when the right reasons are selfish

There has been a weird sense of what the normal world would call popularity.

And I really don’t get it.

Something happened when I was in the hospital.  When people thought I might die, they really chose to do the absolute best and most they could for my family.

Food.  Support. Understanding. Toys. Comfort.  Distractions.

People chose that time when I wasn’t even really aware to try to learn who I was.  They read, they followed, they waited.

And some of those people were a little disappointed when I lived despite all doctor’s words.

Most were able to be full of joy and relief that I would start the recovery process.

Now, months after I came home and continued the recovery every day, there are those that will walk this path with me.

They choose to encourage me when I feel my spirits failing.

They pick me up each time that I fall….figuratively and literally.

They laugh when I do and they feel my frustration eating at me.

Some have said that I’m the “trauma of the month” or the “right flavor of handicap”.  It might be for some.  They might want to look and watch like bad car wreck, rubbernecking to see what happened.  I won’t lie.  I’m guilty. I’ve stared and strained to see.

But THAT isn’t popularity.

It’s fleeting and it will fade with time.

At the end of the day I know that it means a ton to have your support.  But I’d do it anyway.

For my kids.  For my husband.

For me.

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60 Responses to when the right reasons are selfish

  1. Jenni October 21, 2010 at 7:14 PM #


    I just found your blog today, and it really lifted my spirits. I am encouraged by your recovery and how you keep strong. It gives me hope for my own father’s recovery and the drive to keep him in the fight (he has a history of stokes and had a major one on 6/4, and we lost our mom on 6/5 in a freak accident which made us famous in the local media). I’m learning that many people don’t agree with how we are handling his treatment, but the bottom line is we are doing what we *he* wants.

    You don’t know me, or my father, but reading your blog today made me feel like someone else sort of gets the mess we are going through. Thanks for that.

  2. Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy) September 5, 2010 at 9:58 PM #

    As usual I’m late to the party. Someday, maybe, I’ll catchup. Anyway…

    All I can say is if you are the flavor of the month then I want to lick you. As long as you aren’t root beer flavor, then I’ll just have to live with copping a feel.

    Had a mad crush on you way before your stroke, and continue to crush now. Only difference is I have a crush on your husband now too.

  3. mommabird2345 August 1, 2010 at 7:54 PM #

    I don’t comment often enough, but just know, I still read your blog. I became ADDICTED to Aiming Low last summer & that’s how I found you. You are amazingly funny. I love your wit & sarcasm, and you’ve still got it. When you have bad days, just know that we are here to listen & support you. I have prayed for you & your family when you first had your strokes and I continue to pray for you & your family during your recovery. You are loved by so many. Even those of us who have never met you. :)

  4. Hamlet's Mistress July 30, 2010 at 9:06 PM #

    I started reading Aiming Low about two weeks before your stroke. Going back through older posts I read one about you and your family raking leaves. I laughed so hard I cried. Then I started reading your blog and how excited you were about your cruise. And then your stroke happened and I hung onto the blog waiting anxiously for each update. I don’t comment a whole lot, and while I did donate what I could before, I just don’t have it now to give. But I’m always around. Checking in to this blog and to hope4peyton. Just to make sure you’re ok and progressing and to see if you guys are asking for help with anything. Rest assured, I am glad you’re here and with us and talking to us again. I’m sure the majority all feel the same way.

    Hamlet’s Mistress´s last post…Response cached until Sat 31 @ 3:02 GMT (Refreshes in 56 Minutes)

  5. denise mcentee July 30, 2010 at 3:07 PM #

    I started reading your blog after your stroke- but as someone mentioned mostly it was your husband writing at that time and he was/is very inspiring. You could read his comments and know the love your family has for each other. That is special. But the reason I still read your blog is because of you, your family, and your writing. I definitely get a sense of you as a person – and I like you. I have gone to many blogs to read a bit into others lives as an escape from my own- for a few minutes a day when needed. But there are many blogs I don’t stick with. They don’t resonate with me, or I don’t get a sense of who they are. You put it all out there – good or bad- and it doesn’t feel like a gimmick or woe is me kinda thing. You are fun to read-period. I cannot believe folks would say those things to you. But clearly they don’t matter. You are surrounded by many caring people- it is obvious- and they are the ones that matter…Just like you do.

  6. Leslie July 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM #

    Hi Anissa. I’ve been a reader since right after the strokes. I can’t remember now exactly HOW I found you – it was through Twitter and your hashtag, I think – but I have been hooked since. I’ve gone back and read through your archives as well. You are an incredible, strong woman and someone I would be honored to meet one day – and I would have felt that way stroke or no stroke. And screw the “right flavor of handicap” people. Grrr.

