Two Teens And Their Mama: A Better Human Being

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Better Human Being


My family spent Sunday with Todd, our friend who suffered a traumatic neck injury this summer while in Hawaii.  Todd continues to make remarkable progress.  I'm not surprised, because he's a remarkable man.

I'd like to think that if faced with similar circumstances, I would be as positive as Todd. But in reality, it would be very easy to go down the other road - the path of depression, what if's, frustration and anger.

Todd doesn't think that way.  This is a man who has had the most basic of human functions taken from him.  He cannot feed or dress himself, and he has to rely on others to scratch an itch on his face, or change the channel on the television.  His wife puts him to bed at night and gets him up in the morning.  He endures several hours of painful physical therapy every day, and long stretches of time when he has nothing to do but sit in his wheelchair and think.

Yet I have never met anyone with more love for life, and a bigger smile on his face.  I asked him if he ever has dark days.  He thought about it for a few seconds and replied, "no dark days, only dark moments.  And then I snap myself out of it, because things could be a lot worse".



We've been friends with Todd for a long time, so I knew he would understand when I laughed and asked him HOW things could be worse.  He told us a story.

Last week, Todd and his wife Tammi went to Harborview Hospital in Seattle for a doctor's appointment.  It was a miserably cold and rainy day, and traffic was terrible.  By the time they finally arrived, he was freezing, tired and DONE.  He knew that an uncomfortable medical procedure awaited him, so he sat in the waiting room feeling grumpy and miserable. Just then a cheerful man wheeled in and checked in for his appointment.  As he turned around, Todd realized the man had no feet and just one arm. Todd looked down at his own arms and legs, and he thought, "they might not work right now, but I'm lucky to have them". And just like that, his smile was back.

Remarkable man.

Todd plans to take his first step by New Year's.  Six weeks from now.  It's not even up for discussion that it won't happen.  He told us today that the only way he can take that step is if he believes he will.  I know I believe, and I can't wait to see it.

As we drove home, I thought about Todd's story.  Not only do I have both arms and legs, but they do everything I want them to.  I can feed and dress myself, and nobody has to put me to bed.  But maybe I need to spend a little more time thinking. 

This accident has made Todd a better human being.  He was already pretty great, but now he's truly inspirational.  He doesn't know what his purpose is yet, but I imagine he thinks about it a lot. 

And I hope that today I will be a better human being.  And the day after that, and the one after that...

Linking with Motivation Monday

24 comments:

  1. What a wonderful inspirational story. Truly a strong determined soul.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  2. Todd is such an inspiration and such an amazing person!

    Jill
    www.dousedinpink.com

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    1. He really is, you can just see it in his smile.

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  3. Attitude is everything. I think Todd's story needs to inspire others . . .
    Sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much Diane! I agree, a positive attitude is so important and Todd is living proof!

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  4. This is very uplifting and motivational... a wonderful reminder of the need for gratitude ;-)

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  5. Very inspirational and I will definitely keep prayers and walking thoughts for him. Very remarkable man and yes to the things could be worse. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I know he appreciates all the good thoughts.

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  6. That's really beautiful. I look forward to hearing about those first steps.. and more. If you believe it, you build it.

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    1. I can't wait for the day when I can write a post about his first steps - it makes me cry just thinking about it!

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  7. It's great that you give him you support when he needs it so much!!! It does help, I know it! Worse thing is when you have to deal with it alone! When you see Todd again, please tell, that he's a really strong man!!!

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    1. I will tell him - he appreciates all the good wishes!

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  8. What an inspiration Todd is! Incredible, beautiful story!

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  9. So glad he is making such great progress! I have been praying for him. He is truly inspirational! I don't know if I could be that positive all the time. Like he said though it's okay to have moments as long as that's all they are. I can imagine he's had quite a few. I get mad at myself when I get down too. There are always people out there that are suffering worse than any of us have ever imagined. We need to realize more often how lucky we are. Things could always be so much worse! Great post Lana and tell him I'm really pulling for him and I hope we get to see that first step!

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    1. Thank you so much Rena. I will definitely pass along your good wishes to him!

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  10. What an amazing story and wow, a really really great reminder of all of the things we do have that we may take for granted. Thank you for that. I really look forward to reading about Todd's progress and him walking by New Years!

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    1. Thanks Kristi. I'm hoping to get him to write a guest post on my blog in January.

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  11. Hi, Lana, you've probably noticed by now, but just if you hadn't found the time to check: you've been featured at Turn It Up Tuesday! Congrats!
    You can check it out at this week's Turn It Up Tuesday or https://plus.google.com/+DamjanaatAppleGreenCottage/posts
    Have a wonderful day!
    Damjana

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  12. Congrats on being featured at Turn It Up Tuesday! :) Well deserved -this is a great post!!

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