Another Lap Around the Sun

I have written about it a handful of times, and each time, I’ve found that my relationship with the anniversary of my accident has evolved. The first few years, I didn’t need a reminder because I’d been counting the days, breaths, and heartbeats that I’d survived along the way. At five years, I couldn’t find the words. When the decade came, it was time to exercise some demons and celebrate. Now here we are at 14 years and, as always seems to be the case, it’s hard to wrap my head around just how far I’ve come.

I look back at pictures of the early days and remember just how disoriented I was in the months and years after my accident. For a long time I couldn’t leave my room, let alone my house, or even the block we lived on. This life just did not make sense. I never could’ve imagined that six years later, the cute nurse from rehab would wander back into my world and show me how to “do life.” And when the mosaic we built during our two-year whirlwind relationship came crashing down and I found myself at the lowest point of my life, I clung to one question like a life preserver: Where will I be six years from now?

And now here I am, living a healthy, productive, and meaningful life on a level I could not have have fathomed back then. I’ve got a semi-regular gig writing for one of the leading disability magazines, my little pet project has gained traction and is building a critical mass up here in the Pacific Northwest, and, oh yeah, I’m on the verge of marrying a woman who has played an integral part in helping me get here by standing by my side as I’ve pushed past comfort zones of all kinds.. It’s a level of productivity and motivation I’ve always wanted, but never truly thought I would find post-injury.

On the one hand, it’s a testament to all of the work I have done on myself, especially in the last six years, on my mental, spiritual, and emotional fitness. On the flipside, I know none of it would have been possible without the hordes of people who have been there to catch me every time I fell and helped carry me until I figured out how to make this life make sense, especially my mom, my dad, my sister, and Kristen. I know there’s no proper way to thank each and every one of you except to continue pushing forward to help others as you have helped me.

The only question now is where will we all be six years from now? If the last 14 years have taught me anything, it’ll be a mixed bag of the sour and the sweet, but we will get there together.

Comments

  1. Love it Kenny, especially the sour and sweet..lol, ROCH, let’s have another adventure with the three of us.

  2. Uncle Johnny and the Macs says:

    As Pa would says, “Keep smiling!” It is a life saver. Love you Kenny. Uncle Johnny and the Macs

  3. ❤️

  4. Lisa Grieco says:

    Fourteen years ago I was in a sales job that I hated. I happened to find an article you put on social media…the format was very different back then. I don’t even know how I happened upon your story….but I did. I was mesmerized by this handsome young man who was an extreme athlete who loved his family with all his heart and suffered a terrible and unfair happening in his life. Seven years ago I graduated with an A.S. in Respiratory and I specialize in working with Quadrapalegic patients who are ill and have trouble with airway management. Some are vented and some are not. I know the monumental task that you face each day and the real struggle you have to maintain the level of health others take for granted. You are a courageous young man who has come a long way and no doubt will continue to persevere. As a fully functioning adult who takes things for granted on a daily basis I just want to say thank you. Thank you for reminding me to count my blessings and to stop taking things for granted. God bless and may you continue to live a happy and healthy life. Carpe diem!

  5. Hey Kenny! Still following you even after Microsoft Spaces shut down. Remember that?

    Love your words. I love you, man. Joel from NYC here.

  6. Laura Remme says:

    Well said — thank you for sharing.

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