Looking for answers…

This passage was written by me on 7-14-2014. I read the words to day and realized that they still ring true today. 

He and I are on the same path, but as I look up and down I see different faces.  

The daily struggle is real, the love we share is unconditional. 

July 14, 2014

so tonight I find myself… looking for a way… looking for a way of understanding…
When you have a ABI (anoxic brain injury) the way you think is different, the new ways you learn are different, your whole way of life is different.. before a ABI, life was simple, you saw a pile of clothes… you think they need to go to the washer, you see dishes… you think they need to be washed… You drive a car and see the car in front of you with break lights on so you “press the petal to stop” all of these minor tasks are simple, take little if any, thought process… until the thought process that we all have is taken away… it could be as simple as minor processes.. but, in the great depth of the brain one “road block” and your world is different…changed forever in one second. Simple tasks, are now over whelming, frustration is the overall emotion… wishing you were back the way you used to be is your everyday “wish upon a star, or birthday wish…” 
To be the one on the other side and see that on the face of the person who means the world to you is torture. The guilt you feel because your own emotions are not in check, and the one person whom you would give your own life for, can no longer handle the overwhelming flood of emotion, anger and frustration, the powerless look, and feelings.. makes life that much harder… 
People make comments “Steve, is fine…” “Cheryle treats Steve like a child…” “there is nothing wrong with him…” “Steve is lazy..” “Cheryle is a bully to him…” these comments and feeling are untrue, hurtful and unkind… 
The daily struggle that Steve and I go through is enough to last some people a lifetime… I treat him like an adult who has a ABI, not a child… I give options, I make him use the thinking abilities he has…. Its not always easy, I know he will make mistakes, I know he will make the wrong choices, but I have to help him relearn in anyway that I can. I have been doing this since day ONE of his injury… When the doctors said he was fine, he could go back to work, he could drive… I knew when he could barley speak his name, that was not true.. I knew when he could no longer hold a fork to eat, this was untrue… I knew when he fell the first time this was not going to be possible again… 
Yes, he has made Leaps and bounds… by my hard work and effort… We did not get the physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy… I did it all myself.. My hands are bound by the ties of financial restraints. I have had one priority since the day of his injury… to keep our home, and our life we have worked so hard over the years to create. By the love, support and very generous people in our lives we have been blessed to help us during the darkest of days, when we were going to loose it all… I do not ask for help often, or very easily…I believe in the power of do unto others as they do unto you… 
where is all this going… well you see, tonight it was a rough night in the Holmes house… I herd the words i never wanted to hear, the words that Steve has held inside for over one year… he said, “I wish i could go back to being normal… brain damage sucks” that statement may sound funny to you, or not so profound… but the words that my husband spoke was like a amputee saying “i wish I had legs again”… we take being able to do daily tasks, or handling situations with out a thought… The fact that he feels he is not “normal” the fact that he is more sensitive to my emotions… hurts me deeply… 
I’m asking you to think… Think before you speak… Think before you act… think if the next time you woke up, and you could not remember things, you could not walk with out falling, you could not follow a conversation, you never got the punch line of another joke… Think about that…. There is a person you know, or you may not know… who has suffered aABI  and all of those things apply to them… 
Now think about the loved ones who care for them, the wives, daughters, sons, husbands… think about your actions and harsh words… to walk one day in the life of that person…you may not make one step. The laundry does not always get done, the dishes will be piled, the house will not always be in order.
When you see a person who is pushing, pushing, pushing… still finding time for others, helping other, coordinating parties, picking up extra shifts at work… Think about the next time you say ‘Hey, Jackies Party is Thursday… will you make it?” if the answer is “no, I’m working…” or “ill have to see…” please understand the even though a night out would be wonderful, a night off is just what that person needs… its not always possible… The priorities of life change when you decide to stay committed to your loved one. 
The path that we walk is now more rocky than ever, bigger rocks, deeper streams, and higher hills… Knowing that the view from the top will be worth it… thats why we continue to walk the same path that others in the past have so easily jumped off.. Loved ones, friends and family have all made a choice to stay on the path or jump off when it got too difficult… I’m extremely thankful to those of you who have stayed on the path with us…You will enjoy the view when we are done… too those who jumped off… I don’t hate you, I do feel sorry for you, you see that you have missed out on some of the best, worst and most wonderful times in our lives… if you did jump off our path… don’t expect to be welcomed back very easily, for you don’t get to celebrate the view from the top, if you did not put the effort in to get there. 
Its funny to hear people whom you counted as family, confided in, been through hell and back… how fast they jump ship, and then try to walk back in our lives… he may forget, but I never do… 
My love, my world, my purpose… Steve… To the Stars and Moon and back again… I love you!

Thanks again team!  Be the change you want to see in the world today. 

