Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Year That Changed It All

This week marked the one year anniversary of Shawn's accident: an event that was 
completely life changing in every way.

After his accident, Shawn had to relearn how to live his life: he had to teach himself to
perform simple, everyday tasks, how to move forward with the use of only one hand.
He sustained very severe nerve damage, the extent of which we are still uncertain.
Nerve regeneration is an extremely slow and arduous process and every one of
Shawn's doctors advised us to be patient: his recovery would take years and he would
more than likely never regain complete use of his left hand.
Because the slow process of his recovery could feel frustrating, because he sometimes felt
like he wasn't getting anywhere despite all of his hard work, we started capturing little
videos of his progress.  We grabbed our Iphones, our camera, our computer, whatever
was handy and we filmed each and every little milestone.  We cheered when he learned to
tie his shoes again, folded his own shirt, lugged full trash cans with one arm and picked up
our little girls.  We documented each and every hurdle that this amazing man jumped
through, each week bringing bigger and better things.
And now, one year later, he stands before us stronger, more determined, completely
inspiring and full of life.  He was given a second chance at life and he took it and ran with it.
He beat the odds, not by chance or good fortune but through hard work and perseverance.  
It wasn't easy and we were not without struggle.  We experienced every emotion,
felt powerless, hopeless, and full of despair.  We questioned our future and if we could
weather this particularly gruesome storm.  When a person loses who they are, when
every single part of their soul is stripped and they feel as though they would have been
better off dead, it is heart wrenching.  I had to accept that there was nothing I could do but
just be there: I couldn't fix him, I couldn't give him all the answers.  All I could offer was
my shoulder to lean on, my time and my heart.  Just my support and love had to be
enough.  And now, looking back, I see that he felt the same way.  He couldn't be the man to
me that he once was, he had to redefine himself and the ways in which he fulfilled the
various roles in his life.  But he was there for me, he was present, he showed me that he
wasn't going to give up.  And all that hard work and love and effort was enough.  It was all
I ever needed.
He once told me, "Everyone has always looked at me as a positive person, full of faith and
not afraid of anything.  Now, they get to see me live that.  They get to see that attitude
in action".  His outlook on life is one of the millions of reasons why I love him.  I still
think about that day in the desert, I'm not sure that I will ever forget it.  I thank God
every single day for sparing my soul one's life, for allowing me this time with him, for giving
us this second chance.  We are so blessed to know this kind of love and we do not take that
for granted.  Not ever.  Life is precious and, when lived with the knowledge that it can in fact
be taken from you at any given moment, it is beautiful.  Here's to second chances, to
starting over, and to making the most of each and every experience.


Lily B said...

I have been following your blog a while now and have never commented before. But I love your blog and your family seems so tight knit and sweet :)
I remember reading about his accident so vividly because of how much heart was poured out into each word you wrote. (It was almost as if you had been just as gravely injured, having to see your husband hurt, which shows how deep yoir love runs!:))
Reading each bit of recovery you've shared has been and inspiration and has always put a smile on my face :) thank you for writing so beautifully the struggle and strength you've been through, it's been a blessing to get to see you all over come these trials :)
Best wishes on this anniversary!

jodihall said...

K totally teared up at the end. Such an amazing video and great journey. It is so wonderful to see how far he has come in his recovery!

Caitlin A. said...

I can't believe it's been a year! So awesome that Shawn has made such a great recovery. Very happy for you guys. <3

Kara Motts said...

Cheers to 1 year later! You are so inspiring and I pray for you and your amazing family often. (Also I have something to send you so will you email me your mailing address?)

Jessica said...

Wow. Beautiful. I can't believe it's been a year. I'm sure it felt like a long one to you, but really, look how far you guys have come in this year. So happy for you!!

Ashley said...

That video and this post left me and Alan speechless and in tears. We love yall and are so proud of yall! Wow! Your love is contagious. Second chances are awesome.