For those six months I grieved for the body I had taken for granted. I'd been extremely active, exercised daily and felt that not being able to dance, do my household chores and even go shopping signified my life was over. I mourned not being able to play or lift my grandchildren if and when they eventually appeared in my life. 'Depressed' was too light a word to use to explain my state of mind.
Then one day, I decided no one was going to tell me my life story, that I was the mistress of my destiny and I had a choice. Gradually I worked on my muscles, I started walking a little each day, then joined a gym when I needed to step up my exercise program. We moved to Australia in 2003. At that time I would take a lift because walking up stairs was just too difficult and painful. We walked almost every day as well as attending a local gym. After six months, I was racing my husband, Butch up four flights of stairs.
Yesterday I went to the Botanical Gardens with my daughter and my wonderful grandchildren. As I was looking at the photos, I was reminded of how dark and dismal my life once felt. I was also reminded of my stubbornness and determination and willingness to adapt.
In the above photo, I am showing Ella, one of my granddaughters how to jump on leaves to create a satisfying crunching sound. Where once jumping was something I could never have contemplated, where walking for a long period of time was out of the question, where carrying either of my grandchildren wold have been considered an impossible dream, I now know that when we set our minds to it, anything is possible. We can overcome great odds, if only we believe in ourselves and trust that we know ourselves better than anyone else ever will.
Today I celebrate my stubbornness, my willingness to adapt and the resilience of my spirit. My back injury is by no means fixed or cured, but I have found ways to ensure I have a quality of life that far exceeds the dire predictions of doctors and specialists.
In my list of accomplishments I list being a massage therapist, a belly dancer, a fun grandma and an active participant in my life.
I thank those people who said I couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't. They were the same people who inspired me to believe I can, shall and will. I am grateful for the encouragement they gave by being so negative, because it was within their negativity, I found the positivity I needed.
Are there people in your life or your past who you need to be grateful for? For without their input, you may not have strived to follow your dreams and to be all you can be? Remember to thank them.
Sometimes events, situations and people present in our lives to prove how strong and amazing we can be...if only we try!
with love, respect and integrity