Little did we know what lay ahead when we got a panicked telephone call from our father the week before Christmas this year. I share a bit of that journey with you now in order to inspire and encourage you with what is possible when we show up for ourselves and one another... As it turns out, my father was headed for the Emergency Room and a need to have his right leg removed above the knee. At 82 years old, this could not have been more devastating and confusing for him.
There is untold power in having love and support as we face our life challenges. I drove 13 hours to be with him, followed a few days later by my two sisters. The hospital, WakeMed, in Raleigh, NC has a staff unlike anything I have ever seen.
This turned out to be quite fortunate, as we learned that due to poor circulation, there was no other option to save his life but to remove the leg. And so my father began to face the reality of radical change--change to every move he makes in his daily life.
And face it, he did.
Each day brought new nurses, specialists and surgeons for the first week. What turned out to be two major surgeries left him to then face a new reality, starting with allowing himself to be supported for every single move - something which was completely foreign to him.
Truly receiving is a challenge for so many of us. Much less to allow oneself to receive in such personal ways, with nowhere to hide. Every bodily function was now a shared experience for my Dad.
We asked so much of this 82 year old man, who continued to show up and inspire all of us. Even shared feelings--from the shocked confusion, to the anger and frustration, to the gratitude and celebrations of each breakthrough--were all shared to make the journey that much more meaningful.
The long and short of this story is an affirmation that when we are faced with life's challenges, we are encouraged to dig within ourselves to pull up more than we had perhaps been willing or aware that we could...
and when we make those choices to dig deep, we can create profound healing, growth and a more meaningful connection to those around us than we had ever chosen to explore before.
I am thrilled to share, only five days after surgery, this picture of my father - already entering his first day of physical rehab with more staff and wonderful helpers at WakeMed.
The human body is a miracle. The human spirit is a miracle. Showing up for ourselves AND for one another makes all the difference.
I hope you will allow my father to inspire you to also show up to the challenges in your life, willing to face them as opportunities to stretch into more of yourself, as well as to deepen your connections with others in your life. Mutual inspiration is the most remarkable kind.
My dad has already allowed many others to become a part of his support. And as he continues to show up each day, he is living one step at a time into the reality that so much more is possible.
Already today, so recently after this challenge began, he was able to push himself up and down the hallways to see who else might be facing challenges in the hospital.
Who knew that spending Christmas and New Year's in a hospital would turn out to be one of the most memorable of my life, and one of the most inspirational milestones of my life. I am grateful, as we continue forward into the revelations of this journey of change.
Thanks for sharing more of the journey with me. Love to you all... Ron