Tag Archive | what is a stroke

Throwback Thursday

Inspired by the #tbt trend on Instagram, this new series will revisit an old favorite from years past on a (hopefully) weekly basis. You’re welcome.

This week’s throwback is a straight-up repost from a (now defunct) blog I kept during my high school and early college years.

I wrote this eight years ago, and I remember crying my eyes out as I tapped away in the library.  It’s eerie looking back at my writing style and most personal thoughts, but I hope it’ll give you some insight to my childhood — and how Dad’s cancer diagnosis this year made our family even stronger:

Courtesy of Magz's Archives

Have you ever had something change the rest of your life forever? I mean, it honestly affected every single day for the rest of your life?

I have.

My dad’s stroke happened exactly 10 years ago today.The consequences from such a traumatic event have weighed me down since that morning, and I think I’m finally ready to let go. Just once and for all, let go.

I’ve got to stop blaming him for his memory loss, for never throwing a ball with me or shooting hoops. I’ve got to forgive him for not knowing who I was when Adam and I visited him every afternoon in the hospital. I’ve got to let go of the fact that he will never be the daddy I once knew, the one that smiled a lot and even joked back with us.

It’s not his fault that it happened. It’s not God’s fault either. It’s time for me to grow up already, and forget about pushing the blame on someone or something.

No one could have predicted that my mom would roll over one morning and find him, lifeless and forever changed. No one could have accounted for causing him to walk with a limp, to be paralyzed on one side, and to have a bitter, pessimistic outlook on life.

Ten years of blaming, hating and accusing has gotten us nowhere. I feel selfish for assuming that he would have recovered, no problem. He shouldn’t be broken. He should be better. But it’s out of our control and he needs me to know [sic] that I accept him.

I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to come to this realization. And yet, I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my heart and my mind.

Appreciate your loved ones, for you never know — one day, they may disappear forever

2013 update: My dad remains one of the most resilient men I’ve ever met. His strength is awe-inspiring, and I’m thankful every day for how much our relationship has grown in the past few years.

My parents spent their 33rd anniversary at the hospital this June. Dad’s receiving treatments at a rehab center on this, the 18th anniversary of his stroke. I love you, Slick Rick … keep fighting the good fight!

Sweet 16

There are a lot of exciting things that a 16th year brings. Wealthy parents may shower their teens with an outlandish party, sometimes documented on MTV’s sickening show. Other kids receive a license and unleash hell on the local roads. But today, 16 marks a personal anniversary that isn’t so sweet.

I woke up to sirens the morning of Aug. 15, 1995. Mom sat at our dining-room table, head in her hands and crying softly. “Daddy’s had a stroke,” she said, and though my 8-year-old mind had no idea what that entailed, seeing a parent weep signals a sudden simultaneous sense of insecurity and understanding.

It was the morning of my third-grade orientation — at a new school, no less — and Grammy would take me to meet my teacher, Mom explained. I don’t remember if I cried then, but I do remember an overwhelming numbness. When adults talk to you, rather than around you, it often forces you to grow up yourself.

Gram took me to the hospital that afternoon. I held Brother’s hand and walked tentatively into the room. I will never forget what I saw and heard: Dad hooked up to beeping machines, doctors giving Mom information about local funeral homes, and Brother telling me that Daddy might not know who we are. Even now, it brings over a wave of emotion that I can’t quite control.

The following months and years brought fresh feelings of frustration and questioning. From walking to writing, and eventually driving, Dad had to relearn every basic function. As the sole southpaw in the family, I was tasked with helping him learn to do things with his now dominant left hand.

He still walks with a limp, and there are days when mobility is not its best. And, I am still selfish at times — worrying how he will walk me down the aisle or complete a father-daughter dance. We aren’t perfect in our relationship, and I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to what I perceived as the idyllic “Daddy & Me” situation.

But, I love him. I’ve learned from him. I respect him for the man he’s become. And I raise a glass to him this evening, 16 years into the new life that was thrust upon him.

I’ll always be your Mouse, no matter what this world brings upon us. 143

At my college graduation … Dad now volunteers at the hospital that saved him, as well as for the local Boy Scouts and elections committee.