Thursday, January 3, 2008

Fortune Favours the Brave

In his intro to my submission for Grand Rounds, Bongi says of bugs, bikes, and brains, "That this is a very brave blog". What wonderful words to read! I don't consider myself brave, but it is another one of those coincidences my life seems to be full of. The motto of Clan MacKinnon is "fortune favours the brave".
From Wikipedia:
Fortune favours the bold, Fortune favours the brave, Fortune helps the brave , and Fortune favours the strong are common translations of the famous and often-quoted ancient Latin proverb "Fortis fortuna adiuvat".

The phrase means that Fortuna, the Goddess of luck, is more likely to help those that take risks, take action, and develop their skills proactively.


Almost in the same breath as being told I had MS, I was asked to be part of a drug study to which I consented. Even though my folks and other family members were against it, I was going to do it. I took the risk of placebo versus the drug.

As soon as I was able to, I began to research this disease and affiliate myself with the MS Society to see what I could do to help myself and others. I took action.

I use my PR skills to educate the public about MS and to encourage other MSers that life is not over with a diagnosis.

OK. It's a brave blog, by definition.

I suspect I come by a "brave" attribute quite honestly. My parents, grandparents, and other family members have displayed their "bravery" over the years in different ways. My paternal grandfather, Frank, left school before completing grade 9 in order to go to Boston for work. When he returned to Nova Scotia he married and started a family and worked hard to support them, including sending to university, those who were so inclined (including my father). My grandfather was well read and very well spoken for someone with so little formal education. His perseverance to educate his children, and himself, was brave.

My maternal grandfather, Archie, also a MacKinnon, was a well known rum runner in his day, though the law caught up with him eventually. Never convicted of any crimes, he was financially ruined just the same. He started over and still managed to support his family and others in the community. Starting over was brave.

Archie's and his wife's housekeeper was a woman named Nellie. Two years after Archie's wife died, Archie married Nellie (the woman I considered my grandmother). I once asked her about her marriage and why she did it. "The children needed a mother!" she exclaimed, like I was an idiot. That was brave (not the exclamation, but marrying Archie).

Just a few days ago, my aunt Florence, a nun, recreational skater (on racers no less) and retired math teacher, passed away after having lived with Parkinson's for the past decade. She was 85. She only gave up skating upon her diagnosis. Apparently, years ago, she let it be known she wanted to be cremated on her death. A few months ago, she revealed she had changed her mind and has donated her body to the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation instead. Way to go Aunt Florence! Now that's brave.

If you have MS, the bravest thing you can do is face it. You don't have to confront it or beat it. You don't have to speak in public about it or start a blog (though that's fun). Whatever you believe, be it god or evolution, you have been given a gift. You may not have wanted it, like that ugly vase some great aunt gave you, but you have it. When that great aunt comes to visit, you put that vase on the coffee table. Consider your MS that vase. Sometimes it has to go on display and be faced.


No comments: