This weekend I went to my cousin's wedding. I had a blast, dressing up in my best duds. I managed to pull of a dashing purple shirt and tie, the cane I walk with now only added to the look. I mentioned to one of my little cousins that having a cane makes you look classy and he asked “But WHY does having a cane make you look classy?” It just does.
All I needed was a top hat.
I got numerous compliments throughout the weekend. On my way to the back of the church I got high fives from different excited family members, some of whom I hadn't seen since I was using the wheelchair full time.
It was humbling to see so many congratulating me on my accomplishments. These were the people who let me live in their homes when I was newly injured. These were the people who saw me hours after I had been in my car accident, broken and paralyzed. These were the people who had watched as I went out to college in my wheelchair, only to return home after I realized how physically taxing it would be. These were the people who supported me as I went from wheelchair to full leg brace to ankle brace. These were the people who have urged their friends to pray for me. These were the people who have created a network of people across multiple continents, including hundreds of people, all sending me goodwill and best wishes. I am so lucky to have the support system that I do. If I didn't have all of them behind me I wouldn't have made it this far and that is a fact. This is a journey that can be done alone but is better done with the support of family and sprawling network of well wishers.
If I had a group hug with everyone who's supported me through this I would soon be lost in a huge crowd. I hope one day to hug every single one of you.
I'm continuing on, using the strength that so many people have lent me over the years. One of my aunts said that I exuded a kind of strength and a positive attitude; I don't know if that's true but I guess it must be. What I do know is I have seen myself go from paralyzed at the waist to walking, something that isn't going to be the case of everyone with an injury like mine. I do guarantee that no matter what type of injury you have you are capable of more than you think. A quadriplegic can write a novel with a computer, those without hands can paint with their feet, those without legs can run marathons on prostheses. You may not be able to do everything that you could before but find something that is on the edge of your abilities and do it. Once you accomplish your goal find your limits again and push them. You will surprise yourself and amaze everyone around you.
We should all be able to dance to the music.
No matter what we look like when we do.
As for me, I'm happy hitting the dance floor at a family wedding. I may look odd but then so does everyone else. After all, a guy with a cane isn't the weirdest dance you will see at a wedding; not by a long shot.