What can I do except keep going forward. I am so close to the top, just a little bit further and I will be able to see the promise land… Tia

I don’t know if I have the words to express…

Hi Team,

I do not even know how to say what I need to say… The events over the past week have made news all over. Good, Bad, Heartbreaking, Hurtful, and Disappointing…all of it.

Be kind to each other. Be respectful to each other. Love one another. This world is full of enough hate…Let’s be the change we all want to see.

Stop the killing, Stop the Hating.

Go with peace

Monday Morning Quarterback….

It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback when you were not the one in the game, making the play with 15 seconds left on the clock. Pass, throw, Hail Mary or take a knee? No matter what you choose someone is going to be mad, upset, hurt, or happy. 
Think about that before you judge someone else’s decision. We all have to go through life making choices. Right, wrong or indifferent to how you feel. The person who is making the choice is the only one who really knows why they chose that at that time. The choice may have cost someone their life. The choice may have cost more than you could ever know. 
We live in a society of “quick to judge”, “fast to make a decision, because we think it’s what’s best…”. How about we become a society like we pretend to teach our children. 

“Don’t judge someone you don’t know”, “be kind to each other”, “beauty is skin deep”, “size does not matter”, “your free to love who you want..”…
You get my point. Let’s be a society who care and support each other’s decisions even if they don’t “line up” with what we necessarily believe…you just might surprise yourself… Love each other, be kind, and make someone else’s day today. 
 ❤️

When the Sun shines..

When you walk out in the morning and you see the first bits of sunlight cresting over the horizon. When you see the light that is slipping through the trees as you walk to your car…smile.

When you are pulling in to your driveway after a long day and see the sun slipping back down below the horizon. When the first signs of night start to settle on your yard…smile.

Smile when you look at your calendar and see its full even before the week has begun. Smile when you see the caller ID on your phone from your best friend. Smile when you hear your children laughing and playing together even if you know it will be just 2 minutes more.
Every day that you wake up, SMILE. Be thankful that you woke up. Hug and kiss your significant other, partner or house mate. You never know when your last day could be today.

 

We we walk through life expecting things to happen. We expect good things.  The truth is, life does not happen to us, We happen to life. Good, bad, indifferent. The thing to remember is at the end of the day, what did you learn from it? Did a bad thing happen to you, that at the end of the experience turned into a change in your life you did not expect in a positive way? Did you win an award that turned into a curse?

 

The future feels like a lifetime away, but it comes so fast if you blink you could miss it. Just like a surfer on a wave…ride it til the end and enjoy every second of it!

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Major congratulations to someone who does not like the spot light on her. Some one who would rather give than receive, but gives more than she will ever know. A major accomplishment, for hardwork, dedication and a passion for her profession.  “When you look to the skies tonight, know that he is so proud and is always cheering you on”

 

 

 

Last post…

Hello Team…

I wanted to post one last post before midnight. You see officially it will be my Birthday. I am turning 39 years old. I will officially be the last grandchild to be 39 Forever.

I am happy to be able to be celebrating my Birthday after what has happen to me over the past almost 5 months. 

Thank you all again for your support and Love!!

When it’s all just too much

Hello Team!!!!

Its been a hot minute since I have posted on my blog. This girl has been extremely busy the past few weeks.

Home Sweet Home:

After 4 months of rehabilitation with my parents at the shore house. I was able to finally come home. I was not able to come home until I could perform ADL (Activities of Daily Living) on my own without any help. It took me just days short of the 4 month mark for me to be able to shower without help. I had to be able to cook, clean, dress…I think you get the picture. I also had to make an even bigger step and be able to drive without someone else in the car with me. That meant that I had to get my anxiety under control, and a handle on my PTSD. This is a continued work in progress. I have been able to accomplish the goals of “driving” to and from my job to home. I have been able to drive to just a few other places, doctors appointments, and most importantly I attended and drove myself to May AACC 2016 Graduation and Pinning Ceremony for Jessica and my other friends.

My solo driving experience, left me with a little anxiety, some screams and a few laughs.  This was going to be the first time since that day I would be driving home. It took me a longer than normal drive home, but I did it. I was so proud of myself. I had a line of cars behind me on RT 2 southbound abut 3 miles long (I’m very sorry for that day if you were stuck in the traffic) I pulled into my neighborhood, I knew that I could relax soon. I guess thats what I get for thinking anything would be “easy’ or “normal”.

I was not long after that I was hobbling up my front porch to my front door. I was about to unlock my door and stay the night in my own bed. I put down my bad and went to grab the handle of screen door. “oh thats right, that broke off during the blizzard” ok… no problem, “I’ll just add that to the list of “things to get fixed”. Little did I know that list would soon become very long…

The next thing that I noticed was that I now had two guard spiders now living in between my screen door and front door.

