Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another day...another step ahead

It's so rewarding to see your children follow their passion and do what they love. Especially when they do it well. Joe is my uber-athletic child. He runs fast, jumps high, trains hard and he's very competitive. Currently, his sport of choice is cheerleading, which he does at Holmes Community College. He is also very serious about weightlifting.

Nicole is athletic, too, but in a drastically different way. Although she played soccer in high school, she's not much of a team sport player. Unless the team is assembled on a stage, with the intention of entertaining an audience. But she has always worked as hard as any athlete, with her training in dance studios and Pilates studios.

Because I know what her body looked like and was capable of before her accident, it's painful to watch her labored steps now. She wakes up stiff, and she doesn't skip and hop from her room to the kitchen in the morning for that first cup of coffee. But she keeps on going. She doesn't roll over in the bed, choosing not to get up because it hurts. She just pushes through, doing what she needs to do so that she can make it another day...taking another step ahead.

Today Nicole will be back in the therapy gym afer five days away. It will be a little harder because of that, but I know she won't give it any less effort. As a matter of fact, she'll probably push herself a little harder.

Yesterday Nicole's new Personal Care Assistant, Kate, was certified by Nic's case manager with the Dept. of Rehab. Services. That's good news all around! After the case manager left, Kate took Nicole to Wal-Mart. I'm convinced that's good for Nicole in many's getting out of the house, and shopping therapy is always a good thing! But even better, it's good physical therapy, because Nicole actually pushes a shopping cart around the store. It takes us back to when Nic was learning to walk for the first time, around the time she was turning one. We had a little toy shopping cart that she would push. It was so funny to watch her face when she realized she was walking while pushing the cart! It was a look of surprise and great self-satisfaction--the same look I have seen on her face in Wal-Mart as she pushes the cart there!

Overall, Nicole's spirits are good, but she is still battling a little sadness that surfaced around the time of the first anniversary of her accident. A busy schedule and her intense focus on developing her motivational speaking career is helping. Her new website is functional, but doesn't have the graphic design elements she wants--yet. You can see it at Nicole has several speaking engagements scheduled at area schools this month and next, so that will allow her to motivate and inspire hundreds of people while honing her presentation skills. She has joined the Natinoal Speaker's Association and will begin attending Toastmaster meetings. She's as serious about this new career goal as she has ever been about anything else she's put her mind to.

I'm going to take Nicole's coffee back to her room, because it's another day...and for Nicole, another step ahead.

Blessings to all who read this!

1 comment:

  1. Susan, I've been amazed at Nicole's energy, her spirit, her positive attitude, and your family's faith ever since I started reading about Nicole on CaringBridge. Little did I know that I would be in a similar position as you, with a daughter whose future is suddenly in limbo and one that is full of challenges. I have gathered strength during this time from Nicole's story, as well as the stories and faith portrayed by so many others through CaringBridge. I only hope my daughter, Laura, can meet her challenges with the determination, power, and grace that Nicole has shown. Laura is much better now, but still has a long journey. I hope she can meet and talk with Nicole when we return to Jackson. Thank you and Nicole for sharing your journey with everyone.

    Kathy Moon