Today I realized how far I have come. I have journeyed from the hospital bed to a freedom that I wasn't sure was possible again. I have made it half way up Everest, but still can't quite see the summit. Progress is being made, but there is a long way to go yet. I am realizing the capabilities of my prosthetic. It allows me movements that many take for granted, yet many in the amputee community are unable to do so. Simple movements like walking backwards, crossing legs over another, or simply standing with your legs crossed. I am currently working on core body strength, an admitted area of weakness. I am also, very admittedly, weary of this journey. Looking back on the past year I have realized that I have not taken a moment to reflect on the journey I have made. Most people who climb mountains only focus on the summit, not taking the time to look at what they have overcome. I, however must take a moment to look back on the journey I have gone through. The impacts that this life change has had on those around me. In the past year my dear fiance' has not only witnessed her new fiance' nearly die, but she has had to take on the roles of caregiver, mother, and also breadwinner. This is a stressful position to place anyone in, much less take on these roles without any warning. My mother, brother, and sister in law have had to endure my life changes, then deal with my brother finding out he had cancer. Luckily, both of us are on the mend. I am happy to report that he is cancer free and I am on the way to the summit.
Many people write about the stressors of life altering events and the effects they have on those who endure them. Fewer still acknowledge how painful this process is for the close relatives and friends it effects. It is well documented that traumatic events can change the way a person sees life and behaves, it also changes how these relationships work. It can often change the fundamentals of the basis of relationships. I am blessed that I have a strong woman by my side, a totally supportive family behind me, and Kate's family has stood strong by my side as well. Thanks to this blog I have gained the support of countless people from around the world that I may never meet, and still this journey can be lonely and crushing. I have decided that as of tonight I am done looking back. I have spent a year focusing on what happened to me, how I am lucky to be alive, how it's not fair, and wondering why, all while still determined to move forward. Now I realize, it is impossible to walk forward while looking behind you. So, I'm done with the past. This is my new future. As Carl Jung said "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to be." I choose to be many things, Happy is at the top of the list. I am now thankful for this path, it has shown me how strong I am and the strength of those closest to me. I will walk forward and only pause for a moment to reflect on the difficulties of the path that lay behind me. Prior to the fall, I always said that you have two options, you can let what happened to you define you or, you can let what happened to you be a part of who you are, learn, adapt, and move on. I choose the later.