November 19, 2017

My hero….my dad

father I can go on and on about my dad. I could write a novel about his character, compassion, loyalty, selflessness and love. I don’t have any pictures of him holding me as a baby or walking hand in hand with him as a toddler. But what I do have is memories and no one can take those away.

dad2 I remember being his Christmas gift one year (I was actually gift wrapped). I remember him making tons of my Halloween costumes by hand every year.  I remember him never missing any of my swim meets or hearing him on the poolside cheering me on. I remember him scolding me when I went against his rules, but then his comforting nature after to talk about things. My dad gives the most amazing and wise advice, not that I always listened, but I love how he gave me the room to learn by mistakes and love me through them. I remember him never leaving my hospital bed side, all 4 times. He did things no father should have to do for his adult daughter. While being bed bound after each accident, he showered me, washed my hair, dyed my hair, shaved my legs, did therapy with me three times a day with tears streaming down my eyes but pushing through because he was there. I remember getting on my walker for the first time 9 months after my first accident (age 19) and taking 3 unassisted steps into his arms. I remember him being my Valentine many times. He has held my hand through tough times, comforted me before multiple surgeries, cared for my daughter when I was physically unable to, being my strength when I had none left, letting me cry when I needed to and telling me to suck it up when he knew I could. He loves me unconditionally, even in my darkest times, he found my silver lining.

father2 My dad has not only spoken words of love to me, he has shown them over and over again. I love him with all of me and he truly is my best friend and my hero. The only thing I will probably regret is that he will never walk his baby girl down the aisle or dance with me at my wedding…but he already has taken the first dance of the best thing that ever happened to me…he was my daughters first love and first dance!

best dad

Giving In and Giving Up, IS NOT AN OPTION!

give up 3 There are times in life when all you want to do is give in or even worse give up. I think I know this feeling better than most, unfortunately. There were many of times in my teen years that I wanted to just give in…give in to peer pressure, give in to being the best daughter possible, give in to friendships/relationships that were not healthy. Then I hit 18 and wow, did all that change!

Yes, at the early age of 18, I learned how NOT to give in or give up. What was acceptable to put up with and what was not. How a person should be treated and how you should treat others.

Are you wondering HOW I learned all this so young? Easy, almost die and battle way your back from the grave for almost 2 years and you learn a lot! 

nightmare

After my car accident on Christmas Eve back in 1993, my life changed forever, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. How could it not! But there was a fork in the road. The fork was, do I get bitter and negative about what the accident did to me and my life or do I look at it as a blessing and become positive. I battled with this for about 6 months, 6 months of doing the bitter and negative road. 6 months of being mad at God, being mad at my doctors/nurses/physical therapists, being mad at parents/family/friends…just all around being an angry person. Being stuck in a hospital bed will do that to you and not just stuck there, but being unable to move your entire body except your head and arms. Just watching people WALK in to my room pissed me off. The worst phrases said to me were “Just stay positive”, “It could be worse”, “at least you are still alive” or the infamous question “how are you?”… how are you

REALLY, do you want me to seriously answer that question truthfully!? Could you even handle the blunt honest truth of that answer?!

 

Then Kevin happened! No Kevin was not a new boyfriend; he was not of any love interest of that kind. But I did love him and besides my parents, I owe him a lot! Kevin became my night nurse. I barely ever slept and since I was the youngest on the floor (literally by like 60 years), he spent a lot of time in my room in the middle of the night just sitting with me and talking. Not telling me how I should feel or telling me to stay positive, but just being there. We talked about everything; we even talked about my accident. Something I never did. You see, I couldn’t remember much about it, but what I did remember were things I wish I could forget. Those memories are forever seared into my brain, my life. But here is where I owe Kevin a lot. One morning after a night shift and an extremely painful night for me (physically), I woke up to find only one thing written on my white board in my hospital room. Typically that white board had my instructions for the day, what tests I had scheduled, what time my physical therapy appointments were, my day nurses name and phone number, etc. But not that day…that day I woke to find just this:

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Now go kill it! Signed….Kevin

I had no clue Kevin was a Christian, I had no clue that he knew The Bible, I had no clue that when I did sleep he prayed over me.

I also woke to my dad sitting in a hospital chair right beside me; Kevin called him and told him I would really need him today. He was right!

This is when I decided to barrel down the side of the road of bitterness and negativity to the road that led to something greater…the road of my new life!! It literally was like a switch flipped and this new person appeared. I was no longer this weak fragile shell of a body in a hospital bed. I was determined, I was positive and most importantly…I was filled with life again!