  • 2 Aragog sized spiders had decided to guard my house for me while I was gone. How nice of them…NOT!!  So after I screamed like I was being attacked and beat them both with my cane. Now, I had to decided, burn the house or continue into my house. I figured I would first  do a thorough visual inspection  I was able to put the key in the lock and open my door…
  • A colony of ants had decided that my house was good enough for me, it was good enough for them… so after yet another jump, I pushed the door, “ran” well I more limped and hobbled into the house to get the broom, dustpan and spray.
  • As I was dumping and shaking the rug and the ants, I noticed my “cleaning bucket” was filled with rain water, and moving…??? “misquotes, must be…well I can’t be responsible for the Zika virus outbreak in my neighborhood” so I gently went down the 4 steps and around the side of my porch and dumped the bucket of water in the grass…
  • BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM escaped my lips as I almost jumped from my skin, ‘Newt Scamander’ the little lizard that used to live along the side of my house, was DEAD. Newt used to tease the birds and cats around my house by running down the side of my house. Newt always was around when I would be coming in or out in the spring and summer. He never really bothered me as long as he stayed outside.
  • Now, I have battled, spiders, ants, mosquitos, and a dead lizard. Was this really a good idea to come home? Ok, I mean at this point what else could go wrong?
  • After doing a few things, I stood at my door looking at my house, smelling the staleness of it, feeling the loneliness and the overall sadness that my house was. Even my christmas cactus that I have kept alive longer than any other plant I have ever owned, was not looking good.
  • I sat in Steve’s chair, and burst into tears. The wave of emotion came crashing down on me. I was home, but alone. I was here, but alone. I was alive, but alone. I was still broken and alone.

I have had people say to me “oh, no!! What happens now?” Then give the look. I have had people say “you know Cheryle and Steve they just can’t catch a break…” I’ve had people say “why you?” I’ve had people say a lot of things like that to me, about me, and to other people.

I’ve had people say “you should write a book”. I’ve had people say “you should call Ellen, or Steve Harvey or Maury!” I’ve had people tell me to send emails telling our story. I’ve had people say “we should do this…” I’ve had people say…
I always seem to be able look for the bright side of life. I always say things like “I’ll figure it out…” “I’ll find a way to get it done” or

My favorite saying to say to people, “it’s just how things go with us, we’ll be ok eventually” or “I’m alive, steve is alive and that’s all that matters” I always smile and go on about my business.

I did not ask for all the the bad things that have happend to Steve and I. I have not asked for the life experiences that we are having to experience. I did not ask for my husband to have brain damage, and not be the person that he once was. I did not ask for my accident to change my life in such a drastic way. I did not ask for the black cloud that hangs over our heads.

I try to live a honest life. I live within the law, pay taxes, and be a good neighbor to my fellow humans.

I know what your thinking. I know what your going to say. “You did not ask for this” “keep your chin up” “stay positive” “perspective” or “your being a eyore” if your going to say that please save it!!

I have been sitting on an announcement for a little but. I wanted to make sure that I could really do it before I really made the public announcement. I have finally moved back to my home. It is a trial to see if I am able to do everything that I need to do without help. I am driving short distances to and from where I need to go when I am alone. If I have steve with me I will go to a few places other than mandatory work, PT and home. Steve is home with me for a few weeks help me transition to being fully alone again (I’ll explain that in another paragraph).

Being home has been bittersweet to say the least, we are both happy to be home and together but due to  a constant stream of broken AC, missing lawn service, refrigerator that is barely hanging on and the various little projects we are working on to get the house organized.

 

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day! 
If your child is having breakfast with you…
If your child lives with their other parent…
If your child is the product of another, but you stepped up without a second thought…
If your child is no longer with you but will forever live in your heart…
If your child has fur and four legs…
If your a Mom who has to be both, for what ever the reason. 
The moment that you look into the eyes of your child you feel the spark. The moment you see the first smile on the tiny little face you feel the love in your heart. Hold on to your children. Hold on to the memories even if they were with you for a few hours or a few years. 

Past, present or future the love that you show your child is a special bond that can never be broken. You will always be a dad, for that I honor you today. 
Happy Fathers Day to you! 

Happy June 2016

Happy June Team!

I know it has been a hot long minute since I have posted. I have been a little busy. I will be posting again on a regular basis. If you follow me on FB then you know that I promised a BIG announcement tonight with this post…I will do that I promise.

I also want to take just a minute to acknowledge the 49 lives lost in the Orlando shooting, and the other people who where injured. I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to the families, friends and loved ones who are left behind. I would also like to acknowledge the family who lost their son in the tragic accident at the lake.

