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Being UnlimBited

A Journey to Fulfillment

Being UnlimBited: The Next Step

We all have milestone days in our lives.  Many of us have more than one.  My milestone day was in 2016.  It was not my first milestone day, and it will not be the last.  It was however the one day that has truly forced me to step back and take stock of what life has offered me and what opportunities lie ahead.

You see, on that day I was in a life-altering motorcycle crash.  The outcome of any motorcycle crash is not good, and mine was no different.  The following day, I underwent surgery to have my right leg amputated above the knee.  On that day, my life as I knew it became unlimBited.

un·limB·it·ed

ˌənˈlimbidəd

adjective

Not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent. Life outlook for disabled persons and able persons alike.

“the range of possible adaptations was unlimBited.”

synonyms: inexhaustible, limitless, illimitable, boundless, immeasurable, incalculable, untold, infinite, endless, bottomless, never-ending

What’s Next?

So, what was next for me then?  And what is next for me now?  As you can imagine, the loss of a limb requires an extended recovery period.  In that period, there is ample time for reflection.  With that reflection comes uncertainty and certainty alike.  Inspiration and insights that lead into the future come from a multitude of sources.  Some of them are unlikely.  Many of them are worth sharing.  Why?  Because it’s knowledge, good knowledge, that can help individuals from all walks of life.

Time to Share

This is when it is time for me to share.  I will pull out the wonderful connections I have in everyday life.  I will share it with you, and I will share it with the person next to you.  Plus, you can share with me.  Your response to the items that are published will help shape a journey through life.  Your contribution will help shape the next step, the next mile, the next stop in the road.  It’s a journey that we can all share.  One that is full of great sights, sounds and smells.  It will take many turns and encounter all matter of elements.  Let’s embark on this journey together.  Let’s be #unlimBited.

Featured post

Emily’s Ride

When I was still riding my motorcycle, I always enjoyed participating in some of the charity rides that were run in communities close to home.  It was a great way to get out, discover new routes, meet like-minded people, and raise funds for a good cause.  One of the rides I remember reading about was Emily’s Memorial Ride for Mental Health Awareness.  The event was started by Emily’s parents.  They had lost Emily in a long and painful struggle with mental illness.  Their response to this loss is both heartbreaking and inspiring. 

The Taylors have turned their personal tragedy into an admirable way to support the program that became such an important part of their journey with Emily.  Their efforts provide financial support to CASA House, a program for youths at mental health risk.  They had discovered through their experience, that CASA offered the level of help they needed, but that funding shortfalls meant that some patients were not able to receive treatment for the duration that was required.  Despite their loss, the Taylors remain focused on this shortfall, and the opportunity to turn that around for others who would find themselves in a similar situation.  Their efforts give us all a wonderful example of the strength of community in the face of challenges.

 Here is their story, in the words of Stephanie Taylor…

In April 2014, five months after losing Emily, I made the decision that I wanted to buy a motorcycle and learn to ride.  We had horses for six years – Emily’s passion – but we had to sell them all because it was just too emotionally painful to be around them as that was Emily’s second home.  Rick had started riding a motorcycle in 2008 and so we were both able to share this new hobby.

We also knew how generous and supportive the motorcycle community is and in September 2014 on the drive home from volunteering at the Stony Plain Rotary Run for Life, (a fundraising run for suicide awareness/prevention), we decided we needed to start a ride in Emily’s memory.  But we weren’t strong enough yet…  In December 2015, we decided we were strong enough.

I put out a message on Facebook to a local motorcycle riders group and almost immediately, I received an offer of assistance from Liane Langlois.  We met for lunch just before Christmas 2015 and with her encouragement and support, we launched the first annual Emily’s ride in 2016.  We met with the CASA Foundation in January 2016 about our story and our vision for the ride and the rest is history.

