(Picture of me and Jerry Pattee, the President of UCP Oregon and Southern Washington)
Just in the nick of time, I got my new scooter. It’s a beauty. It does everything I need it to and it is light enough for one person to load into the back of a car! Our first adventure with the scooter was to a UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) Family Conference last weekend.
There were all kinds of speakers and vendors there. While talking to one of the mobility vendors, I told him about the sad saga of my scooter and said, “At least I got two blogs out of the experience!” I gave him my blog site and in a couple of hours, he came back to me and said, “You didn’t finish the story of your scooter!” So there you go, the end of the story is that I am happy and on the road again!
The keynote speaker at this conference was Julie Keon, whose experience raising a daughter with medical fragility has led her to become a writer and blogger. Her talk, entitled ‘Ten Pearls of Wisdom I Gained in Ten Years’ was filled with touching and inspiring stories of struggle and hope. I looked around the room and saw tired mothers and dads with faces full of worry and concern. Some were in the middle of a struggle where it is hard to grasp that there is hope. Julie talked about how she had to put away the expectations that she’d had while she was pregnant with her baby in order to go forward. She learned to be thankful each day that her daughter lived and breathed. Just a few years ago, Julie had trouble breathing too. After several tests, there were still no answers. Eventually, she talked with a vocal coach who had her take a deep breath, and she told Julie that the reason she was having trouble is because she was holding her breath. She’d didn’t even realize that ever since her daughter was born, she’d been afraid to breathe deeply.
There have been a lot of times that I haven’t been aware of the stress I was carrying, for instance, when I was in junior high, I had a mouth full of canker sores and a chronic upset stomach, which was later diagnosed as a ‘nervous stomach’ due to moving to a public school.
I thought about my own mom raising a child with Cerebral Palsy, without the internet or very much support. There must have been times when she found it hard to breathe too! Do you know the areas in your life that scare you, or knock the wind out of you?