The Canvas - A Reflection on What Happened to Me
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 9:23PM
Fried Nerves and Jam
"Yes, yes yes!!! Oh my goodness memories!!! 🤗"
This was my initial reply to my childhood tia who shared childhood memories, then asked what happened to me. It had been years. So much to say that I have never said. How can a Universe fit into the tip of a pen. 
I rarely go into the "how". It seems every life challenge has similar obstacles and phases we go through, much like accepting death. So the why is just a means to the journey we have found ourselves on. 
That said, I am always honored when someone asks me what happened, especially children. It is a day and age when finding connection with others on a deeper lever is rarely found. 
I am a wife and a mother of four two-legged people and three four-legged people and used to be a photographer. I was blessed with a career photographing weddings around the world. My success was mostly based on a fluke - I happened to shoot my very first wedding on a Saturday that had a celebrity attached who happened to ask me to send a few favorites to him that night which he liked and happened to be going on Martha Stewart Living on Tuesday. Big breath. Who then showed my images on air and talked about them too. That's a fluke. I came. I shot. I was conquered. 
On October 28th, 2011 I was unloading groceries from the back of my Ford Flex and pushed the button for the door to close which was inside of the interior of the trunk, bent down to pick up my last bag of groceries, stood up swiftly but just as I always had and at no more than a quarter of the way up with bent knees, the corner of the electric powered tailgate jammed into my left temple and stopped it in its tracks. ER. Tylenol. Home. As time went by I kept expecting to heal, but the pain only worsened with every conservative treatment I tried. A surgeon then showed us on X-ray that the natural curvature of my neck was literally inverted. Ten surgeries and twenty and counting procedures, I have been also diagnosed with RSD/CRPS of the spine. With time I developed paralysis of the left leg and endure chronic pain which really needs a better name, like Hell on Earth, or something else lighthearted like that. The greatest blessing is there are windows between the flares. Some occur every 10-20 minutes like clockwork around the clock. It begins with a simmering haze of flame that stirs in my middle spine. You know it's starting so brace you brace into the chair until your fingers turn red and blue. The flame begins to expand and swirl throughout your thorax like a warm bath your mother would make but just a bit too hot. It's then a steel bar unscrews its way from inside the vertebral bones, twisting like a vice - a pressure from inside out as though someone's trying to split a log. Cue the blow torch. A blast turned to high but takes its time to make it from low to medium with style. It's then the child's head begins to crown between my discs. I flash to my legs welcoming our child, 10mm, we're almost there. An all too familiar Hell but then an angel waiting at the end. I feel its shoulders breech through my cord, my body flails  from the bed to get away from this body I'm in. An out of body wale announces my humanity. A fetal position is all I can bare. As the child breathes in its first air, the butcher knives slowly and carefully grind into my thighs, shoving in the grain of bone removing all evidence I was there. My legs shake like a hummingbird's wings not knowing which flower to drink. I cannot move. Paralyzed. My good leg became a weapon lost in battle. I shudder from the outside breathing in my mantra every time, "It's got to stop. It's got to stop, it's got to stop." Three minutes I delved into a place so dark it lies between the light. And soon it will begin again. 
I'm just gradually rising from a chain of flares that lasted six months long. For now I sit in wait. A move to the wrong right can send me down the rabbit hole again. 
This is my reality. 
But it is not who I am. 
I am not the fire. I am not the lazer edged butcher knife that burns through my femur bones. I am not the metal vice that wrench my cord. I am not the pain. I am not that kind of flame. I am solid white. Not because I am pure. It's my sins that want me here. I am a canvas for everything I have to learn and never knew I was. I have discovered the power of our very human spirit. It's thirst for life so strong it could run the rivers dry. I work with those injured in service and thought I understood. I hang my head in shame at the mere thought of assuming what is pain. 
So that's pretty much it. I got hit. It hurt. Then it hurt more. Got into a wheelchair. Then I reflected. A lot. 
Someone asked me how I stay so positive. I really don't. Every day there's something that makes me question life or God. And I feel guilty every time. But there are also  blessings revealed each day that remind me there's a reason and meaning in it all. I am a canvas, strong and stretched to hold firm all I'm yet to be. And one day it will be framed and set on an easel as mourners pass. I wonder will I have left a picture others find meaning in. A life that wanted so badly to fly but God she earned her wings. So it's ok it's me. It has to be someone. A child. An innocent. I hope I'm in their place. So yes some days I am sad but It's thoughts like these that bring meaning to what I have. 
I'll thank her for writing me and answer her so. These words had to come out at some point and time. I'm glad it has been with her. 

