When we met him, we saw he was in a wheelchair. On the way home we asked my brother why he never told us that Jeremy was in a wheelchair.
He simply said, "Because it isn't important."
My brother's acceptance GMH.
This past Sunday, May 23, 2010, was the one year anniversary of my accident. I was going to write my thoughts on Sunday, but I have been out and about. I wasn't as full of thoughts on Sunday as I had expected. I spent the day at a friend's place eating some amazing chicken that he cooked up on the grill. I spent the evening at the movies with some friends from UGA.
The only reflections I had that day were about the true character and goodness in people that I have observed throughout the year following my life-changing accident. [Side note: the post about that topic is coming up soon. It's already written out, too]
Sunday was the start of a week that has been very interesting, so far. This week, I have been reading and talking to a stroke patient every day. Each day, she touches my heart. She is the sweetest woman. She has much love for everyone and has the most contagious laugh. She also cannot speak. Two strokes have taken away this ability. She communicates with expressions, hand motions, and a machine which she uses to slowly type things. Yesterday, she was overjoyed that she had made tuna casserole by herself. Today, as I was reading to her, she interrupted me to tell me that she had also fought breast cancer for three years.
I believe everything happens for a reason and that we meet everyone for a reason. Perhaps I met her at this time so I could gain some more perspective. Whenever I am around her, I am very thankful and I feel very blessed. This past year has definitely taught me to be thankful for what I have. I know I am not still as thankful as I should be.
Monday, when visiting her, I also met an old teacher of mine. He was a counselor at my high school and was one of the teachers for the peer leading class—the best class I ever took in high school. He invited me to come and speak to a driver's education class at the high school about my accident and my experiences. I had actually been thinking about my peer leading class recently, so I was surprised to run into him and then get offered to speak to a class. I believe this is how things were supposed to fall into place one year after my accident.
Overall, I am happy. Alhamdulillah. I am not overly scared about the future anymore. I am confident that things will work out in a manner that will be good for me, InshaAllah.
Is there any danger?
No, no, not really.
Just lean on me.
Takin' time to treat
Your friendly neighbors honestly.
I've just been fakin' it,
I'm not really makin' it.
This feeling of fakin' it--
I still haven't shaken it.
"Fakin' It" by Simon & Garfunkel
If you're a fan of The Catcher in the Rye, you probably hate those "phonies". And if you're an 18 year old desi girl, you probably "hate fake people". Well, sorry people, BUT I AM ONE OF THEM. I don't deny it. Nor am I ashamed of it. Actually, I'm quite thankful of it. I feel like it's made me a better person. YOU CAN BE FAKE, TOO!
Let me explain. After the accident, I had to become "fake" in certain situations. I have had to smile; I have had to take things in stride; I have had to act like everything was okay.
Why? I think this clip pretty much sums it up very well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2F4VcBmeo
Certain people can't handle knowing what is really going on. Sometimes, it makes me very angry. I stifled my physical pain and psychological battles (this blog is simply a way to express certain things on my mind now). It makes me very angry because I sometimes couldn't/cannot let out my emotions. If I do, certain people I know become torn up inside and start to feel melancholy. So I don't show them. I act like everything is okay. I went through severe depression for a while but kept it bottled up. When a few people I know asked how I was doing, I always told them that things are going great.
It angers me because it's a burden. Having to always act like everything is okay takes a toll. But when I see the people I know smile, I know it's worth it. My youngest sister is one of the sweetest people I know, and I especially don't want her to know certain things I had to go through. I would never want to ruin her innocence.
I feel like this post already is pretty crappy. It doesn't fully describe my thoughts and feelings at all. I guess it would be better if I named names, but I'm not going to do that. Anyways…
Suppressing my emotions and being fake has made me a better person. By putting on a smile, ignoring my crazy thoughts when I was depressed, and acting like I was just dandy had a profound effect on how I really feel. Doing these things eventually affected my disposition to the point where I am indeed content now. Acting like I am happy when I am feeling quite opposite of that forced me to look at things in my life and be thankful for them.
Life going rough for ya? Put on a smile and see how it affects you. Others won't know that you aren't happy, so why should you?
5/6/10, 2:00 AM
I know I haven’t posted in a while. I have been really busy and I enjoy being out of the house and hanging out with friends as much as possible, since I am able to do so now. By the time I have some time to relax and write up my thoughts, I’m already pretty mentally drained. My friends’ brains function as a blog occasionally. I wrote up a much needed post several weeks ago, but I have yet to post it because it seems way too jumbled.
I just read something online that is keeping me awake right now. I won’t delve into the subject matter that I read about, but I will say that it certainly hit me.
How much time do we have to waste? How long are we really here for? Many of you will say, “Well, I’ll probably be around for a while. I know life is short, but it’ll be a relatively long and successful life.” But how many of us, if we were given a time period to live, would know what to do?
If we were told we had a certain amount of months or a few years to live, I think that people would take this in a few different ways. Some people would become more religious, in hopes of atonement for their sins. They would also try and help others, perhaps. Some people would go wild and try to have as much fun as possible so they can “go out with a bang”.
What if someone tells you that you have up to about the age of 50 or 60 to live? Would this complicate things? Your college years have already been experienced. By this age, you would probably be very much into “real life”. Maybe you would have a job, a spouse, and/or children. What is there to do now? Would you look back and regret the choices and things that you did or did not do? I can imagine older people contemplating their younger years and yearning for something else.
So how can we prevent these thoughts? Personally, I know that I need to do everything I can do with the gifts with which I have been blessed. Why have them if they are not used to their potential? If I am mentally capable to excel in a certain area, I would regret not using my abilities and pursuing it. If I am physically capable to do things, I should not take them for granted until they are taken away. Are we all living up to our potential, or could we do better?
This has implications in other areas of thought and interaction as well. Would you treat people you know the same if you knew things were going to end? What really matters in regards to things like friendships and relationships? If something is a burden, why would one waste time on it?
As I said in an earlier post, people come and go. Do you really see yourself speaking to the same friends? Will you still be close to your siblings? Habits may need to be changed to prevent future remorse.
We need to all take time to re-examine what is truly important. Our petty arguments are insignificant. Each moment needs to be cherished. If the young age of 50 was given as a deadline, by that time, we should be in a place (education or career) that we are content with and have relationships (friendships or a spousal relationship) and perhaps spirituality that give us peace. If your education/career/relationship is a stressor now, how would it be any better if we were told we were going to pass soon? What can we change now?