Being able to walk is a gift. Even back when it was very difficult for me to walk, it was a gift. It was a gift that I didn't have to be in a wheelchair all the time. With help, I could walk. So, when I had to get around in public and there wasn't an elevator, I could still get where I wanted to go with help. I always felt that I was blessed; even with all the inconveniences of being disabled. I knew that I didn't have it easy, but there were many people who had it much worse that I did. I had the opportunity to reflect on this yesterday afternoon while I was walking Winona and her Girl Scout Troop to their meeting.
As I walked the four blocks from school to the leaders' house, I couldn't help but thank God for allowing me to be with those 12 amazing fifth grade girls. Not only was the weather gorgeous, but I was able to put one foot in front of the other without worrying about whether or not I would fall. It's still hard for me to keep myself from tearing up in times like these and I can't help but wonder "why me?" Out of all the people in the world with limitations why is it that God chose me for a miracle? I don't have the answer to that question, so all I can do is live my life to the fullest and appreciate all He has given me.
The other night I went to a party to celebrate a friend getting married soon. I was able to drive myself there, help set out some food, write out name tags, play a dice game and so much more. Not long ago, Steve would have had to drive me there, walk me in and help me to a chair. Then I would have spent the rest of the evening sitting in the same spot until he would come pick me up to go home.
It was such a gift to feel relaxed and not have my arms and legs all cramped up into balls. No one had to help me dish up my food or help me get to the restroom. I was able to laugh and have fun all evening long and really help a friend celebrate her up coming marriage.
Wow, it's another crazy busy day for me. I woke feeling stressed and overwhelmed with everything I had to do, but I new had to make it a priority to go to the gym. Instead of lifting weights, I attended a Line Dancing class. Yes, I know I have absolutely no rhythm, but I feel like I got a really good workout. I found myself, doing many things I could have never done before such as: stepping backwards, turning around, kicking to the left and right and so much more! It felt great to do some aerobic activity. After the work out, I felt like a weight had been lifted. It will be fun to see what other classes are like there. Everyday there will be a little adventure waiting for me!!
Tonight I made apple crisp for the first time. I had never attempted it because I didn't have the dexterity to peel and cut up apples. Luckily for me, the dessert turned out well. Winona said that she, "loved it," and then informed me that she had never had apple crisp before. Her response triggered my emotions and I couldn't help going from happy to sad so quickly. Because of me, she had never tried this very common American treat. I can't help but think that there are many other things that she hasn't experienced. Now that this information is with me, I need to have her suggest things for us to try together. We can do anything we put our minds to. I just hope that she doesn't ask me to sky dive!!
I've got to make this a quick post, because I'm a woman on a mission! :)
This past Spring we got new kitchen cabinets to give us more space in our small condo. Today I decided that I needed to start putting our holiday decorations away. I started with the Halloween decorations, so I thought I'd put them up on the highest shelf of the tallest cabinet. I set all the items on the kitchen table, grabbed a chair to put in front of the cabinet and then looked at the shelf above me. I nervously grabbed on to the back of the chair, took a deep breath and climbed onto the seat. I am afraid of heights and have not yet had the chance to put thing up in high places. The fear of falling was defiantly there, but I knew I just had to do it!
Reaching above my head while standing on the chair was not an easy task, but you know what? I did it!! I didn't have to wait and ask my 6'7" husband to do it for me. It's an amazing feeling to know you can do so many new things on your own. I have come such a long way in this past two years. In fact, when I first began taking my new medication I felt like I was going to fall backwards all the time. Why, you may ask. I felt like I was going to fall backwards because I had NEVER stood up straight. The first 30 some years of my life was spent standing leaning forward. So, as I write this entry, the tears are stinging my eyes because I am so incredibly grateful that I can not only stand straight, but I can do it standing on a chair!
It's amazing how different my life is. When the girls started school, I had to ride my scooter to the bus stop with them. Now, several years later, I'm not only able to walk the girls to their bus stop, but I'm able to carry John in his baby bjorn as the older two walk on either side of me.
I was very hesitant to put the pack on my back and depend on it to hold my baby for me. It worked quite well. As I stood at the bus stop, I kept thinking about how in the past I couldn't stand on my own. much less hold another human being.
Everyday, I feel like I'm living in a dream and pray that I don't wake up. My three kids are such a gift from God and I can't take any of these precious moments for granted.
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!