Now, a few updates on me:

My recovery has been long and hard. I have worked very hard everyday, pushing myself to the point of exhaustion and pushing myself harder physically and emotionally than I should. I have days that I can do nothing more than lay in bed with ice on my ankle and knee after work. I still am thankful to have my life and the people in it. I will continue to push myself each and everyday until I am fully healed.

I have been working full-time since I went back to work. I am still not able to work “full duty”, but I know that within a week or two I will be cleared to return to patient care. I was asked last week “Do you like doing this?” (meaning working as a secretary again) I wanted to think about my answer before answering. This was my response “I am thankful to be working, and this is good brain work, but I miss patient care. I get to interact with the visitors more now, but I miss really getting to know my patients and caring for them.” I said this with a big smile, and the person looked at me and smiled and said “Good, thats what I want to hear” One of the things that drives me to be a nurse is taking care of people and I miss that part of my job.  I will be back before I know it.  One of the things that drives me to want to work with new mothers and fathers, and take care of tiny humans is because nothing is more important the first few days as a new family. Getting to know the dynamics of different families, seeing the love on the faces of the new parents as they look at the newest addition to the family. One day at a time, I will make it back to where I am suppose to be.

I have been able to officially move back home. It was almost 4 months to the day of my accident that I was able to finally return home. I have had to make a few adjustments, but for the most part I have been able to be fully functioning at home.

Steve came home with me for a few weeks. We have been trying to have some type of normal. It will be short lived, and we will need to readjust to life without each other for the next 6 months but for the last few weeks it has been nice. I have been working dayshift so, that will be another adjustment for me, but I will be ok.

I’m sure that you have figured out that I am driving now. I still have times of anxiety, with being in certain situations but I am determined to move forward.

I am still going to Physical Therapy 2 days a week. I have finally been able to progress to strengthen exercises on my knee and starting on my ankle. I have had to wear my walking boot again while at work for one week, and now i will wear it alternating days. The purpose is to get more of the swelling off my ankle. The delay in treatment, and the misdiagnosis of my ankle and broken let caused me to have a few set backs but I am not letting it slow me down.

I will be getting myself prepared for my final term starting the first week of July. That means that two-three days a week I will be devoting time to studying. I will not be enjoying much fun, sun or time off for the rest of the summer. I will be working, studying, PT or sleeping. 🙂

I am going to starting posting again on a regular basis, on updates, and other topics.

Thank you again to everyone who has helped us over the past 4 months and thank you for those who continue to read my blog…

see you in a few days…

Big day….

I have been a little quiet for the last week or so…I will catch everyone up.

I have been doing very well at PT. I am progressing each week. My therapist, whom I love, told me that he sees improvements each week. I push myself as hard, and it’s paying off.

Today was big, I used the elliptical machine for the first time. I had a small bit of pain but it was something o have not been able to do. 

I used the balance board, not great BUT way better than last week.

work has been a challenge since I am not used to the day being up at 330-345 am, then being to work 6-630 am. I have been managing well and even in days that I feel like I am drowning I seem to find my way to the top again.

I have just one month, just over 4 weeks till they expect me to be 100%. If not then, that will mean more tests, scans and I don’t even want to think what else. I am being optimistic that by the end of June I’ll be closer to my old self again.
I have worked one night shift, then had an afternoon PT appt with no sleep, and after what I have been through…lets just say that I looked bad! I will have a lot of work to do before I’ll be able to pull those 28 plus hour days. I know that I’ll be able to do it. I will need to just recondition myself again.

I think the hardest part in all of this, is remembering just how bad I was hurt. Everything that I went through, and how far I have come.
I went today to say “farewell” to someone who started as a stranger and has become a friend. You know that I have talked about the most amazing car sales man, at suberu in Annapolis? Yup that right, Wayne!!  He sold me BB8, the very car that saved mylife.  He and his family are moving back to California. Thank goodness for social media to stay connected!! A special family!!

Groundhog and his shadow


I started reading up yesterday afternoon about the legend of the groundhog and having an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter.

If I understand it correctly legend, folklore, or our ancestors that came before us tell the story of the groundhog who came out of his burrow on a rainy day and decided to go about his business and spring came early those years. The years that he came out and the sun was shining his shadow would appear on the ground and he would retreat back into his burrow and we would have 6 more weeks of winter weather.

This normally happens in February. In a town call Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania. The resident groundhog even has a name, Phil.

The town of approximately 6,000 people located 84 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Has a celebration every February 2. That celebrates this event. The whole town gets involved, news coverage from all over comes to see if Phil will see his shadow.

Now, we will leave the controversy aside, of “Phil being ‘pulled’, ‘yanked’ from his cage I mean burrow. The towns people have an expectation to uphold each year with this ceremony and celebration. I am not an expert on this subject. I do not have scientific fact this is true or not.

