Who Am I?

This will not define me.

This will not define me.

These words kept running through my head.

Those, and---"What the heck just happened???"

And---"Holy Mac!--- Is this really happening to me?!?"


I was coming to realize my life had just taken a big ole turn,

an exit really, off the path of "normal".


It was 10 years ago, the late summer of 2010.

I was alone in a dark and quiet hospital room.

I literally could not see straight.

I could not sign my own name.

And my legs would not do what I told them to do.

I could not walk.

That night. I vowed to myself to get back to who I was.

Who I was before... before, a small clot blocked the flow of blood in my brain, causing a stroke.


My husband, John, and our two children were at home.

Zach just 6 and Julia not yet 2.

Our plans were to go camping in the morning, with my Mom and Dad and my three younger brothers and their families.

I had Julia's 2nd Birthday Party to plan and execute.

Also, our neighborhood Halloween Extravaganza was fast approaching, and that involved me making a massive amount of chili and decorating the house and yard with all things spooky.

There were clothes to wash, beds to make, dishes to put away.

I loved it all.

But yet...


One week later, the sense of emergency has faded. I am now in a rehabilitation hospital. Pondering the the nature of my new reality.


Who Am I?

Is the very question I was asking myself that morning at Mission Oaks.

I was taking stock, gathering pieces and putting myself back together.

Who Am I?

If who I thought I should be was no longer an option.

Who Am I?

If my world is no longer defined by straight lines.


What is my core?

Because I am going to need that strength.

And the funniest thing popped into my head.


I Am Good.


Really?

Is that it???

I think I was hoping for something more grand.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized,

good is grand.

It is a strength to look for good in a moment, to look for good in others, and to look for good in myself.


And, I also came to realize that part of who I am,

is who and what I love.


I love my family and friends.

I love airports and train stations and bus stations and trail heads.

I love that feeling just before the starter pistol fires at the beginning of a race.

I love rocks.

I love clay.

I love grocery stores in foreign countries.

I love a warm cup of tea held with both hands.

I love the quiet of a place of worship...no voices...but just the sounds of humans together.

I love frogs.

I love the ocean, especially that point where the water and the shore meet, a cross over point.

And, I love sweeping the sidewalk. It gives me great satisfaction.


There is, and never was, a going back to who I was before my stroke.

I was naive to think so.


And.

I have been defined by it.

It is one of those events that marks a spot on my personal time line---with a before and an after.

It has added another layer to who I am.

But it is not all of me.


Who are you?

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#lillistones #stroke #whoami #saygooddogoodbegood


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