Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Man at Walmart

So yeah I usually try to be as sarcastic as possible on this thing. 

This time, I'd like share a much more meaningful story. 

The other day I was at Walmart [per usual]. It was a crazy busy day [per usual], and the lines were insanely long. By the time I finally got to be the one paying my life away, I saw a man sitting in a wheelchair. All by himself. It was obvious that he had physical/health issues, and among other things it looked like he broke his leg or somesuch [totally a word]. I was so sad that he was just so alone. 

I was in a mad hurry, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to "hello". I asked what happened to his leg and he couldn't really talk. All I could make out was that he had a brain problem, like a tumor. And immediately I thought, what a small world. He was trying so hard to speak and tell me why he was the way he was, and I looked at him and said, "me too." 

He didn't have facial expressions, but the look on his face totally changed. I think he found it hard to believe, because I was standing and moving and talking [used to it. most doctors didn't believe me either.] 

We shared some mutual experiences, and he told me things like, "I'm paralyzed on the left because my tumor was in this [he points to the right]." In short, almost everything he was saying was something that I miraculously circumvented. If you survive an AVM [my brain problem] and survive the craniotomy, paralysis is almost inevitable. I tried so hard not to cry when I was watching him. I will always feel almost guilty that I'm not in that chair like so many AVM others. There is only one explanation as to why that wasn't me, paralyzed and nearly mute. 

Heavenly Father

In those moments, I think there were a few purposes for them. One being that although life after an AVM and it's belongings is difficult, I live. In ways that most who survive cannot. Walking, talking, moving. I'm like 97%  sure that Heavenly Father was trying to find a way to seriously remind me of what He gave me. At the end of our conversation I just wanted to buoy him up and kept telling him that he is so strong and he survived and he's amazing

As I walked away he said in the most tender voice, "thank you". I'm not sure what he thanked me for, but I needed to be the one thanking. Thanking Heavenly Father for everything and this man for helping me. It was a critical experience for me, and maybe for him too. To find a friend who could share empathy and encourage him. I'll never see him again, but I will always remember that day. 

This quote has gotten me through everything in the past few years:

“I cried because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

5 to the K.

We have had an amayzang weekend! I have decided that this weekend started on Thursday; my dad, +Brad, graced our presence for the, get this, 3rd time this year! It was so fun. We had our plethora of standard sarcasm, dinner, ice cream and movie. See you soon Bradley. Most likely in 3.5 weeks. I have been blessed with so many things from working at the Y. I have made amazing friends. Cheryl is one of them and she is a pure example of selflessness and friendship. She told me on Thursday that if I volunteered with her on Friday to help set up the Run or Dye 5k, I would get into the race for free.99How could I turn that down?! 

Holi Festival in 2011!
The Run or Dye company is from Utah; it stemmed from the Holi Festival of Colors held in Utah every spring at a beautiful Krishna temple. 

We spent quite a few hours running around; volunteering feels great! At one point I saw that the missionaries were my next people in line to help! While we were out, Cheryl turns to me and says that she is giving her free entry to Zane. And I was like...  wait WHAT?

Turns out she is injured and found out that she can't run just a few days prior. I asked her how she is volunteering hours Friday and hours Saturday [at the race] and not using her free entry. She has never even met Zane! But, no. Cheryl was determined to do good for others despite her disappointment. I am amazed. If only I were as humble as Cheryl; I have learned so much with her just within a few days. I ran home and showed Zane his number and shirt! We, the lowly notimeforanything med student family were now given the chance to spend time together, appreciate God's green earth, exercise, make memories... for free. It was a blessing all around! We had an amazing experience! Perfect weather, thousands of fun and happy families and athletes, great music, the list goes on. While +Zane and I were at the race in the 5th wave getting ready to run, I turned around and there are four missionaries covered in powder and jamming to the music with us. Everyone was taking pictures of them they were being hilair.

+Zane is a runner. And I. Am not. While he was off running [and probably finishing 8 hours before me], I kept seeing this girl running at the same pace as me! I decided that I would use her as my motivation to keep going! Towards the end of the race, she runs up to me and says, "just so you know I've been following your pace the whole time!" I couldn't believe it! We became instant friends [and now FB friends of course]. What a perfect day. Cheryl, +Zane and I will always be so grateful!