That is when progress happened. My board never was wiped clean and nothing new was ever put on it. My days were filled with physical therapy, even when I was told to slow down, I didn’t. I had a goal! What was it? To walk again! I didn’t care if it meant with assistance, with crutches, a walker…I didn’t care. I was not being labeled by society and deemed an outcast because of this new life I was embarking on. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, that there would be many difficult days ahead of me, but I was ready to hit them all head on and be the one standing at the end.

Here is where I lost a lot of people in my life. Remember in the beginning I said how giving up and giving in is not an option. Here is where I tell you it is.

Confused yet?

Let me explain. It is NEVER ok for you to give in or give up when it comes to YOU, but it is absolutely ok to give in or give up on someone or something that is making you doubt your abilities and yourself. I have learned that life is too precious to care about hurting someone who is already hurting you. To worry that if you don’t give in to the way people want you to be, you will be alone. That if you aren’t doing, saying, being that perfect person at the perfect time, no one will love you.

Guess what!!!

Whether you do all of that or not…it will never matter. People will still come to their own reason or rationality on why they either like you or don’t, or if they choose to love you or not or if they even want to be a part of your life through the good and the bad. But here is where you get to have your say…you get to choose if they like you or don’t, if they will love you or not or if they stay or if they go. It’s all up to you. No one else holds the reigns in your life. The path you take is up to you. The decisions to be made are yours to make.

So it all comes down to this…

Never give in or give up on you…but it’s ok to walk away from the ones who have given up on you.

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Stop talking and starting doing!

now blog Why do so many people say things, but never do things?

There’s that famous quote “easier said, then done”, but I feel like too many people use it as an excuse to just get by. Why on earth would you want to JUST GET BY in life?

easier said blog There have been many of times that is exactly what I wanted to do and it is exactly what I did do. If I look back on my life so far, the moments of risk taking are the ones I remember. The only “just get by” moments I remember are ones I want to forget.

I think one of the most amazing moments of risks I have taken was becoming a mom and a single mom at that. I give props to the parents who are doing it on their own. Not just the single parents either, but the parent here on the home front while their spouse is defending our country and freedom. The stay at home parent, that doesn’t get enough appreciation for making the ship sail smooth. Yes, I, a single mom, is giving props to parents who’s partner is bringing in a paycheck but is physically hardly ever there. It takes more than money to run a home and love a child.

Even though at 23, I wasn’t ready to become a mom, I will never regret the decision I made, nor will I ever look at her as a mistake. She is my blessing and my miracle, especially after being told I could never have children at the age of 18. We have taken many risks and challenges in the last almost 17 years together. Without her, I might not have had the guts to take a leap in faith or sometimes a massive jump!

road There are times when the road ahead of you seems daunting, heck you might not even see the road! This is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak! This is when your faith, not in life, but in yourself needs to shine brighter than your fear. It is time to believe in yourself, believe you have what it takes and believe that no matter what the outcome may be (good or bad) you are still ok.

This goes with all areas of your life, not just certain areas. Don’t pick the ones you THINK you can do or handle. Get out of your comfort zone, do things you never thought you could do, trust yourself, believe in yourself and most of all LOVE YOURSELF!

Why it’s OK to be human

human word cloud Yes, you read that correctly…

We ARE human…you, me, the guy sitting next to you on the bus, the woman trying something new at the gym, the toddler screaming in the aisle at Target, the elderly couple holding hands on the park bench. We are human…we are flawed, we have scars, we love, we hurt, we have opinions and thoughts, we fear, we have strength and courage, we have pride, we have insecurities…everyone, everywhere….we are HUMAN!!!

Are you wondering why I started this blog in this fashion? What does it have to do with me? With her? With anything?

Easy! I have seen and read WAY TOO many people think they have to be perfect. That if they could just be like so and so, they would be happier. If they had those legs, that butt, those abs, her hair, that job, those clothes, his car…things would be better, be easier, be happier.

What you don’t take into effect is how many of those people, look at you (or a version of you) and wish the same thing. Just because on the outside things look like what you want…you have to really stop looking on from the outside and focus on what truly matters…the inside.

I know, you are thinking, way easier said then done.

If you can remember one thing…it will take you far ~ No one is perfect AND no one expects you to be either!

We expect perfectness from ourselves, which in turn makes it seem that we expect that from others. But just like we make mistakes, screw up, fail, falter…so does everyone else. What really shows the character of a human, is what they do with those negatives!

