The Best Thing Ever
July 9, 2012 § 4 Comments
I’ve been through 5 brain surgeries and about 11 total surgeries in 22 years. I didn’t learn to walk until I was five and a half. I’ve never been able to run a marathon. And yet, cerebral palsy is undoubtedly the best thing to have ever happened to me.
The perspective I have on life is unique. Never take a skill for granted. This weekend, I prepared a meal for myself completely independently for the first time. Ever. (If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the picture. If not, it’s my new addiction, so you should follow me there using the username “erinrbreedlove”.) You’ve ever thought about the skills that it takes to prepare a meal, have you? This weekend, I was able to take a bath (not just a shower) completely independently for the first time. Previously, it had been a struggle due to lack of balance when sitting on the slippery surface that is the bottom of the bathtub when wet. But, the important thing is that I did it, and I know now that I can do it. Right?
My friends are the best. I know everyone says that about their friends, but I think one of the most evident things that all of my friends have in common whether they know each other or not is that they are the most selfless people I know. For the most part, when I need something, they will drop what they are doing to help me meet a need, and for that, I’m most grateful. Though I could write an entire post on the ways in which guilt impacts the things that I ask my friends and the ways that I ask them. It’s a big inner conflict, but I’m working through it.
I’ve met the best mentors in the world. The people that work to serve people like me are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The ways in which they serve the individuals with whom they are working is a testament to a real-life application of the Golden Rule. I’m so lucky. More on that later, however.
It gives me material to write and avenues in which I can share my story. I’ve been able to connect with some amazing individuals through my blog. Some are parents of children with varying disabilities, others are college professors and university professionals, and yet still, some are individuals with disabilities, and if my story can give just one person hope for the future, that’s all that matters in my eyes. It’s not about me. Ever.
I’ll be able to “apply my heart” in a different way than most people to whatever career I choose. Because my legs, and sometimes my arms, don’t work as well as the Average Joe’s, the strongest muscle in my body is my heart, and I’m able to give my passions my all through the fact that though, at times, my heart takes a beating for the fact that I’m extremely emotionally sensitive, everything I do involves heart. And to me, that’s all worth it.
In short, my disability has been nothing less than the best thing ever. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?