  7. Kristin July 30, 2010 at 1:50 AM #

    Anissa, I found you when I read about your stroke on the Immoral Matriarch’s blog (I think it was her…either her or Cecily). I figured if you mattered so much to someone I respected then I needed to know about you. Your story…all of your story…moved me. I was just impressed beyond belief by so much about you. The love and devotion and kick ass spirit your husband showed while you were in the hospital kept me coming back and, now that you are writing again, I come back for the person you are. What you said there at the end…
    “At the end of the day I know that it means a ton to have your support. But I’d do it anyway. For my kids. For my husband. For me.”…that is what keeps me coming back and I am so thrilled you are going to be there at BlogHer.

    Kristin´s last post…The House on Teachers Lane

  8. Deb Rox July 29, 2010 at 7:08 PM #

    Who said that? Srsly. I’ll cut them! xoxo

  9. Susie July 29, 2010 at 7:00 PM #

    Anissa, I’ve told you this before, but what the heck–one more time! We have much in common. Cancer (my late husband), stroke (my late mom)
    and my lifelong love of writing. I come back here often not because “you may be the” flavor of the month” but because you’re not! “Flavors of the month” sooner or later melt. But your writing–intense, honest, inspiring and sometimes funny–gives me the message that you are moving forward and so am I–no matter how tough it gets.

    The fact that you are presently writing one-handed makes each word an even more profound gift from you to me…

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM #

      I’ll have one thing in common with you ANY time!

  10. Amy from Resourceful Mommy July 29, 2010 at 5:39 PM #

    You know what, I think most of us are still here, reading your posts, reading your updates, cheering you on, DM’ing each other when you’ve shared progress, crying when you’re feeling down. I think that those moments of, “What can I do!?!?” have passed for those of us who can’t be there with you and whose place it isn’t really to be there with you. It was easier to support you when we had things we could do – send money, post buttons, pose for a calendar that hardly anyone bought (sorry, these girls did their best!!!) – but just because it’s harder to find ways to support you now doesn’t mean that we aren’t still here, cheering you on! And we ALL can’t wait to see you next week. :)

    Amy from Resourceful Mommy´s last post…Wordless Wednesday – Great Find

  11. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] July 29, 2010 at 3:59 PM #

    Haters can choke on a vat of upchucked rancid chili beans. Or something.

    Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last post…My poor children have nothing to look up to

  12. Elizabeth Kaylene July 29, 2010 at 3:40 PM #

    Some people were actually disappointed that you lived?! What the fuck is wrong with these people?! I’m sorry for the language, but really, I’m appalled.

    You keep on living and conquering, Anissa. You are so much more than a victim and a survivor.


    Elizabeth Kaylene´s last post…How to start a girl band

  13. Nancy [Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas] July 29, 2010 at 3:30 PM #

    Who in the hell called you “trauma of the month”? I am totally kicking their ass!

    You were a rock star before your stroke (I have the interview to prove it). You were a rock star in your early recovery and you’re an even bigger rock star now.

    F’em Anissa. You be you. Be the best you that you can be every day.

    I expect nothing less.

  14. subWOW July 29, 2010 at 2:39 PM #

    Are you serious that some people actually were disappointed that you not only survived, recovered brilliantly and came back with a BOOM!?? I hope that’s not true, and I am not sure whether it is even sadder that deep down I’m not 100% surprised. Ugh. I hope you are able to completely ignore those people in your psyche. Have fun at BlogHer next week! You are going to be surrounded by people who genuinely love, adore and care about you. What’s better than that? :-)

  15. Melissa July 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM #

    Some will always come and go but many of us were here before and will be here as long as you’ll have us. I can’t imagine people being disappointed by you living, who would wish that on anyone? What goes around comes around so they will get theirs and you will get the good you deserve. I met you in Boston and I know, the world is a far awesomer place with you in it miss. Screw anyone who doesn’t see that.

  16. Jessica July 29, 2010 at 12:51 PM #

    I found you because I heard from Momo Fali that a beloved blogger had a stroke. I was neck-deep in watching my mom recover from a stroke and the grief and desperation I felt for her was overwhelming. There was something healing about reading Peter’s accounts of watching you come back to life and his struggles with the medical world and his own fear and grief. And then you did come back to life and that still amazes me and fills me with joy I can’t explain. I have felt that no one understood how intense the experience with my mother has been and then I met the Mayhew family. You, Anissa and Peter, have healed me. And still heal me. And now I’m learning so much about what recovery from a stroke feels like. My mom lost her language from her stroke so she can’t explain it to me. But Anissa, you can and you do. And it is priceless.

