Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Words to Live By After a Stroke or Just Because

I ran across this quote the other day and thought it was a good mantra for stroke survivors too. They should be words to live by living post stroke. Too many of us forget it can always be worse.
"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual...O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment."

 ~ Henry David Thoreau
This struck a cord with me and I'll tell you why. As stroke survivors, we lament on what we've lost opposed to what we have. Granted, you may think that your life may have been better prior to your stroke. I know I do. But even setting aside that thought, are you wasting time living in regret or what could have been?

Are you enjoying your life now? Are you really living it? I know my answers to these questions. It's a resounding, "YES!" I'm not only living my life post strokes, but I am reveling in it. This thought struck me as I was planting tomato plants in our garden a couple of weeks ago. The day was beautiful. I looked up at the canopy of new leaves on the trees. A gentle breeze caused a calming rustling sound as I dug into the straw bales and nestled each plant into their new homes. Buzzing bees darted to and fro pollinating the flowers and collecting their nectar. It was one of those sunny days you would want to sit on your porch swing and just enjoy. I was thinking, life doesn't get any better than this. I'm enjoying being on this earth to experience this.

Yes, I'm still a stroke survivor. Yes, I still have physical impairments.  But moments like these are meant to be enjoyed to rejuvenate the soul in what God has provided. Reveling in the awesome rebirth of life after winter. I noticed the clover that is rampant in our yard. This year, the three leaf wonders are half a dollar sized. They are huge with large puffy flowers. My rabbits love them. I'm too busy pulling up huge clumps of them for them that I'm not looking for a four leafed one for luck.

I tend to notice clover more in remembrance of my Irish descent husband. At my old homestead we grew clumps of red shamrocks just for him to enjoy each year. We never found a four leaf in the red variety, but we were still lucky to have each other and happy. But beyond that, clover enriches the soil as ground cover. Farmers pay good money for seed to do what God supplies naturally here.

So if you aren't living your life post stroke enjoying the glory of being alive, stop and look around. Enjoy the splendor that still is yet for you to own and enjoy. It is said that little things that means the most. It's true. Stop focusing on what you have lost and enjoy what you have each day. It may not seem like it is enough or the same as before your stroke, but there is little enough enjoyment experienced by "normal folk." Grab what you can, whenever you can, and do it often. You'll be richer for it. It's a wealth you can't take to the bank, but it's free if you just look.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. Well said, Jo. Besides, do we not all lose things when we age? And yet for what we lose we gain something new. And if we don't enjoy where we are headed we'll be stuck where we were forever.

    1. Alex, honestly you are stuck nowhere. It is a choice.

  2. I agree - our bliss is dependent on internal circumstances, not external. Although external events can break our hearts, we can still be happy.

  3. One of the biggest mysteries to me is why people who've had a stroke spend so much time and energy being angry and complaining that their lives aren't the same as before the stroke. I guess because mine was so severe (and only 15% of people who have hemorrhagic strokes even survive) I feel like I'm lucky to be alive at all. And I have made such great progress! No, things are never going to be like they were, but I have a home (boy, was I glad to get out of the rehab hospital!), a caregiver who loves me, 2 grown kids who are doing well, a rescue cat who is quite a character, food on the table, and yesterday my new wheelchair arrived. Life is always interesting, but really good.

    1. Denise, Spending time looking at what used to be is not necessarily bad. Constantly being there in you mind is. Life isn't always good, but it is what you make it. Anger and complaint are grief orientated in the beginning. Prolonged dwelling there is bad for everyone.


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.