As your going through life you have certain expectations for what you think your suppose to do or suppose to be doing. Tradition tells you this. Your siblings did this at this age, your friends do this. You look at yourself and say, “I am 16 years old I am suppose to be driving”. “I am 25 years old I should have graduated college and be getting married or starting a family” “I am…” I think you get the point.

I am going to share some real world life advice. Life is not a timeline. We all know “life is not fair” and “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get”. Life is a chronological time line of years, not expected life events.  Why do we put these self imposed expectations on ourselves? Why do we force situations that happen to us that are round shaped and try to force them into the square shaped whole of life?

I spoke to one of my sister the other day (bet you did not know I had a sister huh? That’s a whole nother blog post) someone who is near and dear to my heart. We had a chance to catch up on each other’s lives. We talked about my accident, and what I have missed in her family over the past months. One of the things she said went sorta like this “you should write a book, the journey you have taken to finish school has been like no other, but you will finish”. I just smiled, and nodded my head but in the inside I was crying. I excused myself from the phone, since it was time for my doctors appointment. Told her I loved her and to kiss n hug the family from me.

After we got off the phone I went into the office for my appointment. I had taken my stocking , sock and shoe off and pulled my pants leg up so my knee and ankle could be examined. I was sitting on the exam table and I had about 10 minutes wait. No big deal, it gave me time to think about my day and what we had talked about.

I had been having high anxiety all day. I had been sick in my stomach so I had barely eaten. My heart was beating out of my chest with anticipation of the news I was about to receive. The physical exam and evaluation that would determine my immediate fate.

Most of you know my life moves at a speed most can not comprehend.  As Chris puts it I “burn the candle at both ends and in the middle” I always smile and say “I have no choice my family’s survival depends on me” I have a list of goals and a timeline of when I want them accomplished. I have held to that timeline for the past 9 years, since the day I decided I was going to “go back to school and become a nurse”. I laid out a “GRAND PLAN OF LIFE”. I even wrote it down on a bucket list. It used to hang in my office so I could look at it each day.  I have not let anything stop me from accomplishing my goals. I have hit roadblocks, speed bumps, and detours along my way but I’ve always found a way to kept going. I did have a major flaw in my grand plan of life, you see I did not account for the unforeseeable.

I have been progressing very well in regards to my physical and mental health. Each day I get a bit stronger. Each day I push myself to accomplish a new task or goal. I remind myself that just 3 months ago I was unable to walk and in a wheelchair. I have to remind myself that the accident that I was involved in was not a fender bender, but a major accident that required first responders to cut away my car to extract me. I have to remind myself of the bruises that not long a go my body was covered in black, purple, blue, brown and yellow. I still have a bruise on my leg as a constant reminder. I have to remind myself of the pain that I endured on that day and the weeks after. I have to remind myself, I have been back to work now for only 3 weeks, and I could not be happier. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to be working at all. I have to remind myself that this is a marathon not a sprint.

I also have to remind myself of the goals I have accomplished:

  • Learning to walk again progressing from wheelchair to crutches to cane to now no support.
  • Learning to walk up and down  steps.
  • Over coming the fear, anxiety and emotions of sitting in the drivers seat.
  • Learning not to be so hard on myself and accepting help from others.
  • Learning that life is unpredictable, and it’s destiny, fate or written on sandstones of what happens to you on your life’s journey.
  • You may not always be able to plan out life’s events the way you want them too.

I have had yet another speed bump put on my path. I am on target and where my surgeon expects me to be in regards to healing. If I had just one injury I was working with I would be further long and back to full speed. Since I am healing two injuries on the same leg, that puts me on a delay. They are expecting that within the next six weeks I will be 100% full steam ahead. The severity of the sprain in my ankle takes longer to heal completely. I felt better hearing this, since the anxiety I had been feeling all day, was coming from me thinking that “I was not doing a good enough job” and “I was not pushing myself hard enough” in regards to my healing process.

I often feel that I am always letting someone else down, and that I can do better because that is what we are suppose to do, when we don’t succeed at something. Just another life lesson.

??What did this have to do with the groundhog? Sometimes you get an early spring and somethimes you get 6 more weeks of winter… ☀️/☃

It is simply a matter of perspective.

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Happy day to all

 

 

Shining Star

I could not be prouder of the Spring 2016 Nursing Class of AACC!!
Some of the graduates from this term started nursing school with me. They have over come trials and tribulations and never gave up!!

There is one special person that started the journey with me. We have stood at each other’s side each with one goal in mind. From prerequisites, to nursing school application. We have been through a lot together. We have suffered loss, accidents, laughs, adventure, and everything in between.

