Learning to Live Again: Could you do it?
Often times, its one event that changes our lives. One unplanned, unpredicted life altering event that changes your entire life’s plan. As I sit here, pondering my own life’s plan, I’m also thinking about the difference of life stages, and these types of catastrophic events. I think in these points, everyone reaches a point of “tired.” Until you live with major change, major trauma, major illness—you just won’t understand. It’s at these points though, where we have to find the reasons we’ll carry on to live again. Being so close to a number of my family members growing up, I can pin point with most of them where they “lost” their path. Fell off, or were completely pushed off by forces they couldn’t even imagine.
For my Grandpa C., one wrong house working accident rendered him chair bound for the last 15 years of his life. See, he was taking off, or maybe it was putting up, storm windows in his house. Big, huge, sheets of glass, almost as tall as his 6ft self. One slipped off, and cut his shin, muscles, tendons…all of it, down the back of one of his legs, to the bone. Being that he was older when he did it, stubborn as hell, and bound to do it all “his way,” he never really recovered. Never did the correct rehab, never found the happiness he needed to live again. With my Grandma C., breaking her arm started it off; and then letting her diet slip, and not taking care of herself enough pushed her into the nursing home, and everything else. I thought we were giving her, doing for her, what she would need to push on…but it just wasn’t enough.
Now, I’ve also had grandparents who have had issues out of their control. Lung cancer, and ALS, took a Grandpa and a Grandma, but up until the end, they remained as positive, and hopeful as they could. Even with body failure, complete reliance on loved ones, family drama hanging heavy in the air, and fate looming daily…my last visits with them were full of smiles, and laughs at old memories. And now, my poor Grandma, being assaulted to blindness in a home invasion, at 80 years old. She’s gone through multiple surgeries, multiple moves, super hard days and nights, and we’re only weeks in. She shows more drive than some people my age do when their biggest worry is how many pounds they’ve lost, or how they can’t wait to have a break from their kids.
It all comes down to your own internal flame. Your voice. Your strength. Whether the events that come up in your life are planned, or happen in the most tragic of ways, it’s all in how you handle it. If someone in your life, an elderly family member, or friend, has something like this happen…do what you can to be there. Even if it’s just checking in by phone call. Don’t let them get lost in their own thoughts, or drown in the unproductive, burdensome, thoughts of pity. Even with tragedy, life can still go on. But you really have to want it to, and sometimes, you may be just what your loved one needs to take the first steps back into living.