When my friend Chris Nesi and I first discussed the possibility of me writing a BLOG we wondered what direction it could go. We could take an easy route, and discuss my disability issues which would be a given due to where I currently reside physically in life. Another was to write about the comings and goings of life in Cedar Grove, yet there is so much going on in our beloved township I am not sure I could do it justice. We could take a whole other approach, a ‘Seinfeld-esque’ approach and write about nothing, not that there is anything wrong with that.
One area that I will address is life after a major health issue. Many of you know about my tumultuous health battles. Not only were they life-threatening, but life-changing! However, there IS Life afterwards! Trust me, I’m living it - and there are just so many things we can do and there are a variety of products and services supporting people with disabilities. Hopefully I can provide a proper forum on this for you.
Going from a full time every day ‘work-till-you-drop’ type of mentality and lifestyle to a forced retirement did not sit well with me. Yes I had to compensate for some physical limitations that are quite noticeable as well as a ‘different’, day-to-day lifestyle. But ‘suddenly’ I was retired. ‘Suddenly’ I was Home, every day. I was not happy about it and nether was my wife Lisa. Yikes! As the goal of so many was to get me home safe, sound and healthy it then became, OK, now what can we do.
I got involved with the Self Help Amputee Group and appointed President. We are not directly affiliated with Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation West Orange but they sponsor us and we meet there the first Tuesday of every month, September – May. This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity that not only helps me help others; it even gets me out of the house from time-to-time. On a serious note, we make a positive difference in each other’s lives.
One reason to mention this is that our friends here at Verona-Cedar Grove Patch took the time and made the effort to visit my volunteer support group at Kessler in West Orange. On Saturday, Dec. 3 we had a Holiday Event. It was Annual Holiday Party and this year we were very ambitious as we invited several companies to join us and show us their particular products and services. It in itself was a huge success, but what happened during the party was a watershed moment for me and our Group.
A member walked in to the party. She – Walked - In. My friend Carol had difficulties – as many of us do, that last year at this time she would not even look at her prosthetics let alone put them on - but with the group’s support – and with real determination by Carol herself, she walked in to our Holiday Event on her own! Needless to say, many tears of joy were shed. It was the Greatest of Christmas gifts!
Here is a link to the write up by Verona-Cedar Grove Patch.
There are a few things quite as memorable as someone getting out of a wheelchair and seeing them walk for the first time. Between opening Christmas cards and seeing if the on-line orders have gone through properly, you can get caught up with the details and so many different things that the idea, the true and joyful meaning of the Christmas Season, can get very lost very quickly.
This year the presents will be fun to give and receive, the get-togethers will be nice. However this season will carry a special moment for all of us who were a part of it.
This year, our gift came early.