Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Step!

Isn't it amazing how one step can change everything?! If you miss a step in a recipe you can ruin the whole thing. If you miss a step when building something then the whole structure could fall apart. Everywhere we go in life we are taking just one step at a time. As we pass the fourth month of this journey I can't help but think of all the steps we have taken.

We Americans walk all around and never once worry about where we may step until it's too late. We step off the side walk and sprain our ankle. We step in a puddle and have soaking wet shoes. Or my favorite we step in what our dogs leave behind and have a delightful mess to get out of the cracks of our tennis shoes. We take for granted the little things we have and then in one half of a second someone we love steps in the wrong place at the right time and life as we know it is forever different.

January 22, 2011, will be a day which will live in infamy in this family. Like FDR I believe the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. (Yes my history colleagues, I know those are two different speeches, but I feel they are both relevant to my argument.) Chaz and I never feared for him to be an amputee. We always feared that he just wouldn't come home. On January 22, Chaz took one step that many people had stepped before. However, he was bigger than the guys before him so he detonated the pressure plate. Statistically he should not have survived that blast. Statistically other guys around him should have been injured. But sometimes statistics are wrong. I have never been so happy for statistics to be wrong before. I am a numbers person and I rely on statistics for a lot of things. I am thankful everyday that Chaz was able to show that stats are just stats, they don't predict it all. My awesome hubby survived and all of his guys made it out unscratched.

Now months later we are in a different part of this process. We are taking steps every day towards our recovery and towards our new normal. Now we cherish every step Chaz takes. We have to walk ahead of him and look out for cracks on the sidewalk or toys that may have been left out. We have to be cautious of where we go to eat. We have to be careful everywhere we go. Some places are just not disabled friendly enough. We "leg walkers" (Chaz's new favorite term) take all this for granted. Obviously the world is built for us, there's a lot more of us. But when someone you love becomes disabled you see the whole world differently. You seek out the obstacles so you can make them easier for your loved one.

I hope that one day you will all see Chaz walk in person. It is truly inspiring. I did tear up every time for a while, but one day the tears just stopped. One of the people here told me I am just out of tears. Here at WRAMC, they see this all the time. I have been told you reach the level of peace where you just want to heal. I truly believe Chaz and I have been there for a really long time. All we're ever wanted was to just heal and move on. And one step at a time we are reaching that goal. One day Chaz will be six foot tall again and will be running like he wants to. Chaz has proven to me that disability is just a frame of mind. Sometimes to just have to attack the plan at a different angle and go out of your comfort zone and not be afraid of the looks you will get. One thing is for sure we are not afraid anymore. We are not afraid to ask for help and we are not afraid to ask questions to make things happen.

We are so thankful for everyone who has helped make our steps easier. We are thankful for those who want us to have everything we had before. We are thankful for those who want us achieve our new normal. We are thankful for those who are making everyday normal tasks as normal and as easy for Chaz as they possibly can be. We are thankful for those who love our family so much and want to help us succeed and help us laugh our way through what could have been a tragedy. So thank you for all your support! Together we will achieve our new normal step by step.

=) Jessica

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