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

      That says everything. To know that I can help in even the smallest of ways means the whole world to me. We are ALWAYS here for you!

    • Kate August 3, 2010 at 12:43 PM #

      I wish I could give you BOTH hugs right now! So here’s a virtual one :)

  17. Leslie Lehmer July 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM #

    I began reading Peyton’s story literally a week before your stroke. I had already been praying for your family when I learned the news of your illness and thought “Holy shit, does this family need to catch a break!” And so that’s what I prayed for, that and your recovery.

    And I prayed that you would be able to write again because I was selfishly heartbroken that it was possible (then) that it might not happen, that the gift would be silenced. And so now I read your blog with thankfulness and a lot of belly laughs, because that’s what reading your blog is about – insight and a lot of laughs to boot. I’m sad that I won’t be able to meet you at BlogHer this year, but I look forward to the years to come.

  18. Traci July 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM #

    Dude! Are You serious some were disappointed when you lived!? No way I don’t believe that one for a minute, but there are some sickos out there in the world wide web…. Anyhow you’ve always been interesting, now more people know it and love you for it AND are so happy you are still here! <3

  19. Wendy July 29, 2010 at 10:12 AM #

    I also began reading during your stroke, and was so inspired by your husband more than anything. During a time when I was taking a LOT for granted and having some “poor me” woes that were no where in comparison, your story and your husband’s dedication and loyalty helped put a lot of things in perspective for me. And now? I’m finding your spirit inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing. The fact that you’ll admit that this IS hard and it DOES suck yet you push through. I would probably stop reading if you weren’t so darn real in your writing. I feel like I’ve been allowed to go on a journey with you.

    You know, perhaps your story was like a movie or good book for some – where there was this great obstacle to overcome, and in their minds, the obstacle has been overcome and you’ve already reached “and they lived happily ever after.” Perhaps, for them, the story is over. But to me, the happily ever after is where all of the good stuff really exists.

  20. Chris July 29, 2010 at 10:09 AM #

    Hey Anissa– Hopefully this comment won’t be as stupid as my first, but if it is get P. and have another good laugh on me…
    I’m obviously not keeping up with you because you’re popular. I didn’t even know you were popular until a few weeks ago. ;-)

    It’s not worth wasting a single brain cell on anyone who chooses to see you as a stroke “victim”. You have so many friends– those who have known you forever and love you, and new friends you haven’t even met in person who love you. Plus a great husband and kids. There are tons of people reading your blog–a few assholes in the crowd come with the territory. But they are anomalies. I know 99.9% of your readers are thrilled you are alive, cheering for your victories, and praying you through the pain and challenges. And we’ll keep doing that until you are healed. Because you are Anissa. That’s why we love you.

  21. Melinda July 29, 2010 at 10:06 AM #

    I remember how bummed I was to not be able to go to BlogHer or TypeAMom last year, just because I couldn’t meet you and a handful of others.

    Now I’m tickled I will get to meet you in September! (Caution, I’m a hugger!)

    Flavor of the month, I’m with the poster about doing #icecreamforanissa flavor :) It would have to be a strong flavor!

    And if I lived closer ya’ll would be totally tired of my cooking and baking.

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 9:02 PM #

      Huggers are one of my favorite kinds of people!

  22. Jill of All Trades (Carla) July 29, 2010 at 9:31 AM #

    Still reading and caring and here. Often in my thoughts from afar. So encouragements and good thoughts are there every day from me. Take care. Carla

    Jill of All Trades (Carla)´s last post…At a Loss

  23. Stimey July 29, 2010 at 9:05 AM #

    I think to most of us you are more than that. You are a person. And you are strong and inspiring and funny. I think that’s why most of us are here. I know it’s why I am. Hope to see you at BlogHer next week!

    Stimey´s last post…The End Is Nigh

  24. Julie Presley July 29, 2010 at 8:59 AM #

    I’m one of those ones who learned who you were when people started tweeting to #prayforanissa so I looked you up and was amazed at the story that I found. That was when I first found Aiming Low as well. I absolutely loved the way your husband wrote through what your family was going through, and I loved rejoicing when the days got better, and when he’d say “You don’t know my wife” to the doctors. I kept thinking to myself “I should know this lady.” For me, it’s totally about who you are day in and day out, through trial, suffering , pain and victory. It’s about YOU.