We continue to advocate for more mental health funding and treatment options for CASA to this day.  We advocate so that other parents might not have to travel this journey that we are on.  We will never get over the loss of Emily…you can’t get over losing your child.  But as part of our recovery, we refuse to sit silent and to let Emily’s memory and how the health system failed her be forgotten.

 

 

Charity: It’s a Life Changer

More than ever, we live in a world of charity.  It’s a time of Go Fund Me, You Caring and many other fund sourcing sites.  It’s a world of ribbons and galas.  It’s a world of tin boxes with coin slots beside cash registers.

Community

Charity has always been a part of a strong community.  The first people of the world settled in communities, which allowed them to share the challenges and hardships that they faced.  Together they built a life and prospered.

How nice then, that our modern forms of charity are so far reaching.  How wonderful that they can bring together strangers from outside communities, to create an even bigger and stronger community.  Generosity within the community transcends former barriers.  A mutual interest brings a new kinship.

Giving

Giving takes many forms.  It can be money, but it can be time, love, advice, interest.  It can be as simple as a smile.  Its essence is sharing, by taking the time, even just a moment, to reach out to a make an impact.

Receiving

As I face my personal challenges, I have been the recipient of charity in many forms.  Through this charity, I have gained strength.  The loneliness that could torment me has been chased away by the generosity of several individuals.  I am cared for.  I am part of a community.  I belong.

Our Community

In the coming weeks, I hope to tell you about a few interesting communities that have come to the forefront of my life.  Some of them were built by charity.  Others by need.  In telling you about them, I wish to acknowledge the time, energy and caring by ALL the people who have touched my life.  They all have my gratitude.

And you can tell me about yours.  Who helped you with something that is important to you?  Who has made a difference in your life?  Who has earned your respect through their generosity?  I’d like to share in your gratitude.  Together we can be part of a community of kindness. Together our charity can be #unlimBited.

Facing Uncertainty by Embracing Change

Everyone faces uncertainty.  It’s a fact of life.  Even learning to walk.  We put one foot in front of the other, shift our weight, ever so tentatively lift the other foot and swing it to the front.  Our first step!

After a lifetime of walking, we no longer have uncertainty and we no longer need to think about it.  It happens automatically.  Our skills become more sophisticated over time.  We transition to different speeds – walk, jog, run.  We turn to different directions.  We ascend and descend from different heights.  We even modify what was originally a few basic steps in the walk and match it to the rhythms of music.  We dance.

This Thing Called Life

Walking is a beautiful metaphor for life.  We progress from one place, and move along to a new one.  The point from beginning to end is our journey.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

Back to Uncertainty

So, what about that uncertainty?  Why are we constantly faced with it during this journey called life?  How can know that we are making the right choices and that we are not straying from our course? How do we know we won’t stumble?

Expectations for a smooth, level and direct route are naïve.  We will encounter many obstacles.  We just will.  The twists and turns and bumps in the road are what add interest to our journey.  They become our landmarks.  Some are so significant that they can count as a milestone.

Embracing Change

I believe being able to shift uncertainty to a positive experience lies in our ability to embrace change.  It’s not a matter of whether change will occur, it is when. And how.  Let’s face it, life can throw some serious stuff in our path.  We can weep or we can laugh.  Either way we still must confront it.  So why not see it as the change we were meant to encounter?  See the opportunity to learn from the change and erase our uncertainty.  Face it head on.  Face it with a smile.

My Journey

I recently encountered a significant change in my life.  I lost my leg and became an amputee.  At times, I feel uncertain.  Just the same I know I cannot control the change.  I know my journey will be adapted, both literally and figuratively.  I give into the change.  I embrace it.  With that I can become certain.  I trust that I will learn to walk again.  I discover I can be unlimBited.

The Next Step

So, let’s help each other.  Let’s find the path to certainty.  Let’s face the change together.  How will we do that?  It’s something we can discover as we move forward.  In the meantime, know that we can be #unlimBited together.

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