They warned me it would happen. When you are improving, getting closer to your goals, and showing great strides, there comes a time when you just get stuck. (I know, thanks.) No matter how hard you work, you feel like you’re on a treadmill going nowhere!

I am there. I am on the plateau. I haven’t really progressed lately. I need a ‘new trick.’ That’s what I’m experiencing. Up until now, when I greeted people I had a ‘new trick’ to show them. Now I’m stranded out there on a tall monolithic mountain with nowhere to go.

It’s not as exciting, that’s for sure! I understand the need for resignation (that means enduring with a driven purpose,) especially at this juncture in my rehabilitation. Endurance is the keyword in anything we are working towards. Don’t quit. We really might be advancing, but we just can’t see it. Just keep swinging. I gotta say to all of you sitting on the plateau, “Hang in there.” (But I’m really speaking to myself!)

Joy Disguised as Sadness

It’s been a year since that fateful day. The day my life “flipped turned upside down.” (That’s the best way I can describe it.) I feel like I’ve been living in some alternate universe for a whole year. Every morning I wake up, look around, and my heart sinks because it wasn’t just a dream! (Dangit!) What I’m experiencing is for real! The picture above has never been seen before. It was taken by my sister right after the stroke. (She understands how chronicling life is so important to me.) I only remember bits and pieces. I hear it was touch and go for awhile there.

Wrapping my head around this event has been difficult. Since my brain operates fine, I have mulled, analyzed, and stewed for just about a year. (I’ve had the time, for a long time.) I suspect it’s a lot like mourning a lost life. I used to cry at the drop of a hat. Time has healed some of that, but certain things still set me off.

Most people who know me say, “You’ve come so far from no movement at all and on life support, we wondered if you’d even still be with us.” I agree, but I still mourn the past life I lived. Then they add, “But Kim, you need to celebrate your gift of life.” I understand. I am extremely grateful for that ultimate blessing and tender mercy. I’m still a little sad, though. My common sense tells me, “Yeah, I’ve figuratively traveled an extremely long way.” I do have joy and acknowledge that I fought for what I possess, but it is still lined with a thin layer of regret and “what-could-have-beens.”

Humility is engrained in me now. I was too confident in my comfortable (yet busy) life before the stroke. I hope and pray others can gain the lessons they need to learn on their own without experiencing life-altering changes! I will feel a little better if I know other lives benefited from my hardship. But at this time, I most assuredly recognize the source of my blessings, and I am truly grateful for the hugely abundant acts of kindness on my behalf. There are so many angels on this earth. (Seen and unseen!)

I wondered how to signify this milestone. Many of you shared your great opinions. The sad thing was, the clothes they cut off me in the ER were trashed, and I had no hospital paraphernalia to light on fire. (I got rid of it as fast as I could!) So my older daughter and the girls made a poster that said, “Big fat nasty nasty nasty stroke” with a corner that said, “burn here.” After I ate my fill of cheesecake with Dr. Pepper, we proceeded to the fire pit for some burning! “Burn baby burn!” I only cried a little.

So a year has come and gone with my new normal. I have come the equivalent of 10,000 miles. (I am approximating.) In the next few years, expect to see me walking through the door! (Cuz I’m gonna do it!) 

I can do hard things, and so can you!

Hope – Feelings Friday 5/19/17

When you say the word hope, you’ve got to add faith. (They are synonymous.) Hope entails that you have a positive attitude. One must wish positively for what they truly desire. That’s one of the joys in life. But as you look forward to something, you must enjoy the journey.

Like the seed that is planted, we hope for success. I have many hopes. I hope for the day when I walk. I hope I continue to heal. I hope my family is healthy and happy. I hope we can get enough money enabling us to do our remodel right. I hope the day is soon that I can return home. 

We all have hopes. They define us. It is true, what we think of most reveals our true nature. I hope, therefore I work towards my aspirations. Some hopes might be out of my hands, but I will do everything I can. A seed won’t grow unless you water and tend it. I also hope all who are reading this will have your dreams fulfilled! (Keep working towards them.)

Watch this video, it says it better than I do!

Four Wheelers & Hookers – Throwback Thursday 5/11/17

The four wheeler on our dairy farm is like a modern day horse. They drive it and drive it until they’ve racked up thousands of miles, and it is run into the ground. It gets us from point A to B, it herds (chases) cows, hauls heavy bags or buckets, even hauls baby calves to their hutches, and sometimes even ridden a bit for fun! We purchased our first ATV in 1999. The kids were in heaven! Darin bought Zack a hitch and a trailer for his eighth birthday. We knew he’d undoubtedly adore it, because he spent countless hours backing a toy tractor and wagon. (You’d think if it was parked crooked, he’d just straighten a plastic wagon with his hand. But no, he had to attempt backing it over and over again!) We wrapped the hitch with a note telling him of a surprise behind a stack of hay. He just continued jumping around saying, “I got a hooker, I got a hooker!” The trailer elicited a pretty good response, but not exciting as this eight year old who got his hooker. (I know, good parents!) That trailer was used and abused out on the farm. We have owned at least six (if not more) four wheelers to serve our family. They just die of overwork. The boys constucted obstacle courses including jumps to run with the four wheeler, and all the girls learned to drive at a young age on them. Many extended family members have also ridden them through the wringer. Riley’s dog, Annabelle, always hops on anticipating a ride! We have snow and grass sledded with a rope and sled secured behind. Our four wheelers have been mostly utilitarian, but in the many thousands of miles we’ve put on them, there have been a few for fun. (What do you expect?) Good times.