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 9:01 PM #

      I’m glad that the person you read about was able to become a person you’d meet someday!

      • Julie July 30, 2010 at 10:46 AM #

        Me too! Someday:)

  25. elainepill July 29, 2010 at 8:51 AM #

    you are an amazing and strong individual, don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.

  26. Erin July 29, 2010 at 8:48 AM #

    I’m one of those people who became addicted to your story.

    In the ‘holy crap…must. read. archives. now.’ sort of way. Had I found your blog BEFORE your stroke…I would have still been sitting on the other side of my computer having a major case of ‘girl crush’ on you while reading your archives..I’m pretty darn positive about that.

    Even though you don’t know me from…anything…I’m still here…leaving rambly comments and hoping that it shows in some way that I care….that you’re not just the flavour of the week..because man..what’s the flavour of AWESOME?? If we could make Anissa a flavour…we’d probably be millionaires. Speaking of which…we should probably do that. Anissa flavoured icecream…Description: Tastes Like Awesome. And then we should bathe in hundred dollar bills. Good plan?

    ANYWAY. Consider yourself warned. You’re stuck with me and my stupid comments. For the long haul. Sucka.

    Erin´s last post…Tomorrow Morning

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:57 PM #

      Ice cream, it’s a deal!! I’m warned and ready, bring yourself on!

  27. Amy Nasworthy July 29, 2010 at 8:27 AM #

    I wish you were still down here in the Tampa Bay area! I would be cookin and cleaning and hangin out with you. I think about you guys all the time and wish I could do more to help. It may sound a bit corny but you have always been one of my hero’s. I know you aren’t one to settle and I know you will continue to improve. I’m here for the long hall!!

  28. kara July 29, 2010 at 7:41 AM #

    You were there for us in our time of need. You have held me when I was down. I only can hope that our prayers and small words are enough sometimes.

  29. Pgoodness July 29, 2010 at 7:39 AM #

    Some people are just idiots, you know? I felt like I was just starting to really get to know you when you had your stroke, so I’m certainly not going anywhere now!! For the record, every time I hear Glee Keep Holding On, I totally think of you and say a quick prayer. Every. Time.

  30. Cort July 29, 2010 at 6:21 AM #

    And that’s why we love you. Because you are a great person. We push you and encourage you because you already have that strength – you just seem to need to be reminded that you CAN do it – for all the right reasons.

    To those who said you were the “right flavor of handicap” I have a dark alley where we can meet any day!

    Cort´s last post…Toss me on a hog- and Ill be your girl

  31. Ali @PickleSugarPlum July 29, 2010 at 4:24 AM #

    I’d been following you before, but more as a lurker…feeling shy and insecure about speaking up. Now, I am not quite so afraid to come in and say hi, and let you know I am thinking of you.

    I’m also thinking of the person(s) you are referring to above, and my thoughts are not good. WHO ON EARTH would even DREAM of being anything but OVERJOYED at your amazing recovery?!?! Pay them no mind, Lovey. You have an amazing spirit, and a beautiful family that has shown time and again the strength of the love in your life.

    Every time I hear SuperWoman, the song, OR just in reference to ComicCon this week…I have thought of you. EVERY. Single.TIME. I will never NOT think of you again, when I hear that song, or even just the name…You are MY SuperWoman.

    That is all.

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM #

      I don’t ever want you to be shy or insecure here, we all do the comic book hero thing here. And my cape is blue.

  32. Rusti July 29, 2010 at 2:14 AM #

    I first started following, reading, all of that when my entire Twitter feed was full of YOU – and then I kept following and reading because of everything I learned about you… your strength, humility, patience, humor, integrity – EVERYTHING. You inspire me and I’m also glad you’re still kickin’ and keeping me inspired!!

    oh – and while reading one of your hubs’ posts – I discovered that he grew up 20 minutes from where I grew up… made me feel even more connected to you in some small way… us rural country Michiganders like to look out for each other & all of our families. *hugs*

    Rusti´s last post…18 months

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM #

      I’ll bet my husband’s football team can beat up your football team!!!

  33. Melisa with one S July 29, 2010 at 1:08 AM #

    The hubs and kids–and yourself–are the BEST reasons to “do this”. FIGHT for your family.

    (You can’t get rid of me.)

    Melisa with one S´s last post…Tin Roof! Rusted

  34. Lucretia Pruitt July 29, 2010 at 12:47 AM #

    Like so very many, I just happen to like you for you, gorgeous!

