Every year I say that this is just a day like any other day, just ignore it, but I can't. About a month before "the day" I start thinking about it. I don't know if it's because it comes when the weather changes to spring, or if it's because I remember celebrating our 26th anniversary before the accident. So, it is never far from my thought process, but I don't have to be depressed about it, because it has been 8 years and we are still alive and kicking. When I look back, I think of how totally uninformed I was about spinal cord injuries and if it hadn't been for Christopher Reeves I probably would have never thought about it much. Then, all of a sudden, you are smack in the middle of it all and overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe what SCI injuries are about. In our case it wasn't just a spinal cord injury, it was a very high neck injury and one with vent dependency because Dennis can't breathe on his own. I didn't even know about the levels of injury, and I also didn't know how much jealousy I would feel when I saw someone with a lower injury that could actually push their own chair or pick up a fork. I would see depressed people at rehab and I would think, "are you kidding me, you can feed yourself, breathe on your own, hold hands with your loved one", and I would be angry. I quickly learned that everyone has a different walk in this injury journey and I also know that Dennis and I couldn't have made ours without God for He is our joint partner in this walk. That is when I began to see people and their walk in a different light. Some had Jesus, some did not and I became very glad that we did. I am not saying anything negative about the people who do not believe, I am just saying I am so glad that Jesus is my Lord and saviour. He became our strength in weakness and our joy in pain, and there are times that all you can do is give your cares to Him. Some couples in rehab left their spouse and partners because they could not cope, I would think of Jesus and what he did for us and the pain he bore for us and think what we were going through was minimal in comparison. I also know the charactor of my husband and I know he would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. Life is different now, but it does not have to be awful, you just have to shift to a different normal. Attitude is everything on both ends, caregiver and patient. Oh, we have our pity parties and it usually comes in spring when I am really busy keeping up the yard and Dennis wants to be in there helping and I am really wanting him to be in there helping! But it always turns our Ok, because God tells us to cast our cares!
Much love, Cheri