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Our Lives Can Change in an Instant

We need to be grateful for what we have and patient with those who are struggling. Our lives can change in an instant. An accident, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, terminal illness, natural disaster, loss of employment, divorce, and many other things have the power to end our lives as we know them and change them into something completely different.

I recently crossed paths with an elderly gentleman who suffered a stroke last December. He told me that he was shocked at how much it changed his life. He suffered his stroke when he was home by himself on a Sunday and knew immediately that he was in for a lengthy fight to recovery. His stroke robbed him of his ability to walk and took a great deal of his speech from him. He knew he was going to need extensive rehabilitation to regain his mobility and speech.

He had a job that he enjoyed and was doing okay for himself. He didn’t have a lot of disposable income, but he was able to live in modest comfort between his job and his Social Security.  When he was finally strong enough to contact his boss, he told her that he expected be off work for a couple of months. It’s been over six months, and he’s still trying to recover. He has been able to regain speech, but he has not been able to return to work yet due to his mobility issues. That means he isn’t being paid.

The physical obstacles he faces every day are immense, but the loss of income from his job is what has hit him the hardest. Couple that with medical bills, and this poor guy is in a really bad spot. He told me that he spoke with his boss a few days ago, and he still has a job if he can recover enough to return to it. He desperately wants to return to work. He told me his job gave him a reason to get out of bed every morning. In addition to being an important source of income, his job was how he engaged in social interaction. He feels lost without it.

He’s making a comeback physically. He is able to get around with a walker, and he can drive himself around now. Just that much independence is far more precious than he ever realized. He tires easily, but pushes himself to his limit. He told me that he’ll never get better if quits every time he gets tired.

Hearing his story and seeing him fight to make his way to his car after our conversation made me realize how much I take for granted. My health isn’t the best, but a set of stairs or a long walk won’t keep me from a destination. I may get frustrated with my job at times, but I am able to get up and go to work every day. My new friend would dearly love that ability.

I was inspired to take a good long at my life and realized that I am one blessed woman. I have a sturdy roof over my head, food in my belly, clean water, electricity, a job that I like most of the time, a family who loves me, and the ability to climb a set of stairs to have a conversation with someone. Yes, my life is good.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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