I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to post about some of the thoughts and experiences I’ve had since my accident, and today I wanted to share a little bit about perspective.
By nature, I’m pretty optimistic and positive—so grateful for that instinctive tendency I have. It has served me well throughout my life, including the past few weeks. As I’ve talked to people since my accident, many have expressed their concern and support and mentioned how sorry they are. I appreciate so much their sweet thoughts. . . this definitely hasn’t been easy.
That said, from the very beginning, I’ve recognized that things could be so much worse. While painful and serious, my injuries are short term, and I expect a full recovery, even though it may takes months of patience (not my strong suit!) and hard work. Recently, however, our family has experienced something that has made this perspective even more of a reality.
Shanna and Jared have two adorable eighteen-month-old twin babies, Liam and Abigail. Liam has had heart and breathing problems since birth, and in the past month has been diagnosed with Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension, a disease that may be terminal. Jared and Shanna are finding out more and more every day about their options, about available treatments, about the prognosis. We don’t have definitive answers as of yet. . .Liam is still undergoing testing and various treatments. But it looks like his life will likely be a difficult one, and perhaps a shorter one. . . but definitely a happy one, knowing our little Liam.
Our hearts are breaking as we watch the Bridegan family deal (extremely admirably!) with this news, and we are doing all we can to support them. In the meantime, my accident, and the resulting challenges, have obviously paled in comparison. What I am going through is a blip on the radar. . . not chronic or lifelong or relentless. Shanna and Jared and Abigail and Liam will deal with this challenge every day, it will impact where they live and how they live, it will impact many of the decisions they make moving forward.
So, it really is all about perspective, isn’t it? On the day I found out about Liam’s diagnosis, I remember thinking, “If anyone hears me whine or complain about pain or physical therapy or not being able to get where I want to be when I want to be there again, slap me!” We all struggle with challenges, and I don’t want to underestimate the strength and courage it takes to face any of them—even those that are temporary and seemingly “easier” when compared to others. We are all here to do our best, regardless of our circumstances. And we cannot compare various challenges and think that some have it “easier” than others.
What we can do is focus on being grateful, regardless of where we are in life. And we can reach out to others. I have mentioned before how overwhelmed I’ve felt as so many of you have reached out to me. Sterling and I were just talking the other day about how absolutely sure we are that the prayers offered around the world in my behalf have had an effect on my recovery. I know and have felt them, and have recommitted myself to making sure that I pray for others around me, knowing that those prayers truly make a difference.
We are particularly grateful right now for the power of prayer, and for the knowledge we have that our family will be together forever, regardless of how long we have Liam in this life. Thank you for your prayers, and I do hope you’ll add the Bridegan family to your thoughts and prayers in the future. When we pray for each other, reach out and help each other, do what we can for each other, the world is definitely a better place. . .