Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thinking Forward

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Once again, for the second time this summer, I am posting this blog a day later than normal. What can I say? Once again, family first. I hope everyone understands. Anyhow, continuing with the story of my childhood head trauma, this week I want to talk a little more about the days after I woke from my coma. When a person wakes from such a sleep, it takes time for that person to regain all of his/her motor functions.

The day after I woke from my coma, I began my therapy sessions. Those included learning to speak all over again, as well as a team of physical therapists stretching my legs. The day after I woke I recited the alphabet, which is highly unlike for the victim of an A.V. Malformation to do. I had to learn everything all over again.

On the afternoon of August 31, 1984, Drs. released me and warned my mother (My father was a pilot, so he missed much of these weeks) that I would not begin to walk for at least two years. My mother brought me home and I either rolled around in my wheelchair or crawled around the house.

A couple of weeks later, I crawled down a narrow hallway and asked my mother to step to the side. I told her I wanted to try something. Now, please realize that I can be a rather impulsive person. Sometimes I get this inkling that something is the right thing to do. At my request, she stood back. I lifted a hand, pressed against the wall, shoved my opposite knee forward, and stood.

When my mother brought me to my therapy session the next day, she wheeled me into the hospital; then, she announced to my therapists that I had walked. They reminded her of the impossibility and suggested that perhaps she had had a dream. Obstinate, my mother lifted the foot rests, the therapists set a walker in front of me (yes, my feet were still feeble), and I stood and walked. Of course, then there was screaming and what not; though, imagine, within a 2 month period going from a team of Drs. diagnosing a loved one with an A.V. Malformation along with only a 10% chance of living to walking. That fall, my aunt and cousin moved to San Diego. Paul taught me how to ride a bicycle and six months after the day I stood I ran.

When I make a major life decision, I think forward, and I encourage you to think forward. Sometimes, my major life decisions upset people, because they don’t understand them, but I never regret those life decisions. On the day I stood, and on every other day I’ve made a major decision, I’ve thought forward. I thought forward to my life 20/30/50 years in the future; and I’ve asked myself: “What do I want to see when I look back on my life 20/30/50 years from now?”

Whether it’s a personal, relational, or business decision, I encourage you to think forward. Think about what you want your life, your relationship, or your business to look like when you look back on it many years from now. Sometimes, that means taking chances that may not seem like the safest or most rational. Not everyone will always agree with you, but some will support you. That’s why it’s important to have those people in your life. So, today, whatever is in front of you, think forward. If you have a family, especially if you are married, think about how your decision will impact them. Doing the right thing is not always easy; though, thinking forward will always help you make sure you’re on the right track.

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