Monday, July 11, 2011

M.S. Education Monday: Sharing my Thoughts

In June, the Nancy Davis Foundation;, sponsored an essay contest entitled "I have M.S. but M.S. does not have me."  Patients from across the globe shared their stories hoping not only to inspire but help educate others on the trials and triumphs people with this disease face.  Although I did not enter the contest, I thought I would share what I would have submitted with my friends and followers.

I Have M.S. but M.S. does not have ME!
By: Sarah Brooke Nida, June 2011 (diagnosed August 2010)

I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am a teacher. I have M.S. However, M.S. does not have me!!  I have believed since day one of this journey that I would not allow this disease to define who I am or who I will become.  I have chose to view this as a bump in the road on my "journey of life".  Although Multiple Sclerosis could be the scariest adventure for me yet, I am prepared to accept the challenge and hopefully conquer in the end. 

I have made the decision to not live in fear and to accept the reality of this new journey.  Losing my sight was by far the last thing I thought I would ever endure.  When I would think about possible bad things to happen to me, going blind was never one of them.  I took my health, my vision and my freedom for granted.  I watched the world pass by me without taking a moment to enjoy the view and truly take it all in.  Now that I have been blessed with the return of my sight, I will never take these simple moments for granted. 

I will spend my days not only educating myself, but others on the disease, the effects on the patient and their family.  I will become an activist for those fighting that are unable to do so.  I will walk and run and throw my hands in the air with excitement.... BECAUSE I CAN!!  I will spin my children around in the front yard and carry them in my arms knowing that I am one of the lucky ones.  I am lucky to walk on my own two feet and feel everything around me. M.S. may have taken some of my sight, but it sure has not taken me.  

I will continue to find the humor in the times I forget something or have to ask what the t.v. screen says.  I will take my shot and pray that it continues to work for me.  I will spend hours in the waiting room at every doctors appointment and continue to remind myself... I am lucky to be alive.  My diagnosis was an awakening of sorts for me.  I see the world and those around me in a completely different light.  I am more confident, grateful and most importantly content with who I am and who I will become.  I am not a label or a statistic.  I am Sarah Brooke and I have M.S., but M.S. most certainly does not have me. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A true example of strength...

Tonight I watched the amazing story of an incredible person; Jaycee Dugard.  I was overcome with several emotions through this two hour story.  Emotions of heart break, sadness and sheer anger all flooded me as I listened to not only her journey, but her mothers. I am instantly inspired when I hear of people who have overcome terrible situations in their life and surprisingly walk away with an optimistic and joyous outlook.

Jaycee's story offer good life lessons.  Take time to enjoy the simple things.  Hate serves no meaningful purpose.  Life each day to the fullest.  Never give up.  Never stop loving those who deserve it.  Take time to kiss your kids, no matter how busy you are or if you will be five minutes late to work.  These are just a few of the phrases I jotted down as I watched.  I cannot wait to read her book and learn more about her strength and determination.

I hope that all of you will take the time to reflect on your life and just how lucky we all are.  No matter the situation we face, it could always be worse.  Illness, divorce, death, financial issues, unemployment, etc... all cause us to question not only our faith but our attitude.  We must always remember that every day in life has a purpose.  Even if it seems to be the worst day you've faced most likely there is a lesson to be learned or a unexpected miracle waiting on the other side.  Take time to enjoy your family, love your kids and appreciate the wonderful things in life.  With a little but of patience and a lot of hard work we all can take time to "Live each day to the fullest, whatever that day may bring." (J. Dugard)

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Monday, July 4, 2011

The sweet smell of.... Freedom

Well, I have been absent from blogging lately. For those of you that follow my blog, I apologize.  But, I have been working on personal projects and spending as much time as possible with my children on their short summer break!!  So, I though there was no better day than this one to share my thoughts!

Freedom is something we all take for granted.  Freedom comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.  For America, this is the day that we declare our Independence.  For some, this may be the day they celebrate their freedom from an array of many different things. For me, this is the week that I declare my Independence from my children for the next four days!! Haha!! For all you mother's out there, I know you can understand my excitement.  I will be working for the next several days so my kids will be enjoying some fun in the sun!!

Being a single mother comes with many rewards and many sacrifices.  It is important for me I have noticed to have some much needed time to "re-group" and "re-energize".  I can tell when I start to lose my patience and compassion to the twins sensitivity and needs. But, when you deal with the constant arguments and complaining for weeks you tend to perfect the art of tuning out!! So needless to say, these little breaks from my reality are much needed.  Although I am glad that I do not have to share my time with my ex-husband, I am VERY happy to share my time with my family! :)

So, what does this Freedom holiday bring to you?? I hope whatever it is... it brings you a smile to your face!! We only get one chance to do this so... Love the life you live!!  More to come soon... I have lots to tell you about from the past month!