With saying that, being human means LIFE gets in the way sometimes. You might be dealing with the loss of a loved one, being unemployed, dealing with a medical condition or injury, taking care of a very sick loved one, being abused in some way, BUT here is the one thing that we seem to forget, without taking care of us first…we can’t deal with life when it gets tough.

So let me give you the advice I give myself…

stop2 STOP!!!….

STOP trying to be perfect.

STOP trying to be someone you aren’t.

STOP forgetting to live life and enjoy it.

STOP living in the past, which is hindering your future.

STOP not LOVING yourself.

YOU ARE HUMAN…and you are perfect in being human, just the way you are!!!

It’s OK not to have a sculpted body, not to eat perfect at every meal, to miss the gym, to say no when you really want to, or to not wear make up or do your hair (every once in a while).

Remember, there is NOTHING WRONG with being human, when others can’t see past the outer view of you, they don’t deserve to get to know the inner view of you!

human quote

I Was Told NEVER

Never

How many times have you heard it?

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard it spoken to me, whether by a loved one, a friend, a doctor or even strangers. I even heard it said  in so many different ways!

You will NEVER walk again.

You will NEVER have children.

You will NEVER play sports again.

You will NEVER amount to anything.

You will NEVER make me happy.

You will NEVER know what true love is.

You will NEVER graduate.

You will NEVER get married.

You will NEVER lose weight.

You will NEVER….BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!!!

And the list goes on and on.

So why am I writing this? Why am I blogging about this ONE WORD? Why do I feel so strong about this?

I am writing about the word NEVER because as much as it can be a absolutely HUGE negative in someone’s life, you can also make it a pretty massive positive, it all depends how you react to the individual spewing the negative NEVER.

Let me explain~

Ever since I can remember I have always had someone telling me “never” and for the longest time…I believed that word for my life. I don’t think people truly know the depths of a wound that one word can make in someone’s life. One of the hardest things I had to overcome was my own mind and what I let others do to it. I remember laying in my hospital bed at age 18, after being told on Christmas Day, that  would never walk again or have children. Merry Christmas to me! NOT! And here is the kicker, I BELIEVED HIM! Why? Because I was 18 and he was a Doctor…well I learned very quickly that just because someone has a doctorate, doesn’t mean they get to decided the outcome of the rest of your life. Imagine if I listen to him and all the other doctors that spoke that word into my life.

TractionI look at this way, my doctors might have told me that I would NEVER walk again (at 3 different times in my life), but that didn’t mean that I had to stop using my legs. In all of us we have the spirit to fight, to buck against the system saying this is HOW IT IS. Yes, they are doctors and they specialize in the trauma that was done to my body, not once but three separate occasions, but that doesn’t mean they know EVERYTHING. Why? Because a doctor is only a person who PRACTICES medicine. (I say this strongly because my sister is an ER doctor and she iss one of my BIGGEST supporters and cheerleaders and told me NOT to listen to ANY Dr that says that word)! There are so many deciding factors on all the “what COULD be” for me! How does a doctor, let alone anyone for that matter, know what YOU are capable of. No two people are the same. So you can have 10 people, all with the exact same injuries, in one room and have 10 absolutely different outcomes of their recovery.

Let me put it this way, just because a doctor told me I would never walk again, didn’t mean I wasn’t going to keep trying to stand and take a step. Just like when I was told I would never have children, would that stop me from getting into serious relationship and staying abstinent for the rest of my life because of what a doctor said!  HECK NO!! Imagine if I did…almost 4 years  to the date of my first accident, I became pregnant and I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl.

Over time I learned to use someone’s NEVER and make it be the driving force to prove that NEVER wrong. Now, I will admit, I might have not walked again, but I would have found a way to walk, it might just have looked different than what people are use too. I might not have gotten pregnant, but that wouldn’t have meant I would have not been a mom. I might have not played sports again, but that wouldn’t have meant that I wouldn’t have found a new sport to fit my life.

I look at life this way…every scar, every battle wound…INSIDE and OUT…make me who I am today…the good, the bad and the ugly…I could have just gave up. Trust me, I get that statement all the time “Sue, if I went through half of what you have, I would have just let myself die”. And they are right, I could have. I could have not fought to regain my life. I could have died on the scenes of my accidents, I could have died in the helicopter or  ambulances, I could have died on the multiple OR tables I have laid upon. But I chose life…as hard as it may be sometimes…I chose ME!!

I am not saying that your life will look like the way society makes you think normal should be…but what I am saying is that you get to decide what your life looks like and you get to FULLY control which way you want your life to go. YOU DECIDE YOUR NORMAL! And I think that is kinda awesome!!

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