Late 20’s, the years of early adulthood devoted to finding yourself and harnessing the newfound independence you have gained. Late 20’s are a time in life when there remain comforts from the past but also a dizzying array of changes for the yet to be fully discovered future. Shortly before we had our second child, my husband and I, along with our first daughter, made a journey half-way across the country returning home once again. We were welcoming the opportunity to reconnect with family that had been absent from us due to distance but never far from our hearts. During this time, my seizures were growing increasingly dangerous. We believed answers would be found soon to help decrease or stop epilepsy’s hold on my brain. We held onto this hope until the day I awoke to darkness.
I learned in an instant what some people spend a lifetime trying to understand. The life lessons taught to me at age 27 were amazing, hopeful and profound. When you fall down, you can lay there in self-pity or work hard to stand again. When you laugh, you can find the voice you never knew you had. When you lose your sight, it is then you can find a vision. When your body fails you, it is at that time you will find the passion in your heart and acquire an inner-strength never before known. You will realize those nearest you can save you. And most importantly, when you hurt not only physically but mentally, too, there is hope that can be found. In the bottom of an empty cup, there are secrets that can be offered: motivation, love, and laughter. And yes, once again, hope.
Lucky is the individual who lives a life with a clear understanding it can end at any time. That soul will live fully and never let go of their passion for life. Lucky is the individual who wakes in the morning and looks around in awe understanding that this day has brought yet another miracle, the miracle to live yet one extra day and have the opportunity to make a difference in all those around them. I had the privilege to take a journey into a world of loss. In the acknowledgment of having lost, a new, rediscovered, stronger life can be found. I remembered hope.
In losing our sight, we can gain a clear vision. In having our physical strength fail us, we can conquer inner strength we never knew existed. In laughter, we can find freedom. In hope, we can find dreams really do come true. During my late 20’s, I learned these life lessons. Usually the quietness in finding peace comes through years of learning and the hard knocks life will hand you. I was fortunate to learn them so young.
I had experiences very early on that can age the body, mind and soul. I learned to laugh when it would have been easier to cry. I learned to find hope within hopeless situations. With life’s gifts, I discovered the wisdom only experience can provide. I was able to find answers I never knew I was seeking. I learned to find tranquility in the personal battles my body could fight. Most helpful though, I learned that in finding yourself you can find strength that will give you power to, no matter how difficult, stand again one more time than life attempts to knock you down.
I have learned that seizures can take not only moments of time, but complete nights and sometimes years of memories. I learned that though the brain itself does not feel pain, it can still feel the pressure as a surgeon’s gentle hands push a retractor against it. I understand that even when your body is strong a sudden stroke, cerebral vascular accident, can take away half a body’s strength and also the ability for movement leaving behind paralysis. When you least expect it, life can turn on you taking away so much of what you thought you knew. I discovered what an exciting journey it is to live not as a victim, but gaining the joys of a survivor. I rediscovered my true power and abilities to find the strength to stand again.