Yes yes yes!!! Oh my goodness memories!!! 🤗
This was my initial reply to my childhood tia who shared childhood memories, then asked what happened to me. It had been years. So much to say that I have never said. How can a Universe fit into the tip of a pen. 
I rarely go into the "how". It seems every life challenge has similar obstacles and phases we go through, much like accepting death. So the why is just a means to the journey we have found ourselves on. 
That said, I am always honored when someone asks me what happened, especially children. It is a day and age when finding connection with others on a deeper lever is rarely found. 
I am a wife and a mother of four two-legged people and three four-legged people and used to be a photographer. I was blessed with a career photographing weddings around the world. My success was mostly based on a fluke - I happened to shoot my very first wedding on a Saturday that had a celebrity attached who happened to ask me to send a few favorites to him that night which he liked and happened to be going on Martha Stewart Living on Tuesday. Big breath. Who then showed my images on air and talked about them too. That's a fluke. I came. I shot. I was conquered. On October 28th, 2011 I was unloading groceries from the back of my Ford Flex and pushed the button for the door to close which was inside of the interior of the trunk, bent down to pick up my last bag of groceries, stood up swiftly but just as I always had and at no more than a quarter of the way up with bent knees, the corner of the electric powered tailgate jammed into my left temple and stopped it in its tracks. ER. Tylenol. Home. As time went by I kept expecting to heal, but the pain only worsened with every conservative treatment I tried. A surgeon then showed us on X-ray that the natural curvature of my neck was literally inverted. Ten surgeries and twenty and counting procedures, I have been also diagnosed with RSD/CRPS of the spine. With time I developed paralysis of the left leg and endure chronic pain which really needs a better name, like Hell on Earth, or something else lighthearted like that. The greatest blessing is there are windows between the flares. Some occur every 10-20 minutes like clockwork around the clock. It begins with a simmering haze of flame that stirs in my middle spine. You know it's starting so brace you brace into the chair until your fingers turn red and blue. The flame begins to expand and swirl throughout your thorax like a warm bath your mother would make but just a bit too hot. It's then a steel bar unscrews its way from inside the vertebral bones, twisting like a vice - a pressure from inside out as though someone's trying to split a log. Cue the blow torch. A blast turned to high but takes its time to make it from low to medium with style. It's then the child's head begins to crown between my discs. I flash to my legs welcoming our child, 10mm, we're almost there. An all too familiar Hell but then an angel waiting at the end. I feel its shoulders breech through my cord, my body flails  from the bed to get away from this body I'm in. An out of body wale announces my humanity. A fetal position is all I can bare. As the child breathes in its first air, the butcher knives slowly and carefully grind into my thighs, shoving in the grain of bone removing all evidence I was there. My legs shake like a hummingbird's wings not knowing which flower to drink. I cannot move. Paralyzed. My good leg became a weapon lost in battle. I shudder from the outside breathing in my mantra every time, "It's got to stop. It's got to stop, it's got to stop." Three minutes I delved into a place so dark it lies between the light. And soon it will begin again. I'm just gradually rising from a chain of flares that lasted six months long. For now I sit in wait. A move to the wrong right can send me down the rabbit hole again. 
This is my reality. 
But it is not who I am. 
I am not the fire. I am not the lazer edged butcher knife that burns through my femur bones. I am not the metal vice that wrench my cord. I am not the pain. I am not that kind of flame. I am solid white. Not because I am pure. It's my sins that want me here. I am a canvas for everything I have to learn and never knew I was. I have discovered the power of our very human spirit. It's thirst for life so strong it could run the rivers dry. I work with those injured in service and thought I understood. I hang my head in shame at the mere thought of assuming what is pain. 
So that's pretty much it. I got hit. It hurt. Then it hurt more. Got into a wheelchair. Then I reflected. A lot. 
Someone asked me how I stay so positive. I really don't. Every day there's something that makes me question life or God. And I feel guilty every time. But there are also  blessings revealed each day that remind me there's a reason and meaning in it all. I am a canvas, strong and stretched to hold firm all I'm yet to be. And one day it will be framed and set on an easel as mourners pass. I wonder will I have left a picture others find meaning in. A life that wanted so badly to fly but God she earned her wings. So it's ok it's me. It has to be someone. A child. An innocent. I hope I'm in their place. So yes some days I am sad but It's thoughts like these that bring meaning to what I have. 
I'll thank her for writing me and answer her so. These words had to come out at some point and time. I'm glad it has been with her. 

Article originally appeared on Fried Nerves Blog (http://www.moanavida.com/).
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