I never gave up. I never backed down. And I believe that if you want something badly enough in life, the universe will conspire to help you get it. It may not be exactly when you want it, it may not come exactly when you think it’s gonna come. It may not come in the package that you want it. But if you persevere, you will win…
These words have become my mantra in life. They are especially poignant when you are dealing with a catastrophic injury or illness. When faced with a life-altering event of a loved one, you find yourself navigating in unknown waters: filled with fear, feeling overwhelmed, with no idea of what to do next or where to turn. I found that pro-action was the greatest healer of my broken heart, seemingly broken future, and most certainly was the best thing I could have done for my son. By taking a very pro-active approach, you can change feeling out of control to being very much in control and better able to deal with the new reality.
The moment I realized my actions would make the all the difference in my son’s quality of life, it catapulted me into focused action. Nothing was absolute other than the fact that the dire prognosis would be completely accurate if we did not pursue a aggressive pro-active approach. Herein lies the magic, the miracle: if you incorporate possibility alongside whatever looks improbable or impossible, you never know just how far you can go or what you can accomplish.
I sincerely believe when we align with how our ability can facilitate another (when they do not have ability due to injury or illness) you can recognize just how powerful that position actually is. The selfless nature of this action actually becomes selfish in that it serves you just as much as it serves the one you are serving. I am not implying that you will not experience days of defeat, of feeling like you do not have one more ounce of energy or desire to give, because you will. In my early years after my son’s injury there were days I did not feel I would be able to get myself out of bed, I felt I could not face all the demands on my time and efforts, the isolation we lived in, and I absolutely did not want to be the sounding board for all the myriad frustrations my son was experiencing. While lying there feeling very immobile, incapable, my mind would travel to the future, looking in on what it would feel like if I weren’t there for him, if I did not help facilitate his abilities, thus keeping him un-able..it was these moments of thought that would help me find an unwavering resolve and energy to be there for him in every capacity possible, getting up to face another day with focused, brushed-up intent.
Initially the positioning I took was frowned upon by the medical professionals. I was accused of keeping myself and my son in denial, that I was not allowing him to accept his new limited reality. I dismissed these accusations and continued on in the manner of which I believed whole-heartedly was our path for a brighter future and quality of life. In fact, by my providing all needs of care, creating a tight system of our activities of daily living, it allowed my son to pour all of his energy into regaining his sense of self and reclaiming ability. His gains were my gains – thus selflessness to selfishness. It is a beautiful circular energy of giving and receiving.
Today my son and I both live a life we have created out of our tragedy. It is a life of purpose, of service, and of sharing everything we have learned on this long road of recovery.
Become the captain of your new ship: guide it, love it, sail the tumultuous waters with flexibility and grace… safely into the next harbor.