Today’s post is a flash back. A flash back to nearly four years ago as I experienced myself slowly losing the ability to remember what it felt like to stand and walk. This journal was written a year and a half after my paralysis, at a time when it started to hit me that those memories were starting to fade, a time when I was trying my hardest to hold onto the memories. I was just 20 years old and I was trying with everything ounce of my being to be okay with the fact that not only could I no longer feel my feet beneath me, but I couldn’t remember that feeling either. In a lot of ways as those memories faded over those months it felt like it was happening all over again.
Reading back four years later it reminds me why it is that I am ready to pursue this dream of “walking” again, it is simple, my dream is to stand and place one foot in front of the other. This journal gives me hope and continues to allow me to realize that no dream is worth giving up on, because you never know where life may take you. It doesn’t matter how “simple” or “complicated” your dreams may seem, at the end of the day they are your dreams and we all deserve to allow ourselves to chase our dreams.
August 20, 2009
My biggest fear since I became paralyzed has always been that someday I will forget what it feels like to walk and stand. That someday that feeling will become a distant memory and that if and when it does it will make it that much harder to hold onto the hope that someday I may walk again.
Over the past couple of months this fear has started to turn into a reality for me. That feeling is rapidly slipping out of my hands and it feels as though I can’t hold onto it tight enough. I worry what happens if I can’t remember it? Will I ever be able to walk again if I lose that memory? Will I be able to teach my kids how to ride a bike or kick a soccer ball if I can’t remember what those things feel like? What about someday when I get married? As a girl you dream of the day you walk arm and arm down the aisle with your father. You dream of the beautiful dress, you dream of dancing with the man of your dreams as you have your first dance.
I have seen video of myself walking and it seems weird. As I sit on the floor and crawl myself up stairs everyday I look at the stairs and wonder what it would feel like to walk up them. I see others around me just simply stand up and walk into the other room so freely and I forget that simple feeling.
Life since January 21, 2008 has been hard, there is no doubt about that, but that day changed me and although these memories seem to be slipping away I am thankful for that day because it has made me who I am. I wouldn’t go back and change that day; although the days and months to follow were incredibly hard it forced me to appreciate life in a more beautiful way. Although, with that said I would do anything to walk again. To be able to walk down the aisle someday when I get married, to go on a date and walk in hand in hand with someone, to simply get up in the morning and stand up.
I dream of that day and often wonder if it will come. The day I get to take my first steps again and it feels so strange to me that my biggest dream is something that for 18 years of my life I didn’t even think twice about, it was second nature. My dream is to walk. My dream is to stand at my 5’ 9” stature and walk again. I dream of walking into a room with my loved ones and be able to look eye to eye with them.
It is something that I can’t even put words into or explain to people because it is hard to explain a dream that seems so incredibly simple. I don’t know when my day will come but I know someday, somehow, I will find a way to walk again.
For now as those memories fade I just have to stay hopeful that it will happen again someday and remind myself that everything happens for a reason.