The following story is from one of our personal heroes, our Mom. Our mom is the most amazing, loving, compassionate, forgiving, kind, strongest women we know. We would not be the women we are today without her. There is never a moment we doubt how much she loves us. She has truely taught us to always love and that there is nothing we can't walk through and come out on the other side. She was willing to write and share one of her adversities...
“Oh!” Jamie gasped with fear all over her face. “What!” said, Jessie, reacting to the intensity in Jamie’s voice. There I was standing between them looking in the mirror as Jamie lifted the back of my hair to show Jess. Jess let out a gasp as she covered her mouth and starred now with the same fear on her face as her sister….
It was the beginning of June and it had only been three months since my heart had stopped and I fainted during a sports banquet I had attended. Fortunately, a paramedic was on the scene and took good care of me. I bounced back quickly and an ambulance took me to the hospital where they discovered my distal artery was blocked. Fortunately angioplasty (balloon procedure) was a success and the doctor said the rest of my heart was working excellently. I had a full recovery though the stress and shock to my system was not without a few side-affects (putting it very mildly). Something about finding out you didn’t just faint but instead your heart literally stopped and had you been alone you wouldn’t even be here anymore, triggered a roller-coaster of emotions. Everyone that knew me was in shock as I was expected to outlive everyone because I was supposedly the so-called health nut of the family. I was always reading about and trying on the latest, healthy ideas for size. Though the doctors said my healthy life style probably had a major role in my quick recovery, the experience brought us all face to face with the fact that “No Body” has “Thee Answer” to anything! Major fear and anxiety was the number one side-effect of the whole ordeal…so I thought at the time.
And now, months later, when all seemed to be back to normal, there I stood in front of the mirror with the girls starring at me. I tried to stay calm while the girls stood there in shock, starring at the back of my head and each other in, what now seemed like, horror. My composure draining from me I said, “What?!” wondering if I had a giant blood sucking bug swelling up on the back of my head. “You have two bare spots on your head! One, the size of a quarter and the other the size of a dime” said Jess. Now, trying to relax, I remembered many years previous I had a little patch about the size of a dime that had cleared up on its own after a little while. In the days after, the two patches slowly merged into one and within four months my hair began dumping out of my head with every shower. At this point the blood-sucking-bug would be considered a welcomed friend and a good laugh. Instead, fear and deep grief was setting in as I watched and experienced the drastic change occurring in my body and the anxiety went off the charts.
Needless to say, during the many days that followed, I cried… and cried… and cried. I think tears may be God’s way of washing away the human misperceptions we seem to acquire throughout our earthly journey that they might be replaced with a genuine perception of the true beauty of Life. One day after some flash-flooding of tears and the exhaustion they left in their wake, I seemed to lie floating as I just decided to let go of all the tormenting thoughts. I found myself taking a deep breath and saying to myself “So…now what?”, as I wiped the tears from my face once again. In the moments that followed I realized the game of Life is never over unless you just stop swinging. One of my favorite sayings came to my mind, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I was remembering that I can choose happiness where ever I am. This earthly journey has thrown me another curve ball and I choose, again, to keeping swinging. ‘Cuz, this gal has a lot of reasons to keep moving forward. I reminded myself that I have no control over how much money or fame I leave behind when this body seems to disappear from this earth, as anything could come along and rearrange all I may have built but one thing I do have control over and that is the love and joy I choose to share with my family, friends and community right now, today, in this moment. When this body is no longer visible, I want my family, friends and community to forever know the LOVE that never ceases to be.
So…if one day someone you love is freaking out, pointing at you and they say, “You have a blood-sucking bug swelling up on the back of your head!” know that you too can choose to learn to dance in the rain.