Picture Perfect (Or Is It?)

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I present 2 pictures of a current project I am working on right now. I chose these 2 pictures because they help to illustrate something I feel strongly about and that is that everyone has a story. To judge someone, without all of the details,is just unkind. We cannot form an opinion based on only one side or the side that each person presents to society. Our lives, I believe, resemble the back of the piece in the 2nd picture. The side that is full of tangles, knots, and threads of different colors. The unfinished side. Sometimes one of these knotted threads even comes undone from too much tugging or not enough tightening.

I started this blog, 2 years ago, to document my journey as a wife and mother who is trying to be more optimistic as we navigated the medical journey of one of our daughters. Our daughter, despite 3 surgeries to her shoulder/scapula, continues to require physical therapy. Any doctor, we have seen, has gotten to a point where they have thrown up their hands and the one constant is her physical therapy doctor. He continues his valiant efforts and for this we are most grateful. Our daughter continues to be determined, courageous, and a bit stubborn. The latter is what has carried her through along this journey. Both she and her twin sister have earned spots in the National Honor Society and are talking colleges. A new journey will begin in 2 years.

However, since her injury, both she along with my husband and I continue to be advocates in this journey of hers. It, unfortunately, never goes away as she needs to present “her story” to a new set of teachers each year. What they see, at first glance, is like the first picture above. It is so important for them to understand the back story or second picture. This will help, this new set of teachers, to understand who she is and what led her to this point. All of this crucial for a successful year.

No one should ever be told there are worst cases than their case because only a few know the whole story and see the whole picture. Β What a person may be going through could be the hardest thing in the world for THEM. Everyone deserves love and support. Please take the time to listen, learn, and be supportive of others. It goes a long way!

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Cautiously Optimistic

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blogpostIt has been almost 4 months since my last entry. I did not anticipate not writing for this long of a time. I felt I needed to be in the right mindset before putting pen to paper again. (Yes, it is old fashioned but I start off all writing pieces in this manner)

When I started this blog 2 plus years ago, I did so as a part of my mission/pan to be more optimistic and to express my thoughts as a mom,wife, and teacher. I have learned a lot about myself and I felt that I would not be true to myself if I wrote again before it was the right time.

Don’t get me wrong, to say I am blessed is an understatement. I have a wonderful family, great friends, and good health but life has a way of handing us curve balls. We either make contact with them and deal with it or we strike out and head bake to the dug out. My friends, I have been in the dug out. Too many curve balls for this girl!

As you know, my one daughter has had 3 surgeries so far, on her shoulder, in a short amount of time. We thought we were in the clear by Christmas but then it fell out again for no reason at all. **Curve ball #1

Despite various tests and visits to her doctor, no determination of cause could be made. We were told to seek 2nd opinions and a plan would be put into place by a specific date. **Curve ball #2

The date came and went and no plan was made and no 2 doctors had the same opinion. Her original doctor, in a sense, stated he had no idea what to do next and for us to keep looking. My reaction?? Wait!! Are we now on our own to solve this?? I, of course, only thought this but did not express it aloud. **Curve ball #3

Through my own efforts, a specialized doctor and team were found and they provided us with hope. This is where “cautiously optimistic” comes into play. Based on what was previously written regarding curve balls, my belief in things turning out well has become a bit tarnished. I so want to jump full force into positivity, with this new development, but I am trying to “get my feet wet” as a start.

So much lies ahead. We have been at this for a month now and while there has been progress, there has also been puzzling situations, questions being raised, and a whole lot of trial and error as far as treatment of the shoulder goes for my daughter.

I know that I am a different person after being at this for 2 plus years but I often look to my daughters at their strength and focus. Both of them believe in full force optimism.

I am thankful for those around me that make up a supportive force: Family, Close Friends, Caring Coworkers, Dedicated/Caring Teachers who are a part of my daughters education these last 2 years, and of course my Faith.

One step at a time, one breath at a time, one goal at a time! I continue to learn more about myself and what I am capable of in the future. Great things await if I simply trust and believe and have a bit of positivity! Up next, training for a run? Stay tuned and stay positive!!

Who Influences You?

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This blog came about because I love to write and had this as one of my long-term goals. I have been influenced by many, in my life, over the years and more recently by a few new individuals but no one has influenced me more than my daughters.

As I sit down, to write this first post, I glance over and smile at my daughters involved in a game. This has been a fun packed 5 weeks of summer. In less than a week, new changes will come about as a result of an injury that one of my daughters suffered in November of 2012. These last 2 years have been full of struggles and hardships but also strengthened us as a family. It is important to step back and see this in order to move forward in a positive direction. It has not always been easy and many times it feels overwhelming.

One of my daughters is facing her 3rd shoulder related surgery in less than a year and a half. What would cause most to buckle and crawl into a corner has only fueled her strength and determination. Just a short time ago my daughter was a pitcher who wanted to pursue this sport as one of her dreams; sadly this dream has been forever altered. With this alteration, in dreams, came a realization that the pediatric medical field was calling my daughter as a future dream. We always hope that everything happens for a reason and my daughter is a firm believer that we are led to where we should be; doing what we were meant to do in this world. Not only does she believe this but she lives this each and every day and this is where my quest to be more optimistic originated.

As a parent you want to protect your children and meet all their needs. I can remember being pregnant, with my daughters, and asking my mom when I would stop worrying about them. My mom’s response was “You will never stop worrying about your children.” I was referring to going through a successful pregnancy but my mom was seeing the bigger picture. Truer words were never spoken as the saying goes! My husband and I, like most parents, strive to meet the needs of our children and give them the strength and love they need in life. Very often this is given to us, in reverse, from our daughter who has gone through so much in her 14 years. Her beautiful grace and outlook continues to amaze those that know and love her. Her influence touches many and is never-ending. How fortunate am I to call her one of my lovely daughters?
My ending thought today is to realize and appreciate those that touch your life each and every day.