i used the “i” word

Today I had the chance to brag about my kids.

Oh, they make me slightly crazy.  Because of the wheelchair, I can’t hide from them anymore.

There are days when I’m counting down the seconds minutes days until I can have that mojito.

Then there are days when I tell someone truthfully there are no other kids like mine.

These kids have been through ten shades of hell.

They’ve dealt with mom in the hospital.

They’ve seen their sister get so very sick.

Then they had to hold hands and go visit their mommy again, hoping she’d say their name. Hug them. Remember who they were.

I can’t say love without seeing their smiles.

They were the reason I woke up.

For them I came home.

It’s their joy beyond any other that I can’t wait to see when I make a breakthrough.

So, when people wonder why I don’t like the word “inspirational”.

It’s because people use it to describe the wrong people.

Look at my kids.

Be inspired.

Photo by Mishelle Lane Photography

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24 Responses to i used the “i” word

  1. Kristi November 17, 2010 at 1:01 PM #

    They get it from their parents, Anissa!

    I went through a prolonged period of postpartum misery. One of my many symptoms was a deep and unshakeable fear that I would be separated from my daughter, that she would die or that I would. I had panic attacks, and was plagued by worries of having a massive stroke. I finally started getting treatment last year, first with medications in June and later with intensive behavioral therapy beginning in August. Progress was slow, and I didn’t expect much.

    When I was growing up, people who got cancer died. People who had heart attacks died. And people who had strokes died.

    I never heard of you until November 17 last year when your name was suddenly all over my Twitter feed. I found my way to Aiming Low to find out who you were, what happened.

    The news was so bad. I was certain you would die. Anissa, I didn’t know you, I didn’t know your family, your husband. I didn’t know your faith or your strength or determination. A day passed, then two. Such terrible news, but you hadn’t died. Another day. I sent my brother links to details about your condition. He called me. “I would have died,” he said. “I know, ” I said, “me, too.”

    Nothing in our experience allowed for the possibility of survival.
    N O T H I N G
    And yet there you were. Not dead. And the days went by, and I kept reading Peter’s updates, they were the first thing I looked for in the morning, what is Peter telling us? And you were responding. You were awake.

    My God.

    Death wasn’t inevitable. Not this time.

    It turned my world upside down. Really. You and your family with your fighting spirit showed me that what’s obvious at first isn’t always true.

    As the months went on and you began physical therapy and rehabilitation, I stayed in therapy and regained (or gained anew, in some cases) my set of skills for being in the world. I gained a deep sense of gratitude for little things. I’ve practiced patience, hope, and faith. I have allowed myself to celebrate the small steps, because it’s all made up of small steps and celebrations. I’ve found that without the celebrations, the small steps build a lot slower. So even when I didn’t achieve what I wanted to, I remembered to be glad to achieve what I did.

    I know you don’t want to be called inspirational. I don’t care. You, Anissa, AND your amazing family, you are filled with spirit — that’s what inspired means, filled with spirit. It overflows and affects people you’ve never met, like the lady in Oregon with a severe anxiety disorder, who is using her own spirit and drinking a bit from the waters of yours (and others’) to recover and come back to life. This lady right here who just spent 50 minutes sobbing and writing this comment. I’ve never publicly written about my journey down a dark road and back before. I thank you and Peter for being so public with your journey, and for sharing your big, gorgeous, powerful, stubborn, passionate spirit.

    • Diane Brogan November 17, 2010 at 5:37 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your story Kristi. Love and inspiration comes in many forms. Good luck to both you and the Mahew family.

      • Kristi November 18, 2010 at 4:20 PM #

        Thanks, Diane. :)

  2. Jess November 17, 2010 at 12:32 PM #

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree :)

    Jess´s last post…gussika- 140 characters is too restrictive sometimes Just gave up on a tweet because I couldnt make it fit

  3. Twenty Four At Heart November 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM #

    I wish *you* and *your husband* and *your kids* would stop being so damn inspirational. You make me look so bad! : ) xo

  4. mommabird2345 November 17, 2010 at 12:03 PM #

    All of you are amazing. *HUGS*

  5. Christy November 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM #

    Such cuties. And such strong souls.

    Christy´s last post…Of Reptiles- K’NEX- and the Museum of Science

  6. Beth @ I Should Be Folding Laundry November 17, 2010 at 10:20 AM #

    The most amazing thing about your family is how obvious it is that you are *meant* to be a family. All together. Through it ALL. Getting stronger and more amazing as each day passes.

    Beth @ I Should Be Folding Laundry´s last post…Back to the Start

  7. Kristin November 17, 2010 at 9:55 AM #

    Oh Anissa…what a beautiful post. Your kids are just as wonderful as you are.

    Kristin´s last post…A terrible- horrible- no good – very bad day

  8. Bridget November 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM #

    Dang, they’re cute!
    And inspirational. :-)

    Bridget´s last post…Classic and Classy Music Album Review

  9. The Pony Lady November 17, 2010 at 8:06 AM #

    I thought *I* was your inspiration. My bubble hath been popped.

    • Peter Mayhew November 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM #

      You bring spiders n scorpions with you when you come visit….inspirational in an entirely different context…perhaps motivational…fearsome….

      • Peter Mayhew November 17, 2010 at 12:56 PM #

        icky maybe?

        • The Pony Lady November 17, 2010 at 3:22 PM #

          Ahhhh…..you love me…..you really really love me! I feel all shiny.

  10. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels November 17, 2010 at 2:20 AM #

    I agree on both counts: the “i” word is often used to describe the wrong people – but with your kids, it’s spot on.

  11. The Mayor November 17, 2010 at 1:16 AM #

    Definitely worth waking up for, look at them. The love affair never ends, even with my 3 oldest who are adults. I can’t wait to tell them what I am up to. Sometimes they are enthralled, sometimes they’re like…”later ma, I’m on my way to …..”.

    The Mayor´s last post…When I Least Expect It

  12. Moon HalloranLeady November 17, 2010 at 12:23 AM #

    The young are resilient ~ we elders can only bask in their strength ~ and know that they get it all from their parents ~ what lovely kids from lovely people


    Moon HalloranLeady´s last post…The heart speaks words louder than voices

  13. Raging Dad November 16, 2010 at 11:23 PM #

    Lovely, strong kids, Anissa. Bravo.

    Raging Dad´s last post…I walk down the lane with a happy refrain

  14. Christina November 16, 2010 at 11:16 PM #

    Yup all of you are inspirational to us! You know how much you mean to us especially to Kendryk. In the last year I have wondered what exactly baked potato soup is, yes for some reason that still sticks out in my mind, I kept telling myself that I needed to ask you so I am!

    Christina´s last post…Im Cheap

  15. Last Girl Standing November 16, 2010 at 11:15 PM #

    Clearly it’s genetic ;)

  16. Wendy November 16, 2010 at 11:08 PM #

    I feel exactly this way about my kids. They’re the reason I didn’t kill myself a year and a half ago, even though I wanted to. Mine haven’t been through nearly as much as yours, but I know exactly what you mean. <3

  17. Taryn (t_d_duker) November 16, 2010 at 10:49 PM #

    I was warned “bring a tissue”…but damn, I wasn’t prepared.

    Beautiful kids come from beautiful families.

  18. Desera November 16, 2010 at 10:46 PM #

    Personally, I think your whole family is inspirational! ♥

  19. gorillabuns November 16, 2010 at 10:40 PM #

    your children are just about as wonderful as you.

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