find it all too easy to view the glass half empty. Ronnie, on the other hand, has realized that CF can present daily struggles, and makes it very easy to ALWAYS see the glass half empty, so he has made the choice to always be optimistic.

6. Perseverance - CF has a way of knocking you on your butt when you least expect it, and often times knocking you back down right when you get back up. In order to continually get back up, you have to persevere. A good example of his perseverance is when he was in for 50 days last winter. Each week he would work out, rest, eat well, each week he thought it would be the week he could get out, and each week his lung function didn't budge. So what did he do the next week? He worked harder!! And eventually, after much hard work and perseverance, he got out.

5. Patience - Ronnie is the most patient person I have ever met. He understands that not everything will be done in his own timing. Not better after 30 days in the hospital? Wait until you are better to get out. Want to go on vacation, but it's time for a hospital stay? Wait to go on vacation. Want a cure for CF? Wait for a cure.

4. Appreciation - Ronnie appreciates every day. Being told from a young age that your life may be shorter than most, you begin to cherish every day, every memory, every breath. When it comes to life, Ronnie takes it all in. He notices beautiful sunsets, a good cup of coffee, a good joke. He never rushes. Why rush life, he asks? He enjoys every day and doesn't let those around him busy themselves too much so that they don't stop and smell the roses.

3. Perspective - Ronnie is really good as putting things in perspective. I often fret about the little things. The things that a year from now won't matter. He has a great perspective on life. He enjoys the good, brushes off the bad and realizes that most things here on earth won't matter in the end.

2. Faithfulness (and Trust) - Ronnie has eternal faith. He truly believes that God will work everything out in His way and in His timing. He continues on, praying, trusting and believing that everything with work itself out. When things don't work out the way he envisioned or hoped they would, he embraces the reality with a smile on his face, trusting it is the way it should be.

1. Humor - Sometimes when times are hard, all you can do is laugh. Ronnie can make just about anything funny. There aren't many occasions when Ronnie isn't cracking a joke or any topic that is off limits to be the butt of one or two jokes. With only one of two words, Ronnie can have me laughing with tears running down my face. He is the funniest person I have ever met!

**PS - These are in no particular order. I "hmm'ed and haw'ed" and couldn't decide on a good order!!!