The day we received “THE EMAIL” (the one all nursing students wait for….) It welcomed us to the nursing program. Feels like only  yesterday. I remember getting the call “I Made it” the words of my best friend. The very next day, I called her with the same message!!

We moved through the program together. Each hitting our own speed bumps along the way. Always encouraging, cheering, and pushing each other to the next challenge. We celebrated our triumphs together and cried tears of saddness for each other. “We can do it!” “We will do this together” was our motto to each other.

My journey hit a roadblock this term. I spend my semester learning how to walk again. How to live within the limitations of new self.  Most importantly I spend the term dealing with my own feelings on not being able to finish this term. Each day, I told myself it was ok. Each day I told myself I will have my time.

Her journey continued on through the term.  She spent her semester studying with a new partner, writing careplans, prepping for projects, and passing exams.
We talked almost everyday. She included me in her days at school what was happening. I cheered her every step of the way. Giving her encouragement and support. She listened to me ramble on about PT and what doctor said what. What new “tricks” I could do. We always made sure each other was doing what we were suppose too do.

The day came that a text popped up on my phone, it simply was a “number”. I knew what it meant. How many times had we sat and added her points for the term. We both knew exactly what was needed. She did it!! Her final exams are done. She is now officially done with nursing school.

It was just about a week later. I got a call from her hearing the excitement in her voice on the phone “is this real?” tears of pure joy rolled down my cheeks. I wanted to scream, yell “Woot woot” from the top of my voice. I wanted to make an announcement for the world to hear. I could not be more proud and happy!!  It was yet another accomplishment. She had checked yet another box off on her journey.  She has over come obstacles, her own personal struggles and truly deserves this time to shine! I am happy to stand at her side, just one step behind while she stands in the spot light.

I know that my day will come. I know that I will accomplish the goals that I have set my mind and heart too. I know that when my turn comes I will look to my side and see her standing, at my side while I stand in the spotlight.

On the 26th of this month, my whole day will be spent holding back my own feeling. They will be put into a box, not to be shown. You see it’s “Pinnjng day” this day belongs to her, and my friends. I will be watching from the front row as she walks across the stage to receive her nursing pin.  I will be sitting in the audience that same night that she walks across the stage in her cap and gown. I will be cheering louder than anyone else. I know the hard work, dedication, sacrifice she has put into her journey…this is her time to shine as bright as she can!!

I feel that this is part of my journey, something that needs to happen. If more people in life could be happy for others, show support in times of great need and in times of pure joy our world would be much brighter.

I feel that in our own way we are all shining stars. if each star was to shine super bright at the same time we would all be blind from the light. So every now and again, we need to let individual stars shine  as bright as possible, while the other stars support, cheer, and love that one shining star.

The nursing community is lucky to be welcoming this shining star into their ranks!!

I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse. -Florence Nightingale

My message to her:

You did it!! Congratulations! ???Shine bright!!

❤️Shirly Heardford Doe!

Continue reading “Shining Star”

My heart still aches

My heart still aches.

How am I suppose to keep smiling? I can say it over and over until I believe it. I even from time to time I stand and face the mirror and repeat the words over and over to my reflection. Even as the tears roll down my cheeks. Even when my eyes are so red they burn. My voice has gone horse from me repeating the words over and over again. Yet, my heart still aches.

I smile because I know it’s what everyone wants to see. I hide behind the pain, when I congratulate another. I am truly happy for the accomplishments and obstacles they have over come to make it this far. Yet, my heart still aches.

My head nods in approval, my lips part while the corners of my mouth point to my eyes. The smile that takes over my face, the words of encouragement and cheer escape my lips. Yet, my heart still aches.

I remind myself each day. Telling myself the same thing over and over in hopes that my heart and mind will simply believe. Yet, my heart still aches.

You see when no one is looking. When I am alone for the night. When the lights are all off and the house is still. My heart aches for what should have been. My heart breaks for what I have lost. I remind myself for all that I should be thankful for and yet it sometimes is not enough to stop the ache.

The anger inside wells up brimming to the top treating to boil over. Laying in my bed, being angry. I was raised to not be selfish. Giving to others is the best gift of all. Making another person happy, smile or laugh is enough happiness in life.

Showing compassion, empathy, support and love that’s what I’m suppose to do. Celebrate the achievements of those around me. Let the light shine upon them for they need it most at this time.

Yet, my heart still aches.

I remind myself just one more term. I tell myself just 15 weeks. I fool myself into believing that this next time will be the last time, yet again. I tell myself over and over “things happen for a reason”. I am hoping that one day soon, I will believe the lie I tell myself each day.

I will smile.

I know that my day will come. Until then  I will stand proud and happy for those who have completed the journey before me, even if my heart aches.

 

 

People in life

In life people come and and go from your life.  Sometimes you question why. Sometimes you don’t. I have had people walk out of my life never to return and others who have come back.

