Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about taking the journey of life one step at a time - literally and figuratively - even if you have to learn how to walk all over again.
He had total knee replacements on both legs a few days ago. Since then, I’ve seen him come out of surgery, visit with therapists, and take his first steps with his new knees.
The funny thing is that when the therapists had him on the side of the bed ready for those first steps, they said his goal was to just walk two steps. They began counting down, and before they could even say “2…1,” your dad was already lifting up.
He couldn’t wait. He had waited long enough. Years of waiting, actually. He was ready to walk again. Ready to finally enjoy life again. And it all started with these steps.
He didn’t stop once he got going, either. Not only did he do the two “goal” steps, but he walked all the way to the door and back. Probably a good 20 steps total.
I’m not going to lie, the happy tears were flowing witnessing all of this. It was a spiritual experience to see him get out of that bed and begin walking without the crunching and pain of his bone-on-bone old knees. Yes, he still had pain. But it was different pain. It was post-surgery pain. Not when-will-this-end pain.
I cried because he was on the other side of the pain. I cried because he exceeded the therapist’s goal. Moreso, though, I cried because he pushed past his fear. His fear of not being able to reach the goal, handle the pain, or worse – falling.
Over the past year, as his rheumatoid arthritis worsened, I’ve watched him become more fearful of getting up, standing, walking and falling. It was so good to see him push past all of that and know these were the first steps of the rest of his life, and our life together as a family.
He wasn’t thinking about his limitations or all the therapy still ahead of him. He wasn’t thinking about the countdown or the goal. He wasn’t thinking about all the fears that have held him back before. He was thinking about pushing himself as much as he could in that very moment, whether that meant one step, two steps, or 20.
Seeing him get up out of the bed and walk to the door without fear was like watching him float… soar… fly. Made my heart so full to witness.
So, keep that in mind as you stare down a moment in life that scares you. Just focus on taking that first step. Don’t worry about falling. Because, my love, you might just fly instead.