“I think what doesn’t kill you makes you a better human being. It opens your eyes, your heart, and your mind. – Derek Hough ”
Trevor the Otter
***This cute little otter keeps sending me emails with sometimes very profound quotes.***
OK: By this point in reading on my blog, you should know that I am an extremely lucky girl, who knows what doesn’t kill you makes you a stronger, better person. Going through such a difficult patch in life allows your eyes to truly be open and appreciative to everything on earth, and gives more appreciation to be paid towards the things that are unseen. [To see how lucky I truly am, go to my post, C’est la Vie]
Almost losing your life, would make one thankful for all the capabilities that we have. I am bright enough and willing to learn to finish high school. I went to college, and through a strong sense of determination, did not give up and completed school in only five years. My first year was the hardest; I had been so reliant on my family for doing most of my housekeeping, transportation and basic needs of life, like food. Here I was, suddenly dropped into a whole new atmosphere, away from the friends that I used to have and acquired since the (big) accident and the help and guidance of my parents. Without the help of my parents, and I was completely dependent on them after my accident. It was a positive and healthy change for me, being plopped into a school in FARMVILLE, Virginia (if the name of the town gives any indication of how far away this is from the DC metropolitan area. Total culture shock.) In Farmville, 15 years ago, there was the college. And then there was a Walmart. Not much else, except for the oriental rug store and the local college restaurant/bar hangout, Macados. All within walking distance of the campus. Thinking back to that time in my life brings a smile to my eyes.
Thinking back to that day when my parents first dropped me off at the campus, which seemed like such a huge new “home” away from home, I was in the same position as everybody else. Sure I was walking with a cane, my speech was a little slower than the norm, but I felt like everyone else was right there with me. Going away from home to live at Longwood College, was really the best thing that I could have done developmentally.
My eyes were seeing the world through a new set of glasses. [When I use that expression, I really do mean glasses. After my car accident, the fourth optic nerve in my left eye was paralyzed; I had double vision and was using a set of glasses lined with prisms to correct my vision and during winter break my freshman year had corrective eye surgery.] I was an equal, no longer “a girl who used to be cool,” the former cheerleader that got into that accident. I had a clean state, no one to know the thing to compare
Having graduated with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, I used my skills and compassion by working in the Activity department of a nursing home for 9 long years. It didn’t really seem like 9 years, the time really flew by, I was just having such a fun time ‘goofing off’ with the residents. At the nursing home that I worked at in Fairfax, I worked mostly on the 2nd floor, which is the Special Care Unit. The residents there were difficult to work with, and require a lot of time and patience. After a while, I knew what to do, and I felt like everyone else didn’t. I could deal with difficult residents or difficult coworkers, just not both. So, I resigned to conquer my next new dream of writing my memoir. It’s coming, slowly, but if Longwood University has taught me anything, I have learned the perseverance to see my dreams come true.