Why Did I Live?
It is extremely unlikey that you will survive a massive cerebral hemorrhage. If you do, it is possible you may require nursing care for the rest of your life. The fact that I survived such an event, and recovered enough to become independent as far as self care is a miracle for which I am eternally grateful. It was definitely a terrible ordeal. Occasionally, I have moments of clarity regarding why I lived.
The most obvious reason for my survival was so my children would grow up with their mother. I was six months pregnant and mother to a two year old when I had a stroke at age 35. Of course my husband would have found a substitute, but she would have been just that: a substitute. No one can ever love you the way your own mother does. The babies were often my motivation to keep going during the times I thought I couldn’t. I came home from the hospital in a wheelchair to a newborn and a two year old.
I frequently have opportunities to serve as an inspiration to others. I feel a responsibility to do this when I can.
Just this morning at my weekly wellness meeting I’ve been attending for six years when the topic of fixed vs. growth mind set came up for discussion, the facilitator asked for examples from the group.
As membership in the group is constantly changing, I decided to fill in all the members about my story. One woman described her son’s teacher telling kids in sixth grade when they say they “can’t” to add the word “yet”.
I said, “None of us are in sixth grade so we have all been through experiences that were so awful we believed we couldn’t get through them. But we always did. I had a stroke 20 years ago when I was six months pregnant, and I had a two year old. The entire left side of my body was paralyzed. I never in a million years thought I would be driving here, riding horses, and walking. Now, if something seems difficult, I think back to how I got through that situation and think I can do anything.”
After the meeting was over, a nurse told me she always tells people that when you meet someone who has stared down death, don’t mess with them.
The facilitator said “Thank you” to me as I was walking out.
I said, “I’m just doing my job. That’s why I’m here.”