In addition to my birthday and wedding date, there are two other dates that I celebrate - July 18 and September 17 - because these were the dates when I had my brain bypass operations. They signify the new life that I have been blessed with along with the lessons that I have learned in overcoming life challenges. My life changed drastically after September 17 because of the stroke that I suffered and various life surprises that have presented themselves along the way.
Anniversary is an opportune time to remember the kindness and support that I had received during and after my treatment. The overwhelming support, prayer and love that I received carried me through the darkest night and gave me strength and courage to face the unknown. Anniversary is also a time to express my profound gratitude to all who have helped me in one way or another, in particular God, the medical team, family, friends and even random strangers. THANK YOU!
Here are the reflections that I wrote on my first and second anniversary. In a blink 4 years have since passed and my sense of gratitude intensifies as I reflect on the amazing life that has unfolded. Allow me to bring you on a quick journey back in time.
Sept 17, 2007: A successful bypass but suffered a complication resulting in stroke. Lost my basic functioning such as writing, reading, typing, calculating in addition to homonymous hemianopia, impairment in working memory and visual processing.
Sept 17, 2008: We've tied the knot and relocated to Bay Area, California. Great opportunities beckon to experience life through numerous adventures. Improved lifestyle, which promoted ongoing recovery and rehabilitation.
Sept 17, 2009: We were in Vancouver en route for a cruise of a lifetime in Alaska. At the spur of the moment, I went for a tandem paragliding! It was one of the most exhilarating and incredible experiences that I have had. I tasted the joy of letting go and trust in my pilot, which incidentally reminded me of the control that I abandoned 2 years prior to a team of medical professional. That act has opened up so many amazing doors that I would have otherwise missed.
Sept 17, 2010: In Seattle for the certification course to be a Bringing Baby Home™ educator. It was a poignant moment as I stayed in a refurbished hospital room on campus, which reminded me of the period where I spent so much time in hospital. That period is now behind me. Wow!
Sept 17, 2011: Nursed a terrible cold at home and worked on a launching my personal website: Winifred & You: Flourishing Together, a dream that has been in the making.
Jotting this down shows me that what I have experienced is nothing short of miracle and grace. All that I had wished for when I went for the surgeries was a successful operation so that I can reclaim my life and not live in fear. I had no idea that my yeses to life would have brought me to where I am today. Life is definitely mysterious and sacred. Learning to live and embrace life on its own term is a precious lesson indeed.
What have you learn about living life on its own term? I love to hear your story. If you know of someone who might be encouraged by my story, please feel free the share the post. That will make my day.
Come, let's flourish together!