How do you measure gaining a fresh perspective on life?
Is it with footsteps? Absolutely terrifying at first, one crutch in front of the other. Gradually, they turn into confident strides, and eventually, the pain is gone. Every single step I have taken since April 23 has proved that pushed to my physical limits, I only become stronger as I push back.
Maybe it’s with peanuts. Throwing shells on the floor and cracking open a beer each Friday night at a local bar with my parents and often, friends, too. It is the scene of possibly the only real conversation I’ve ever had with my father; where I laughed with old friends and where I made new ones as I rediscovered my roots.
Perhaps it’s with words. On get-well cards, in text messages, over much-needed phone calls. From family, friends, co-workers and Hip Sisters, those words of encouragement were my connection to people I love and the life I wanted back. And they proved no matter how much I can handle on my own, the support of others is invaluable.
But mostly, I think it’s time. Nearly six weeks in my hometown. Nearly six weeks to get to know my mom again, to spend final moments with my grandma, to breathe the soothing Montana air, to accept the fact that my body may try to fail me far too early in life but that I can be happy anyway.
How do you measure a decision that lets you draw a deep breath completely absent of regret and fear? There is absolutely no price to place on it all. A walk in the park. Conversation with friends. Return trips to Montana. They all have new meaning, and I’ll forever be grateful for the summer of 2008, when I fixed my hip and healed my spirit.