I have learned we all have a story, and as I have gotten older, I have become more interested in other people’s stories because these key milestones mark people. I’ve also learned that a person’s story and their past experiences truly shaped how they live out their present-day lives. I am no different.
When I think about my story, there was a significant milestone and life event in March of 2010. I had suffered three previous strokes, and the doctors were having a hard time determining what was causing my continued strokes which varied in severity.
Our story began when my wife and I were in the hospital and minutes away from the birth of our second daughter. I suffered my 4th stroke, and I was in the ER room while my wife gave birth to our daughter alone. I was rushed up to meet little Katelynn moments after she was born; that was a short period, and then I was whisked back to my room in preparation for my next medical procedure, open heart surgery.
Our lives changed dramatically but looking back we call it our stroke of luck as it changed how we look at life. At that moment, it was very hard to see my wife take our newborn baby home with our other toddler to do life without Dad. I would stay in the hospital preparing for heart surgery.
There is nothing like sitting in a hospital room when everyone you care about is it home trying to go on with life without you. It was a time of serious soul-searching and prioritization of life. There’s nothing like spending the day after your child’s birth in the hospital filling out the family will and documenting your final wishes. At that point; life became very real, and my sense of priorities were much clearer.
After my surgery, I spent the next several weeks months and even year recuperating physically but ending up going on a marvelous life Journey including faith and self-evaluation. I will never forget the day that my wife and I walked out of the hospital together, and we looked at each other being very thankful for being able to move ahead in life.
What was so hard to understand was how Danielle and I were in such different places individually, both shaped by the experience?
- All I could think about was life was so short and could end any point in time; I needed to do as much as possible AND do it right now!
- My wife, on the other hand, had the perspective was that life could be over in an instant; we need to slow down and appreciate everything in front of us and be thankful for life’s blessings.
These differences in philosophy have led us to think about life every day and the goal of living intentionally. It also started a lifelong journey culminating in a project that will be a platform to share ideas, resources, and technologies that we have implemented that may be beneficial to our friends.
More importantly, I have learned that there is no right way to live life; we learn from those around us. Recently we have taken on the framework to: Be a Barnabas; Pursue a Paul; Train a Timothy. The truth is there is no right or wrong, and it is really about the journey not so much the destination.
With my personality type, I document and analyze everything. My ADHD is as much of blessing as a curse it seems! My goal is that somewhere in this work there might be a tip, life hack, lesson or story that might help others.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out and find the older I get, the harder it can be to see what is black or white. I do know we are enjoying the journey and hoping to give back to others, share experiences and cool things we see but most importantly to collaborate on ideas via the interwebs with my goal of making every step count at home, at work, and in our community.