Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary...

I am celebrating a very special anniversary today. It has been seven years for me...and my brain.

Seven years ago, on July 14, 2005, I suffered from cerebral infarction. (Also known as the big, bad 'S' word - STROKE.)  Needless to say, it rocked me, and my family, to the core.  It was an incredibly frightening, uncertain, out-of-control time for all of us.  But, more and more, it has started to seem like it was all a bad dream.

As my brain and I move further and further away from IT, I can't help but becoming increasingly incredulous that it happened at all.  Could that have been me?  Was I really the one laying in ICU? Nah, couldn't be!! I work out religiously! I care for two rambunctious, active little boys every day! There's no way I could have been the broken, helpless girl in that hospital seven years ago. It just doesn't seem possible.

But, as my brain and I are discovering, we must remember.  We have to think about IT.  As I said, I was scared out of my wits (or unconscious) during that period in July seven years ago.  But there are so many things I learned from IT that we, my brain and I, have to always hold on to.

Life is short.  I had a conversation just yesterday with my father about this very thing.  During IT, it became perfectly clear that it was imperative to make the most of every single second you have.  Not only should you spend your time doing what you love, but making time for those you love, too.  It's almost criminal to think that you'll always have time to do that at some point down the line...unfortunately, you just may not.

As adults, we all have to do things that aren't the most fun, or that we don't necessarily want to.  That's just reality.  But, my healed brain and I are here to tell you - you've got to get your priorities straight.  Don't worry about bigger cars, bigger houses, shinier jewelry - worry about making sure that everyone who counts knows that you love them. Because you tell them, and you show them.

Seven years is a long time.  So while IT may become fuzzy memories (and I am pretty glad about that, to tell you the truth), I will always strive to live the lessons it taught me, each and every day. And because of that, I am not a victim of a stroke...I will always be a stroke survivor.

Happy seven years of surviving and thriving, Brain! :)