Today is seven years since I woke up paralyzed. It is hard to believe. In some ways, it seems just like yesterday. In other ways it seems like it has been a lifetime! 

It is funny how time is. They say time heals every hurt. I am not sure that is true. I believe healing can still leave scars. However, I think that as time moves on, what was once your “new” normal becomes more normal. It doesn’t feel so new or raw anymore. I believe that is where I am now. 

Jimmy and I were married 10 years with me being able-bodied and we have been married seven years with me in a wheelchair. We still have things pop up that are problematic because of my disability, and we have to work through it as a couple, but overall, my disability is not raw or new in our marriage. My younger children don’t even remember me ever walking so I am a totally normal mom to all of my kids. So, no raw or new normals there. My friends have all been around me and spent time with me and I don’t feel like an odd duck anymore with them. Totally normal now. Although there is still a pain in my heart that has never gone away when I miss my walking days or when I get frustrated or feel bad, my life feels very normal. Time is a big part of that.

Today, on my anniversary, I am speaking to a group of women who have been diagnosed with MS. The University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville, TN contacted me about speaking a few months ago. When they told me the date, I paused because I knew it was my anniversary. Would I be able to give them my best? But then I thought what a great way to spend this day – trying to encourage other women who are on a similar journey as mine. Although I do not have MS, a life-changing diagnosis is shared by us all.

So, today as I am entering my 7th year in a chair, time has been good to me. I am so thankful for every physical ability I have. I am thankful for the beautiful gift of life every single day. I am thankful for my husband’s love and faithfulness to me, my children’s sweet hearts and happy faces, and for my friends and loved ones encouragement and friendship. I am thankful for the opportunities God has allowed me to be a part. My life is full and precious. I am not sad today. I am grateful. I am happy. I am encouraged. I am at peace with my life. I am excited about the future God has for me.

In our world, many of us call this day our “Happy Alive Day” because if we are alive with spinal cord injuries it means we are survivors. It is a day to remember and be thankful. I am not only happy to be alive, I am very happy with my life.

Thank you for sharing my journey with me!

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