    Color me happy that you didn’t end up posthumously popular. I’m quite thrilled that this will just be another chapter in the book of your always awesome, (if sometimes a little too exciting on the medical front,) life.

    Lucretia Pruitt´s last post…You’re Doing It Right – vol 2

  35. Wanda July 29, 2010 at 12:43 AM #

    I’ve followed you for some time and I love your writing. you shine through what you write and can make a person laugh with your words. I’m going to walk right a long with you on your journey because I like who you are…:)

    Wanda´s last post…Working It Out

  36. Jess July 29, 2010 at 12:14 AM #

    Something inside me shifted my attention when I heard of your stroke. I was captivated, not by the incident or the sudden change in the lives of yourself and your family, but from the words of those who have known you way before there was “something to watch develop…or end.”

    I’ve followed your journey as a means of inspiration, for the potential to one day squeeze a boob (or two), to laugh, to cry, to get to know you myself. Not to see where you end up, but to know the Anissa you’ve always been. That Anissa mutual friends have always known and loved.

    This boob’s for you lovey.

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:49 PM #

      I’ve been lucky to have great friends before…I’m lucky that this has brought great friends SINCE. TY!

  37. PrincessJenn July 29, 2010 at 12:03 AM #

    Yeah, well I liked you before the stroke and I like you after it too.
    I’m afraid you’re just stuck with some of us.

    PrincessJenn´s last post…Inappropriate Much

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:46 PM #

      I’d always be stuck with you!!

  38. Karen July 29, 2010 at 12:02 AM #

    You my dear are inspirational and I can’t wait to meet you :)

  39. Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) July 28, 2010 at 11:59 PM #

    You were one of the first people (I didn’t know) to talk to me on Twitter. You are so real and I remember how shocked I was at the news of your stroke. I couldn’t understand why it meant so much because I hardly even knew you on Twitter. But it did mean something. And it means so much that you are recovering.

    Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things)´s last post…How do you pursue your Spouse

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM #

      You + Me + Always = Friends

  40. Nona July 28, 2010 at 11:41 PM #

    I have never met you, but I hope to change that next week at BlogHer. I was a fan before your critical illness and have been continually impressed and inspired by you since then.

  41. Christina July 28, 2010 at 11:26 PM #

    I will always be around to support you, you supported me and I just had a good chuckle cause I don’t think you could have picked me up that night the humongous belly would have put a halt to that! You dusted me off that night, so I do the best I can so far away to pick you back up and dust you off!

    I just wished we lived closer, to be there in person would be so much nicer, Kendryk could drool allllllllll over you!

    Last night was one of those downer nights but then as we snuggled and I tried to get her to understand the “nights VS days” I relize we would not be as strong or a blessed as we have been since the birth.

    Alsa I must go try again to get the princess to understand her nights are for sleeping!

    Christina´s last post…The book

  42. Adventures In Babywearing July 28, 2010 at 10:44 PM #

    Oh Anissa, you were so loved before, and I am sad that it was when you were almost gone that so many of us wanted to tell everyone about you, and how they should know you, too. Some people have “it” – you’ve *always* had it.

    So wish I could sit with you next week in NYC.


    Adventures In Babywearing´s last post…life inspired

  43. ThePeachy1 July 28, 2010 at 10:43 PM #

    You know what? I love you. I loved you the second we met at a place neither of us wanted to be, I loved you as we shared our flaws unabashedly with each other, I loved you as we danced on bars together. Yes it’s true that we probably wont be dancing on bars again, either of us. I loved you through good and I loved you through the horrible. But I love the memories we have, and no matter what I freaking love YOU. The rest of the world can just SUCKIT. ( did I use that right?)

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:43 PM #

      You used “SUCKIT” right!! I love you and I’m mad proud of you too.

  44. Secret Agent Mama // Mishi July 28, 2010 at 10:43 PM #

    I’m here with you, no matter what. Because you are my friend!

    Secret Agent Mama // Mishi´s last post…Weekly Winners The Worldwide Photowalk Edition

    • Anissa Mayhew July 29, 2010 at 8:42 PM #

      I LOVE YOU.

  45. briya July 28, 2010 at 10:43 PM #

    As you should.


  46. Lori Vann July 28, 2010 at 10:39 PM #

    I told you once you were a rockstar – and I believe stroke or no stroke, you were going to be a rockstar. Can’t wait to see you next week!!

    Lori Vann´s last post…Post it Note Tuesday- Things to miss

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