Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10 Years of JOY!

Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of my car accident. TEN years! Can it really be that long?! As a whole, it's actually gone very quickly, but when I stop to think about all of the little things that have happened during the past decade I realize just how long it's been. Here are a few of the highlights:

I've seen two of my sisters get married (not to mention many of my friends). I've become an aunt 16 more times. (I had four nieces at the time of my accident. Now I'm up to 12 nieces and eight nephews.)

I've seen my younger sister Chandra experience a lot: four years of high school, college, two different jobs and much, much more. She was only 14 when I had my accident (she turned 15 a few weeks later while I was in the ICU). She's grown up from a young teenager and is now more than five years older than I was when I had my accident!

I've been remarkably healthy for a quadriplegic that's paralyzed from the neck down (far healthier than many people in my condition). The Lord has truly blessed and watched over me, and I know it's my faith in God that's kept me so healthy.

It took awhile, but I've finally came into my own. There's a steep learning curve that accompanies becoming totally paralyzed, but I've adjusted and I'm now in my groove. I've found purpose and meaning in my new life and I've discovered what my mission is: to spread joy, positivity and hope to the world.
I found my niche in blogging in 2009. I've been blogging for more than four years now and it's been an amazing experience. My blog has spread far and wide, and my words are reaching people in places I never would've expected! I frequently get emails from people going through their own challenges and they tell me that reading my posts gives them a little escape and helps them gain a little more perspective on life and why we have to do hard things! Blogging is a lot of work (far more than people would probably expect), but it's rewarding work and I get just as much out of it as I put into it.

My four older sisters all lived in different states at the time of my accident, so they all came home for Thanksgiving (about 10 days after my accident) since my long-term survival was in question.
Then and now… not too shabby!
If I had to grade my own paper on how I've handled this challenge of mine over the past 10 years, I would give myself an A+ with a great big smiley face and a gold star. (I always loved getting smiley faces and stickers on my work in elementary school, so I suppose I'm still a child at heart!) At the risk of sounding prideful, I think I've done a great job living this disabled life of of mine! I haven't been the model of patience every step of the way, but I think I've handled this trial with a grace and optimism that the Lord would be proud of. It's good to be alive!


jamie @ [kreyv] said...

You are amazing and such an inspiration to me! Still beautiful!

Anonymous said...

:-) :-) :-) :-)

Julie said...

Heather, I really do admire you. I don't know how you manage to stay so positive, I know it's probably through the help of a wonderful Heavenly Father.

You really do deserve that award, especially the smiley face:)

I know you do a great job with the positive things that have happened since your accident but I'd love to know how you cope with some of the negative things. I hope you're not upset by me asking you that.

Thank you for all you do with your blog - & your recent updates on Facebook.

Kathe said...

You definitely deserve an A+ and more. Your faith in the Lord is inspiring!!

Vesta Duvall said...

You are one inspiring person, Heather! Though you admit that it took you a while to get back to your old self after the accident, it's truly wonderful how you remained positive and thankful with the life you're living now. Truly, people going through the same pace will find great strength from your story. Thank you so much, and I hope you will remain the joyful Heather that you are!
Vesta Duvall @ The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C.

Lisa said...

Congrats on this really big milestone and for staying so positive and filled with JOY!

Evaly said...

It's amazing what can happen in 10 years! I think it's great that you celebrate this date and your personal growth. I think you are absolutely right about discovering your mission and you are doing a great job! Thank you for your email and kind words.

Tina said...

Heather, You are truly incredible!

Amy said...

You are truly an inspiration!! And I agree 110% - you have earned an A++++, happy faces, and gold stars! You optimism and happy disposition are felt and you are an inspiration to SO many!! Thank you for sharing your faith in our loving Heavenly Father through your positive attitude! You radiate Christ-like love!!!!!!

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