Friday, June 26, 2009

The Visit

I knew this day was going to come, but I wasn't sure when. After the sentencing hearing for the young woman who hit me and my friend, Kathy, with her car, I knew I wanted to visit her in jail. Finally, I focused myself in pursuing the visit and today (June 24) "The Visit" took place. I am glad it did.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous. I don't feel comfortable with "small talk" with someone I don't know. I did want Brandi to know that I cared about her and was wondering how she is doing. It was good to see her, listen to what she had to share, and pray for her. There was no reason to be nervous and my plan is to visit her again.

Jail is not an easy place to be, so please pray for Brandi - for good health, safety, time to go quickly (she misses her family) and for good things to come out of a mistake that was made.

Thank you for your prayers for me. I know God hears them and is answering them.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Success Part II

June 18, 2009 marks the one-year anniversary of a horrific accident that I was involved in. My life nearly ended after I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle. Much of the past year is a blur. I've had plenty of good times and have made tremendous progress on the rehabilitation journey. But the recovery is still in process. Some days I feel incredibly good and optimistic, but I have to admit that there are some days that are hard, slow and discouraging.

Many people have been a part of the healing process. I have had some disappointments and limitations. My physical and mental healing have made great strides, but there is still plenty of room to go (though I tend to be in denial of how far I probably have yet to go).

Before my accident, I didn't think I knew anyone who had suffered a brain injury, but I was wrong. My mom suffered a stroke, and my brother had complications (an infection) following surgery that impacted his brain. My cousin's daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury a couple years ago as a result of a car accident. Of those people, I didn't fully grasp the challenges that come from having an injury to one's brain, but there are many. I still don't fully comprehend the injury I sustained, but hopefully I am learning.

I am a person who enjoys anniversaries and special dates. I am extremely grateful for this anniversary. God has been incredibly faithful over this past year. Though there is much I don't remember of June 2008 - June 2009, I'm sure it is a year that I won't forget.

Has this been a successful year?

I don't believe achieving success means that one doesn't experience pain, loss, disappointment or failure. I've experienced all those things this past year. I've made many mistakes, but I am grateful to be alive and know that God is doing a work within my character and enabling me to trust and honor Him.



Note from family: It has been one long year, but we are so grateful for the love and support from each and every one of you. We appreciate all the prayers, meals, gifts and cards . . . and most of all, loving us through this. God has blessed us with an outcome we hoped for, prayed for and dreamed of - to God be the glory! Great things he has done!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Do You Spell SUCCESS (Part 1)

It has been nearly one year since I sustained a horrific accident - nearly dying after a motorist and her car collided with me while I was riding my bicycle. Though I am recovering quite nicely, there are days I still allow myself to become frustrated, impatient, and even angry. I still have some hiccups with my memory and brain functions. My stamina is increasing, but still needs to increase. I do need to get the doctor to sign off on my return to work.

I'm not necessarily fond of my limitations, the speed in which I do things is slower. BUT, I am living independently, I am driving my car again, I've made a trip to Disneyland, I have meaningful conversations, I go to my wonderful church each week, and this week, I rode on a bicycle again! People comment on how good I am looking. I eat food without drooling.

There is no doubt that this is tremendous progress, but is it success?

Some days I ask myself: what will success look like on this journey? Is it the things I've listed above? Is it getting back to work? Is it doing now (responsibility-wise) what I did before the accident? Is it having complete healing in my brain? Is it not experiencing pain, discomfort, and/or limitations physically? Is it being alive?

How would you answer those questions? How would you define success?

Please know that I am celebrating the progress that has been made - I am incredibly grateful to God for His healing, His provision, His grace, His love, His care, His goodness and more! I want to be a woman of faith, who not only celebrates the past and what God has done, but trusts Him with the future, whatever that looks like.

Thank you to those who have been a part of this recovery journey: through your prayers, your time, your giving of resources, you encouragement and your unwavering support. It means a lot to me.


Friday, June 12, 2009

How Many Steps Does It Take?

Today I was on a bicycle for the first time in nearly one year. In my mind, my expectations were that I would sit on the bike, get things adjusted as needed, have some "spotters" for a little while, and then ride the bike like I did last June.

Were my expectations too high?

I did get on the bike and my dear "spotters" helped me with balance and getting used to the seat and the bike. Adjustments were made as needed. But it wasn't that easy - it was hard. When I began peddling the bike with my dear friends helping out, it was a struggle, I think mainly with balance. I was nervous, as well as I was much more afraid than I thought I would be. I was impatient with myself and with the process. I wanted this day to come and get right back out there riding - but that didn't exactly happen.

My expectations were too high.

My friends were incredible supporters and cheerleaders. Where I thought I failed, they were so excited for me. As I explained the experience with my physical therapist, Felicia, she was happy for me and said "its' the first step. A step at a time."

A lot of this recovery process has been "a step at a time," but I usually don't want it to take that long. It is not failure to take a step at a time, but progress - progress in the right direction .

Are you in the midst of some sort of process? Remember to take a step at a time . . . and celebrate the steps you are able to take.