I have people who will always hold a special spot in my heart, a drawer if you will that once held a special spot in my life that will always be with me even if the draws remains locked never to be reopened.

I have people who have come and gone but no matter the amount of time seems to stand still when we are apart and when we are together no time has passed.

I have had some people who were very important to me, slip away. Over the years I have helplessly watched them slowly slip through my fingers like sand until they are gone.

I have people in my life that I did not expect to be so important to me and I can’t imagine going one day without them.

I have people who call me names, “hero” “inspirational” “fighter”.

I am sure I have other names that I am called too, but I won’t go there…:)

I have had to say final goodbyes to to people who still make my heart ache when I think of them today.

I have people in my life that have used me. I have had people in my life that have hurt me and left scars that will never heal.  I have had people in my life that have just left without a word.

I have people in my life that I look up to. I have people in my life that I call “hero” “inspriration” “role model” “mentor”.   It’s the people I give these names to who make me want to be an even better version of myself. It’s the people who I give these names that one day I hope to be like.

I have people in my life that make me smile and laugh.

I have wonderful people in my life. Like a quilt of vibrant colors and patterns. The people that have come into my life even if was for the shortest time left an impression on me. In my minds eye I can see my quilt of life and know that it’s the most beautiful thing I will ever see.

Thank you, to the people in my life.. Past, Present and Future.

Welcome Home

Today was my first day back to work. I can say I was nervous and a bit scared… But from the moment that I walked through the doors the smiling faces, sense of family and the feeling of being “home again” filled my heart and soul. 
The amazing people that I work with who are more than co-workers and friends you see they are family. I have been away from my family for 3 long terrible months. Today I was welcomed home with open arms and hearts. 
Today, I returned to the ones who make me smile. I returned to a place where I belong. I returned home. 
Today I returned home to a family that deep down you know you’ll have each other’s back. I returned to a family that Even during the darkest of times, we show encouragement, commitment, compassion and empathy to help light the path for each other to over come any obstacle.
I could not ask for a better family. I can’t say Thank you enough for the Love, Support, Laughter and compassion you have each shown to me personally and that I see you show to each other. 
From the hugs of Welcome Back, to the huge smiles of pure joy when you saw me, to my welcome back message. It really does mean a lot to me. I have to give a shot out to Alex M. who was so happy to see me and surprised she actually got “choked up….luckily CPR was not needed…” I felt the LOVE!!
I know that my life is better beacuse of my family here on MBU and the entire Women’s and Children’s team!! 

Back to the grind…

Excited and nervous….today is my first day back to work since the accident. 

To say that I am excited to say I am taking the next major step in my recovery. I am extremely thankful to be able to return to work at all. 

To say that I am nervous? Yes, I admit I am a bit nervous about returning. But, I know that I will be able to over come any obstacle or problem that I am presented with. 

I have been working on managing my PTSD symptoms while riding in the car, and desensitizing myself behind the wheel of the car. It has been a long process, and will continue to get better. I have a therapy plan that I work on daily. 
Upward and onward…. 

Small WIN!!

I am so very excited!!! The entire time that I have been off work I have received no income. I was told that due to a state of Maryland clause, I was not eligible to receive short term disability payments. We have been living off of the generous donations from others. 

I found out that I could appeal the descion. After a few weeks of pleading my case, and showing various documents… I won!! The benefit is very reduced, but it’s still something. This money will help me pay for my insurance portion I owe at work, and pay my bills for the month of May. I feel so blessed. 

I have been living the past 3 months with pain, fear, anxiety and a whole host of other emotions. Each week that goes by, I count the pennies we have left, and the number of days. Most days they don’t match up. I cannot, take a breath, and focus on June. 

The ironic thing about it…my short term benefits end on April 28th. In 7 days. I am ok with that. Something is better than nothing!! 

I’ll take it as a win, even if it’s a small win. 

view from the rear view mirror

 

 Imagine you are sitting in the drivers seat of your car. The feel of the seat under your legs. Your feet resting on the floor. Your right foot is hovering over the gas pedal. You are thinking about 20 different things…work, should you get a coffee now or when you arrive? does your shirt really go with your shoes? and so on. You grab your keys and put the key in the ignition. You turn the key and the roar of the engine comes alive.  As you turn your head back and forth looking around you. Your hand reaches up and grabs your seatbelt and pulls it across your chest to click it into place. Your right-hand grabs the gear shifter and your finger presses the button and the car is shifted into reverse. Your eyes, drift up to the rear view mirror. What do you see? You are expecting to see the back seat, the rear window, make sure nothing is behind you.

