My Best Life
As I recall back to life in my 20’s I think of the vibrant, full of life young mom, wife and school teacher. My husband and I lived a nearly picture-perfect life. We had a beautiful home, great jobs and two amazing young children. We were living the American dream.  

At the age of 32, when my babies were just 1 and 5, I had a horrific car accident that left me paralyzed, mangled and changed for life. Our seemingly perfect life was over. Our world’s were turned upside down. I was in a hospital setting 4 hours away from my sweet babies for nearly a year. Of course, they got to come visit but it wasn’t the same. I missed Mother’s Day, my baby’s 2nd birthday and Easter with my family. I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my entire life. I fought with every ounce of my being despite being a mess. I had several goals including getting back home, going back to teaching and trying to find a new normal.  My body was different. I was different. 

I’m now 42 and living my best life. I returned to my job as a teacher and I’m continuing to raise my kids with my amazing husband. So how do I cope? Here are a few tips I have learned along the way: 

Life is a GIFT! 

 I try to live life where I don’t take things for granted. Every day is a gift that I try to unwrap as slowly as possible.  

Do Not Hold Onto Negatives  

I’ve learned to not hold grudges because life is just too short. If I could go back and tell my 20 year old self anything it would be “you are stronger and braver than you know because of a loving God and family that refuse to give up on you.”  

Learn to Laugh (even at yourself) 

Find the humor in the situation. Trying to find a funny moment during an otherwise unfunny situation can be a fantastic way to cope. Believe me, laughing is much better than crying.  

While there is no cure for Spinal Cord injury at this time there is life, hope and peace for the future. My message is to cling to that hope and find your best life. 

Maria

In order to keep you informed of new stories from Maria, please click on the link below to 'Join Our Community'. All we need is your name and email address.