11
Jan
12

Resolve or Resolutions ?

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that everyone had pleasant holiday. I decided to take a little break in December . I was feeling worn out, after a full year. 2011 was a productive,fulfilling and exciting year for me and my continued activity in the burn community. But it was also emotionally,mentally and physically draining. As my Dad said the other day “you’re not Johnny anymore”. Meaning I’m not a kid. Thanks Dad for reminding me. There was a lot of talking about digging into and bringing up the feelings inside for more healing to occur. I experienced feelings I don’t ever remember having and things I’ve never fully felt in relation to the accident ,my injuries and the many subsequent procedures that I’ve had to endure over the years . Thank God for those life saving procedures and the people who performed them and helped me through it. And thank God for the resolve to continue in the face of adversity. If you want to know who you are,adversity will show you. Not that I’m against fun and laughter and good feelings. I’ll take all I can get,but life isn’t always about those things and there are literally millions of people on this planet for whom they rarely exist. They are simply trying to survive each day. It may not have all been pleasant and still isn’t some times,but I believe it can still be positive.  Having said all that…what about this New Year ;2012 ? I remember coming home from the burn unit in January 1980 . I didn’t have any resolutions and although there was a certain institutional feeling of security that I lost when I left the burn unit,I was just glad to be out of the burn unit and be home with my family. I was far from being ok, but I had survived and that meant I had a shot at getting ok . There was a long and painful road ahead of me . A road which I didn’t know,because I had never travelled  it before. Fortunately for me there were some people around who did know and could show me the way.The way to healing physically,mentally,emotionally and spirtually.But there were some things that I needed to do in order for this to occur. I was told that my physical,occupational and speech therapy would be difficult and painful,but fruitful if I complied. The physical therapy was very painful and arduous . But I learned something from that New Year and the new road that I was on ; I learned that this road is like any other road. You can follow the directions of others who know the way or you can try to find your own way.  Today I prefer the former to the latter. I’ve been taught through experience ( some it rather unpleasant) that its better to listen to someone who knows. I mentioned that I didn’t have any resolutions for that New Year in 1980. But I did have some resolve and when I didn’t others had it for me. To I still believe in resolve  and resolutions . The resolution of issues that hold me back, impede my growth and threaten my very life. That may sound a bit over the top,I can assure you,it’s not. Two years ago this month my younger brother Mark died prematurely  from unresolved and undetected health issues. He was only 47 years old and he died of  something very treatable. Arterial sclerosis . We have a history of heart disease in our family. My uncle died at 44 from a heart attack and my dad had quadruple bypass heart surgery over a decade ago.  Dad is still alive at 84 . Not because he was proactive, as much as it was that he was under the care of a doctor and they caught it in time.  So now I can take a look at the road ahead again in another New Year ,some 30 odd years later . Only this time I can see the road ahead more clearly and  all of the warning signs.  If I choose to not to heed those warnings and signs,their fate could be mine. It doesn’t have to be that way though. I can use the same resolve that I’ve used in other situations and circumstances in the past to make healthier choices for myself. It’s not easy to do. God knows it’s not easy. I love to eat and I love to cook.  But I’m not very motivated some days to exercise and eat right. But if I don’t do what I know I can do to take better care of myself and I end up with health issues,that’s on me.  Its selfish of me not to take care of myself. I have a wife ,children,a grandson and many others that love me and whom I love. I have a life that I never dreamed I could have and I’ve survived a horrific accident. The bottom line is this; if I really care about them and this great life I have , I’ll take care of myself.  Auld Lang Syne


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Beyond Recognition

An intimate view of a burn survivor's life and recovery

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