This morning I have something for you to think about and ask yourself.
Have you ever just stopped and looked around?
Have you ever just sincerely and truly filled your heart with appreciation for everything you have in this world?
If you answered no, do it.
Do it now.
If you answered yes, still do it.
Six months ago, my doctors removed my shunt causing my headaches to become drastically worse. The new plan once that happened was to fix my head through the vessels in the brain. I wish it had been that simple. At the time I was scared and horrified and I did not see how anything could get worse.
I couldn’t see how anything could get worse, until my doctor stepped into my room and told me my jugular was clotted off…
In that moment what I couldn’t see before became crystal clear. Things had gotten worse.
My back basically came apart because of the shunt removal. I was bed bound so long that when I stood the muscles in my legs screamed at me for something that was not my fault.
When my doctors told me my jugular was clotted off, I replied by saying “well can’t you just take the clot out?” The idea seemed to make sense, I thought I was being super smart. Why wouldn’t they be able to do that? Instead of the “yes that’s a good idea” answer I was expecting, I got the answer of “that will kill you. We don’t want to be doing that.”
Now six months later, those same doctors who said removing the clot would kill me, seem to think it is a brilliant idea. My surgery is today.
This morning I look around and I see a lot of things.
I feel a lot of things.
My heart is a heavy weight of fear pounding in my chest. While I usually have a million things on my mind, those things seem far less important today.
A small part of me fears the worst, although I know that it is unreasonable to do so.
I suppose that in this situation I could do many things things, say many things, and react in many different ways, but I only want to react one way and it is because of this that I choose the following words so carefully.
I am Karen Richards. I am me. I am in charge of where my story goes. That is my choice.
This morning is my choice. Nobody is forcing me to get surgery.
Many people have told me how brave I am. Many people have asked me how I stay so strong and so positive. They ask me these things because they don’t know what it is like to be sick. I don’t blame anyone for that because I understand nobody will ever see the world in the same perspective as I do. When I am asked these questions, I want to come up with something clever to say, but then it would probably be a lie…
In truth, I get my strength from many different things and it changes all the time.
I transform into a fearless warrior when I close my eyes. When I see the sunrise and smell the fresh morning air. When I hear my brothers laughter. When I pray to God every night asking that he carry me safely through this surgery. This is how I face my fears.
I am no superhero. I have no superpowers. I just am connected to the world in my own special way.
I appreciate all I have. I appreciate every moment I am given.
As I await surgery in a crowded, anxiety filled waiting room I hear every breath escaping my body and I am thankful.
This morning when I woke up the first thing on my mind was how I was going to undergo a surgery I was told would kill me six months ago.
That is a scary thought…
Yet I will not let fear onboard my ship because I believe Fear is the most vile poison. Fear is easily consumed and easily generated. If not controlled, fear spreads throughout the body. The only antidote for fear is acceptance and love. In order to not let fear be in charge of your sailboat you have to say: I accept the future may not be what is planned, but I am so thankful for all those moments, all those blessings, all those friends, everything that I have. I know, if I should lose all that today, at least I had it for a moment.
Being thankful for everything, this is my antidote for fear. Absolutely everything. I know I have nothing to fear in my future. No matter how many awful things happen to me, the world will still be here. The flowers will still bloom at the end of a long winter, and there will be beauty everywhere. Beauty hidden in plain sight that most people remain too unaware to see.
It is a waste of precious time to sit around and look for something of inspiration, because I guarantee you, you have something to keep you going in your life sitting right in front of you.
Some people will think I am foolish to undergo a risky surgery. I honestly cannot help myself from questioning this judgement I have made. I know it would be easier to skip the surgery and just go to Virginia beach, stay for a week and then go back to Boston. The thing is, my life could be so much better if this surgery works. I will no longer have headaches. I will no longer have nervous breakdowns or psychotic episodes because the pounding in my head does not end. I will no longer have to study for tests as I am sobbing uncontrollably from pain. I will no longer pray for my death…
Why should I let fear stand in the way of all my possibilities?
This morning, I am scared.
Although I am scared I am still in charge, and I choose to be brave.
I choose to have faith in my surgeon who I know would not be doing the surgery if he did not think it were the right thing to do.
In the eighth grade I asked everyone I knew for nail polish. I got nail polish from everywhere. Even from people I did not know. I am asking the public for something once more. I am asking that you accept yourselves, love your lives, and do something brave. It doesn’t have to be big, it can be as small as coming a tiny bit out of your comfort zone. Please share whatever brave feet you accomplish with me. It will be the greatest news to receive from my hospital bed.
You can send me a letter at my home address: 5 plain street Medfield MA 02052
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or use any kind of social media and hashtag it #beingbraveismysuperpower
Be brave for yourself. Be brave for your future. Trust in God and hand him over your fear…
Thank you to all who support me. I cannot even tell you how much it means to me. I will be posting as soon as I can about how the surgery went and my recovery. Sorry if I have been distant recently, this has not been my intention.