"When there's very little to hold on to, you need an absolute and complete faith in something.
For us, it was love."
I'm exhausted this morning.
I stayed up extremely late reading an entire book. I'm pretty sure I've never done that... like ever.
The book is called Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve
I started on page 33 where I left off last year. I returned to my eBook last night and just couldn't stop.
My eyes were burning from reading... and a little crying.
So here's my book report: (I also wanted to remember some of these quotes forever... so I had to get them down on 'paper'.)
I braced myself because I knew how this love story would end. But I wanted to see how they handled everything together... how she did with everything.
Maybe I needed some guidance and inspiration. Yeah, I definitely did.
The similarities are truly amazing. The level of injury... the challenges... the goals.
The ventilator... not being able to move from the shoulders down... the spasms.
I've never used the highlight function so much on my iPad.
I wish I could have coffee with Dana Reeve. I would ask her so many questions. How did she keep her light shining all those years?
I realized she took time to acknowledge the tough stuff, even though she pushed on with such positivity.
"There is nothing that is easy. Everything is a struggle. And of course we are mourning the loss of Chris's mobility.. and moving on from that..."
Then there are the things that she says that ring so very true for me and Jimmy. Things that were certainly a foggy thought in my brain... but things I couldn't put into words.
Like how thankful I am we had such a solid foundation going into this.
"When you have an accident like this, it magnifies your situation. If you had a bad marriage before, it's going to get worse. If you have a wonderful marriage, it's going to get even better."
She refused to be a caretaker, even though she was the best caretaker he could ever ask for.
"I am just a woman whose husband fell off a horse, and I'm going to take care of him. That's what you do," said Dana.
I get sad remembering Jimmy's embrace. At times I want a hug from no one except him.
Dana said, "I was used to Chris drawing me into his arms. Now I had to do all the hand-holding and caressing. I was touching for two."
One of the hardest things for me is to see the carelessness of other couples. Especially in our fun, new town. Other's holding hands. So very hard.
I highlighted this quote from Dana: "It's hard to see other people do what we used to do. Even hold hands. Even you know, I look at other couple's laughing... a husband sort of flipping his wife's hair."
Well, don't think Jimmy ever flipped my hair... but the hand holding and the mild PDA.
Why hearing these things from Dana helps me -- I don't know. Maybe because it makes me feel a little more human. And that it's okay to still be sad sometimes, missing our past...
"There's always going to be a sense of loss about what our life was. We've had to adjust all our dreams, but I have no regrets. We lead a very different life. But a good life. Everyone has a cross to bear."
Then something she said reminded me... I am lucky to have such a good husband.
"I am not a hero... and I am most certainly not a saint! There's nothing superhuman about standing by Chris. What's so saintly about that? Lucky me. I'm with him!"
"They were so close. How lucky they were to have each other."
Michael J. Fox