Not Alone

A new friend I’ve made recently through a spinal cord injury website and now on facebook has a blog that she and her husband created called . I have really spent a good amount of time reading through her blogs and with that her inner most thoughts. It has been a wonderful outlet for me. I don’t feel quite so alone. Not that I am alone, at all, because I’m not. BUT, sometimes the things that go through my head make me feel like at times I could be. Finding this blog by Dana & Michael Ritter has shown me that I’m not alone. I’m not the only person who feels this way and it’s okay to get overwhelmed.

For example, I get up earlier on weekends then on days I’m working, because I get Aaron ready. Yeah, we could sleep in until 9am, but then we wouldn’t start our day until 1 or 2pm. And we are old, and typically like to be in bed, snuggling, watching a movie by 9 at night. So, depending on the day and what we have going on, I get up at 5 or 6 to get things moving. That’s not fun. But that’s just life. We make the best out of it. Thank god for DVR. We catch up on some of our shows, as we are getting ready for the day. I always make him put his hand on my butt or something inappropriate when his mom walks in, and we act like nothing is wrong. We laugh about that all day. It’s the little things, I swear. But do I secretly want to oversleep some days and not get up until 10am? Yeah. But then I’d feel guilty, and we wouldn’t be moving till late afternoon. Just not worth it.

Yesterday at work I was meeting the ladies in the beauty shop. I work in a continuing care retirement community. After introductions, they were showing me all of the different equipment and cool things about the salon. They showed me a wheelchair lift that is great for ladies and gentlemen in chairs that need lifted up for cuts and stuff. They don’t even have to get out of their wheelchairs. Not thinking (because I usually don’t) I said “Oh that’d be great for my husband!” The ladies said “WHAT?” Sometimes I don’t think about things I say. Aaron being in a wheelchair is the most normal thing for me. That’s how I met him. That’s the only way I know him. But sometimes I forget my audience and something that is so normal for me, may be completely foreign to someone else. This what that case. So they asked what happened. I told them an accident in the ocean 3 years ago. They asked if I knew him then. I said no. Then the first thing they say is, and it never fails “you’re amazing. You are such an amazing person.” I just smile and say, something along the lines, well, if you love someone being a wheelchair doesn’t really matter. People usually go on and talk about how “inspirational” our story is and stuff like that. Gag me.

Wanna know the truth? Sometimes it sucks. Balls. Sometimes I just wanna be able to have a bad day, come home, mope around the house with a glass (or five) of wine and watch Private Practice. But that’s not life. I’m a mom to an awesome and energetic 7 year old. He wants to play football and monopoly. And somewhere in there I cook dinner. Remember to give Aaron his pills. Scratch his head. Adjust his microphone. Listen to Brock talk about the weather forecast 8 times in a row and still seem excited. Then get Aaron in bed.

And then there are the normal every day days, that are the best. Like coming home and playing Life on Wii, or heading out to our favorite little Tropical Smoothie Café followed by the boy’s getting hair cuts and then shopping at Target. We love relaxing, chill evenings when we’re all spending time together, joking, and laughing about something Brock would say is inappropriate. I love seeing Brock climb up on Aaron’s lap to play Wii with him, or climb up there at a store and they hide from me. The new favorite is they steal my cart and start pushing it down the aisle but simply rolling as fast as possible into it. That’s a good one. THESE moments are the ones that make me love my life and know I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Truly.

But that’s not to say life still doesn’t have it’s challenges. The lady at work who was trying to give me a compliment about being with a man in a wheelchair just ended up offending me. I don’t hold it against her. I’m used to it by now. Anyone who loves a person and would not be with them because they are in a wheelchair, well I don’t think that’s really love. Or not the kind of love it should be. It doesn’t matter how I met him, when I met him. I fell in love with him. Chair and all. I’m not amazing because I fell in love with a man with a disability. I’m not an example for anyone. Instead, anyone that feels the love Aaron and I do should be amazing, simply because of the kind of love we have for each other.

Don’t get me wrong, we are not perfect. We argue, butt heads, bicker, blow things out of proportion like the best of them! I surely am not perfect. I get grumpy and irritable. God forbid Aaron wakes me up to turn off the TV after I’ve fallen asleep. I’m such a mess of grumpiness I don’t even remember the next day, but he always reminds me! I get jealous. Jealous that I may not ever walk hand in hand with my husband. Jealous that other people have and I missed out on it. I get angry that something so horrible happened to such an incredible person. But through all the crap and imperfection we love. We love each other something fierce.

I am forever grateful for this man. And I’m also grateful for other people out there in situations much like Aaron and I that are willing to share the ins and outs of their lives as well. That makes me feel a little less crazy! Please check out their blog at ! It will not disappoint!

2 thoughts on “Not Alone

  • Cheri Boyer

    I was so glad to see that Dana had put your blog on FB. My husband Dennis had a motorcycle accident 6 1/2 years ago and he went to TIRR rehab in Houston. His vent weaning was not successful and was on a vent for 2 years before we went to Cleveland to see Dr Onders (Christopher Reeves Doctor). Now Dennis has a diaphyramic pacemaker. We were married 26 years when he had his accident and there are still days I get jealous when I see little married couples holding hands because I know I will never be able to do that with my husband again. But then I always think how close I came to never seeing him again and am very thankful. It’s always nice to hear from people out there so we know we are not alone. Thanks for sharing.

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