10 years

A decade. Already? Most times it feels closer to 10 minutes or maybe 10 months, but 10 laps around the sun means I have traveled nearly six billion miles without actually moving a muscle – yes, I did the math – which is pretty damn impressive.

That kind of time and distance affords you the ability to see things as they fit into a larger picture. When I look back on the path I’ve been taken down and the things I’ve overcome, one thing is clear: I was never alone. To highlight a few pillars of support, I have had:

  • My parents, who, when asked 10 years ago where their then-vent-dependent son would be going after eventually being discharged, simply said, “Home.” And when the doctors looked at them with sad eyes and said, “Oh, they don’t go home,” they didn’t even blink with their response. “Watch us.”
  • My sister, whose unfailing love has sustained me the last 33+ years in ways I’ll never be able to explain. You all should be so lucky as to have a cheerleader like that in your corner.
  • My late wife, who took the system my incredible family built, expanded on it and showed me how to do it myself. In doing so, she helped me piece together the me I never thought I’d see again and gave me my life back.
  • My “tribe” of folks who have walked next to me through some of life’s most horrible tragedies and have taught me that the only way to survive the wild ride that is life is by doing it one day at a time.

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which says, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I like to take that notion one step further. I think what lies within us is a powerful mix of the people who have supported and influenced us throughout our life.

So, to my mom, my dad, my sister, my wife and the countless friends and family I won’t even attempt to name who have helped me make it those billions of miles since February 11, 2004 – whether you have given me a ride, fed me a meal, wiped my tears or drained my catheter bag – I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t every single one of you.

Here’s to another decade together.

Comments

  1. Anne Ferari says:

    Kenny, you have always been amazing in every way possible and improbable. So happy you are doing so well. Never doubted for a minute that you would overcome all that you have had to face. So proud of you. Hugs!!

    You post was so well written, we are very a
    proud of you.

  2. Kenny,
    I sometimes think about how many of us are captured in pictures of total strangers just by being on the spot right when the photo is taken. I often think about how many people I keep in my heart without them having a clue about it. but I do believe this has some kind of power. people who think about us all add to the strength we have to go on every single day.
    I hope you understand what I am trying to tell here :-)
    and I hope I am part of a “tribe”, a LOT of people around the world… who think of you regularly… who keep checking your site out from time to time to learn how you are doing. I wonder if you are aware of how important the mission you do is. the mission of making people FEEL again. keep it up, please.

    thinking of you with gratitude… on the other side of this globe.
    and wishing you all the best to this coming decade.
    with love,
    Dia

  3. Paul's mom says:

    Dear Kenny,
    You are loved by so many people you’ve never even met. People who have thought about you and prayed for you over the years. You have touched so many lives. I wish you peace and joy.

  4. Jen shears says:

    You’ve always been a leader with a light that shines so bright it lights the way for others too! It is hard to believe its been 10 years- and I would’ve been more surprised if you hadn’t done the math;)- but your light continues to shine & inspire others. I’m so incredibly proud of you- your grace is immeasurable. I love you- and look forward to what you do with the next decade!

  5. I know it sounds mundane, but I think you are amazing and I wish I had half of the strength and cajones that you do….

    Good luck, keep on keepin’ on and God bless.

    Your friend Leslie from Buffalo, NY

  6. Christy Ingram says:

    And we all would not be who we are with out you in our lives. I am lucky to have you as a dear friend, inspiration, hero, pseudo-brother and role model since youth, just like every single person that you mentioned above is lucky too! Thank YOU for the blessing you have given; not just in the last 10 years but always!

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