March is CP Awareness Month. This post is dedicated to that and to doing my best to raise awareness for how possible a great life is with CP.
Dear Cerebral Palsy,
I’ve spent a lot of time hating you. I’ve spent a lot of time screaming at the people I love just because I didn’t understand you. So really, I’ve spent a lot of time yelling at the people I love over something that had nothing to do with them.
That’s because I’ve let the negatives and hurdles you’ve thrown in my life control me.
I’ve given you a lot of tears. I’m mad at you when I wake up in pain.
I’ve put you on trial more times than I can count.
I’ve wondered if my future isn’t going to be what I want it to be because of you.
I hate how much you knock down my confidence.
I’ve wondered if high school would have been better if you weren’t a part of it.
I wonder what people think when they see or meet me because of you.
I’ve wondered what employers are going to say when I crutch into their office.
I long more than anything to run, and I blame you for the fact that I can’t.
I hate the fact that as a kid, I knew the ins and outs of my PT clinic and orthopedic doctor’s office better than I knew the ins and outs of the playground at school.
The fact that I’ll never play the sports I love so much literally shatters my heart sometimes.
I wonder what my family and friends say to someone before they introduce them to me. Do they warn them that I’m on crutches?
Dear CP, I’ve spent a lot of time hating you.
But not for everything. There is another side to our relationship.
I love you for how you’ve brought horseback into my life. Without you, my horse Concho would not be in my life.
I thank you for what you’ve done to my relationship with my brother. In a strange way, I know that because of you, our relationship is unbreakable. It’s easy to see how much your 21-year-old brother, who has a million better things to do, loves you when he refuses to leave your side in your hardest moments.
When you’re laying in a hospital bed, your body is shaking from all the meds, your leg pain is killing you and you look to your side and see your bother sitting there holding your hand like he has been for the last hour, it’s easy to see that he’ll forever be the ultimate best friend.
I thank you for the way you’ve strengthened my love for both of my parents.
You truly learn the definition of selfless when you try to count how many days your mom has spent on a cot next to you in the hospital.
The definition of love and strength is easy to define when you think of all the times your dad did all he could to make sure your childhood didn’t suffer just because you couldn’t keep up.
All the times he stood in the front yard, kicking the soccer ball back and forth with me and picking me up every time I fell.
I’m thankful for the perspective you’ve given me and how you have deepened my faith.
All the times you tried to knock me down and sometimes succeeded, has allowed me to learn at an early age what it means to truly lean on God.
And our time together has given me a perspective that helps me see what’s actually important and lasting in my life.
So look CP, I know there are still going to be days when I hate you with everything in me.
I know that there’s going to be moments where I let your effects on me really scare me.
I know that you and I are in it for the long haul. I’m well aware that I’ll never shake you.
But I’ve learned that while there’s a lot I hate you for, there’s also a lot I have to thank you for.
And in a strange way, while there’s days I’d do anything not to have you, overall I don’t think I’d change a thing about you and me.
I am the Jordan that I am because of you.