Have you ever walked down the aisle at the grocery or greeting card store and seen all the events that are celebrated with a card? Anniversaries, get well, miss you, good luck, new home, and a million different holidays. And there are birthday cards, but no where will you find a Re-Birthday card. That’s right, Re-Birthday. Never heard of it? Let me explain.
Six years ago today my wife, Diane, had a stroke. While she didn’t suffer any paralysis from the stroke she did lose the ability to communicate. In the middle of her stroke she was desperately trying to tell me something was wrong and all that came out was jumbled up words that made no sense in the order she was speaking them. She would later tell me that while I was hearing “Cowboy rain pajamas” she was trying to say “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” While she was writing “Morning lawnmower.” She was trying to write “I need to go to the doctor.” Get her to the doctor we did and the team at Aurora South did amazing work to stabilize Diane and get her on the road to recovery. For the first couple days Diane’s speech didn’t return. She could get a word out, but no two in a row that made sense. The hospital speech therapist visited and gave her a picture board so she could point at the things she was trying to say, or ask for. Diane threw the board and refused to use it. Then on the third day of her recovery, her rebirth happened. Our Priest, Father Steve Adams, visited and asked Diane if she wanted to pray. She said yes…and when asked which prayer she slowly managed to say the Lord’s Prayer. So we held hands and started with Our Father, and Diane said every word of the prayer in perfect order. It was loud…it was clear…and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in my life. I believe that was when Diane was re-born. Father Steve still talks about it being one of the most powerful moments of prayer he’s ever seen. From that moment on Diane’s speech continued to make its way back, slowly at first and then much faster with the help of the brilliant team at Spalding Rehabilitation. I have often told them they did too good a job because she gives me more orders now than she did before!
In the six years since Diane had her stroke she has been a rock and has helped many people through their own obstacles. Even though she still is overwhelmed at times by large crowds and loud events, you likely wouldn’t know she had a stroke if you didn’t know. On August 6, 2006 Diane was given a second chance, re-born if you will. She certainly isn’t special in that regard. Lots of people are given a second chance. We’ve all heard of survivors of car wrecks and other dramatic events. We know people who lived through heart attacks and cancer and other disease to live long productive lives. How often have you said, “Oh if I only had it to do over again.”? Well, these people, my Diane included, have been given that chance. I’ve seen how she lives differently now, and I know many others who have embraced their re-birth to do things differently as well. But why wait for a stroke, or a crash to start over. Why not have a re-birth moment without the hospitalization. That’s the lesson in all this. Not only should our loved one who suffered be moved to change we who were part of the recovery should be moved as well. What do you say? It’s time for a new greeting card, a Happy Re-Birthday card. You only get a second chance once. We should celebrate it!
That is an amazing story! So glad she is doing so well.Religion is a strong healer. So is L ove..And I know you both have that. Best of wishes to you both.
We went through that with Paul five years ago. He sat on the couch in front of me and started jabbering..I thought he was fooling around and ignored him. Then he dropped his coffee in his lap and I called 911. It was a mini stroke and he survived with no damage.. Your beautiful letter, brings to mind how precious life is.. Thank You for it . Happy ReBirth Diane.
What a wonderful story. Miracles truly happen and I'm so happy it happened to her and your family. God bless you all and happy rebirth Diane!