What you really see is your reflection. Your eyes. Your nose. Your hair. Your mouth. That is what you see, a reflection of yourself. rearview

The day I took my Independence back.
It was the night before, I asked Steve to help me with something. I have been thinking about this for a few weeks. Every time, I think about doing this one easy thing that I have done since I was 16 years old. My heart rate increases, my pupils dilate, and I start to shake. I can’t breathe, I can feel the wave of fear that starts at my feet and goes up my body. I knew that I needed to get behind the wheel of the car again. I knew that I needed to drive again. I desperately want my life back, and this is one key point. He agreed to help me, “I’ll do whatever you need, anything to help you” The question that I asked Steve: 

“I want my independence back, will you help me?”

I was mid afternoon, I had just spoken  with my best friend Jessica and told her of my plan and my fears. She was very supportive and told me exactly what I needed to hear. She also reminded of a few things:
  • You need to do this to be able to move forward
  • The best way to get over your fears, face them
  • I could do it.
I sat on the side of my bed, shaking, tears running down my face. I could not breathe. I was crying to hard I could no longer keep it quiet. Steve rushed into the room to see what was wrong. I could not even talk. My brain kept telling me how stupid this was, I could not make my body understand. The fear had taken over me, I was paralyzed with fear. I looked up at him through red eyes, and finally, after a few minutes, my lips started to move and sound came out “I don’t know if I can do this” He looked at me and with a jerk of his shoulder said, “yes, you can”.
He helped me to the front door. He held my hand has I went down each step of the front porch. My hands were slick with sweat, and they were shaking as held the handles of my crutches. I could feel and hear every lub dub of my beating heart.  I stopped a few times on the short walk to the driveway. Steve stood at my side and encouraged me to keep going.
I stood at the driver’s door of my car, took a deep breath. My brain kept telling me to keep going, but my body would not allow me to. I started to cry again. The beep-beep of the locks made be jump just a little. I opened the door and looked inside the car.
I knew the first step was to sit behind the wheel. I had done it thousands and thousands of times before. Over the past 10 weeks, I have been in a car several times and being in the passenger seat did not affect me the way this was.
After several minutes, and some hysterical crying I was finally able to sit in the drivers seat, with one leg out of the car still on the ground. My foot was an anchor that kept me safe.  I sat there, the fear enveloped my whole body every fiber of my being was reliving the accident. I could smell the burning of the wires, the acrid smell of the air bag. I could hear the metal twisting, and crunching, the popping of the glass. I could feel the fear of being trapped. I could not stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.  
I just kept saying over and over “I was better than this.” and “I can do this”. My eyes were telling me that I was in the driveway. Steve was standing next to me, holding the door open. He was reminding me that I was “ok”.
I don’t know how long I sat there before I was able to calm myself.  
Once I could breathe normally, and I was able to focus on my car. I was able to take the key that was sitting in my lap and put it into the ignition. I was able to turn it enough to roll the windows down and let the wind blow through. I was another bit of time before I was able to move my leg and be completely in the car.
I was crying. I wanted all of this to stop. I wanted my independence back. This was the first step in doing that.
After many  minutes, I was able to calm myself down. I talked myself down. I was able to reach for the key and turn it completely to the on position. The roar of the engine, made me jump just a little.  
We sat in the car with the windows down, the engine running. I had tears running down my face…this is what I was thinking.

This is what happens when you drink and drive.  This is what happens to a good person when bad people make terrible choices. This is what happens to people when friends let you drink and drive.

 I am better than this.

We sat in the car for what seemed like 5 hours, in reality, it was just 20 minutes that Steve and I sat together in the car. We did not move. We did not even put the car in drive. We simply sat and that was enough for me. I don’t know how I could have done that without Steve.
It’s the first step on a long path…

 

 

 

I’m not the same person that I was before…

I have realized that I am not the same person that I was on January 29, 2016. 
A part of me died on January 30, 2016 on the side of the road. 

I don’t know if it’s a bad thing or a good thing…but I can tell you that I am different. 

Please be patient with me. 

Please be understanding of the new me. 

I look the same, I sound the same…but I am not the same. 

Life threw me yet another curve ball, and I have had to learn to adjust. My bones will heal, the bruises will fade. The scars will be a forever reminder of a memory that I’d like to forget. 

The nightmares will fade with time they say… The panic attacks will one day be a memory….the fear will turn once again to bravery. 

A part of me died that day…I am different then I was before….

Anger…

I am angry at the people who did this

I am angry at those who kept you in the game

I am angry at the ones who did not tell

I am angry at the friends who sat back and said “Not my business”

I am angry because our life was changed forever

I am angry because the future we had planned was taken away from us

I am angry that the thrill was more powerful than one’s own self-control

I am angry because what is done is done and it can not be changed.

I am angry because I know I will never be able to let go of the…

Anger

My heart will not allow me too.