When I sit back and think about the magnitude of this crazy adventure we are on, it blows my mind that we’ve survived. I’ve always known that life is capable of throwing a mean curve ball, but I never expected it would be this mean, and come this early in life.
At the same time that I am proud beyond measure with how we’ve handled the aftermath of Nick’s injury, I also know that we’ve been very blessed, and have had oceans of help to get us through it. We’ve been well taken care of, still to this day. We’ve been lifted up, catered to, and loved on by friends and family everyday. In other words, we’ve had it relatively easy.
Two nights ago, one of my favorite shows, Taboo, shared the story of a man who lost his face in a work accident. His forehead accidentally hit power lines. When I say he lost his face, I mean every recognizable feature on his face was burned off, but somehow he survived. The doctors took skin and just stretched it across the bones on his face, and reshaped a mouth opening so he could breath, eat, and talk. He lost his sight, his identity, and the fundamental acceptance from society that we all take for granted as regular-looking people. He eventually got the first-ever full face transplant and now has a recognizable (but not quite normal-looking) human face again, but it’s the face of someone else. The most amazing thing about his story, is that he truly feels lucky to be alive, despite the cruel world he must now live in.
Both Nick and I agree that we’d rather lose our legs than our face, without a doubt. The more incredible stories we hear of people overcoming severe obstacles like that, the more we realize that Nick’s obstacles really aren’t that big. Well, that’s how I see it anyway. I’m not in Nick’s body, so I don’t know the pain, but what I DO know is that one day Nick will wake up and this healing process will be a faded memory with very little emotional suffering attached to it. As time passes, his new normal will begin to FEEL normal. He will adapt. He will not only have hope for physical and emotional prosperity, he will be LIVING it.
In the depths of my heart, I’m grateful for the challenges we’ve overcome these past 14 months. But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to do it again, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone else in the world. But because I can see a bright future for us, and because I feel like we’ve grown into better people, and because we’ve experienced fierce love and pain, and because I’m an optimist to the core, I think we’re lucky. Evidence of our grand luck doesn’t always scream at us, it’s more a subtle tugging on my sleeve, a nagging pit in my stomach, that lets me know to be grateful for all we have.