On April 9th, 2013, my dad fell around fifteen feet from a ladder while installing cable at work. His head hit pavement and he suffered a subdural hematoma, fractured skull/spine, broken ribs, and left side weakness and would later develop a blood clot. He was at Metro Health Hospitals in Cleveland, OH for about 2 weeks before they transferred him to in-patient rehab where he spent around 4 months before finally coming home. The day this happened I was living in Columbus with one of my best friends. The day I got that phone call was the day my life changed completely.
I never returned back to Columbus save to collect my things out of my apartment to move them into my parents’ home because I made the difficult decision to leave my entire life there and help my family in Cleveland. It was what I needed to do to help out my mother and be there for my father during his recovery process, which they are eternally grateful for. But, it really ate me up inside because I had to give up my cats, I had no friends in Cleveland (especially friends to help me through the pain I was dealing with) and I gave up the freedom of being young and out in the world on your own. It was a lot to deal with while also coping with the fact that my father was no longer the man I grew up with and never would be. However, in the midst of deep despair and the asking of the age old question, “why me,” I discovered the answer. Things happen for a reason, no matter how terrible they may be, I believe everything has purpose.
Through these times, I have embarked on a journey of self-improvement and self-discovery. I realized that when looking at life, you can choose the way you see it and live it. You can dwell in negativity and beg for pity, or you can find strength, rise above and find the beauty and positivity in the situation, because there always is.
Though, I’ve lost a large piece of my life with my dad, I have a brand new one to discover, learn and fall in love with all over again. I now volunteer at Metro Health Hospitals, on the same floor my dad was on for 2 weeks, speaking to families who are in the same position I was once in. Volunteering is a gift I receive once a week. There is no one, but me and those families, who will ever understand how much the gift means.