Two Decades

https://plastic-pollution.org/trialrx/coquten-controindicazioni-viagra/31/ get link https://leelanauchristianneighbors.org/disciplines/bpo-interview-essay-topics/57/ https://www.csb.pitt.edu/rating/scott-russell-sanders-homeplace-essay/41/ essay japanese occupation in the philippines https://shilohchristian.org/buy/best-scholarship-essay-proofreading-service-ca/54/ do need take cialis everyday free reason for doing business plan roygenerics.com homework helper place value customer relationship marketing thesis alternative to lipitor and crestor 15 august essay wikipedia essay on why i want to become an ias officer research design research methodology azar nafisi expos rutgers essay thesis question climate change follow link fluoxetine en espanol efectos secundarios see critical ecology essay perspective russian terms of endearment for girlfriend rule of law uk essays adarsh nagarik essay contest https://lawdegree.com/questions/how-to-make-case-study-report/46/ referencing bible essays prednisone side effects how long see url follow dna rna and protein essay quiz nursemaid's elbow presentation This past Sunday was a momentous anniversary for me- the 20th year anniversary of my first stroke. TWO DECADES!! It’s wild.

While it was heavy on my mind, I didn’t focus on my personal situation on Sunday since it was my son’s First Communion. I couldn’t think of a better celebration/distraction than his special day. And it was lovely- a beautiful day of faith, hope, grace and love. And in that way, as I look back, this dreaded day twenty years ago was also filled with faith, hope, grace and love.

My son on his First Communion Day

I still think about May 7, 1997 with a myriad of emotions… sadness, regret, unrealized dreams, and lost opportunities but also gratefulness, appreciation for life, deep emotional connections and continuous hope.

I have been mentally dwelling on this anniversary for the past few months. Mostly because I wanted to have a book written by this date…but that was just an arbitrary date set…and I am happy to report that I am working on a book, so hope it comes to fruition soon. (Add inspiring author onto my resume!)

I look back at that day the week before college graduation when I heard the words, “You’ve had a stroke.” I see my frazzled Mom arriving in my Washington, DC hospital room after an emergency rushed flight from Rhode Island. I remember all the friends who stopped by the hospital to bid me well even as they were on their way to our Booze Cruise Senior Week celebration, which I was supposed to be attending. I recall walking into the tan, sterile Emergency Room alone and noticing the sign listing the stroke symptoms- and realizing that I had all of them. I remember the friends who dropped me at the hospital and sat with me through the procedures and terrifying news. Mostly, I recall the fear of a stroke diagnosis, the throbbing pain of my headache and numbness of my left side, and the awful spinal tap (performed by a student doctor who had never done one before and missed my spine three times!) which diagnosed my stroke.

Lisa’s college graduation.

I also embarrassingly remember how naïve and optimistic I was about my life before that day and still struggle with that sense of loss. Until that point in my life, I had always worked hard to be an overachiever. I always gave it my all in sports, studied hard and received almost straight A’s in school and worked throughout school to be financially sound. I even worked really hard at having fun in college. I didn’t have a passion or purpose but know I was set up for success. I was ready to jump into the business world and give it my all. I literally had a start date ready at Andersen Consulting. I even had a tentative life plan…work a little while at Andersen Consulting (hopefully traveling to see the country) and then go get my MBA. I had California in my mind for that. I assumed I would get married one day and have a family. I never planned to be a stay-at-home Mom but I would be a good Mom. I just had this plan that I was ready to tackle life and have fun.

I didn’t even know it at the time but those dreams went out the window on May 7, 1997 with my stroke diagnosis. I mourn this loss- still to this day. I do a lot of wondering what could have been, should have been or might have been. However, I am older and wiser so I know that life happens while you’re busy planning. God had a different plan for me and despite kicking and screaming against it, I am living His wonderful, perfect plan.

Our family today.

I have learned that I am exactly where I am supposed to me. My life is just what it is supposed to be. I am married to an amazing husband and have two kids who literally make my heart burst (with joy most of the time…;) I don’t have a career but I have a fulfilling, passion filled life that I have created despite my limitations. My life of advocacy and volunteerism has more meaning than I could ever have dreamed of. I am here for my children; I help other survivors and patients; my story inspires others facing adversity; and I most importantly, I am here.

Twenty years ago I never would have believed you if you told me that I would go on to have four strokes, two brain surgeries, two rare disease diagnosis, chemo, menopause, trouble speaking, occupational therapy and many TIAs …but also a wonderful, loving family of my own, a safe nice home and fun beach house with my parents, a “job” where I get to speak to hundreds of people, a blog, a non-profit organization, life experiences through travel and the best friends and family I can ask for.

I don’t say this all to brag, but to remind myself that life is good. I mourn the loss I experienced twenty years ago yet appreciate the ride that life has given me. It hasn’t gone as planned but with acceptance and patience, I am living God’s will and cautiously celebrating twenty years of overcoming!

 

3 thoughts on “Two Decades”

  1. You are an amazing woman who continues to positively impact the lives of so many people! God bless you and your family!

  2. Lisa , having had a stroke much later in life ,1 brain surgery ,3 open heart surgeries..I got to have the career and 3 kids …and I wasn’t ready to see my career end…but you suddenly value life so much differently .The things others complain about or just can’t deal with seem like nothing..and I always say you don’t know what you can and can’t deal with until you are facing it ..when the decision is death or living ..it helps make the decision a lot easier ..surviving beats the alternative. .that’s my motto and what has gotten me where I am today..there are people far worse off than I have ever had it..I consider myself one of the lucky ones .Lisa you and I have the moxie to make it thru each day because we have a lot to do yet I hope you nothing but clear sailing from here on in ..

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