I love the Rocky movies. Say what you will about Sylvester Stallone (although I wouldn’t, if you like the way your face looks), but he did a wonderful job with those movies. They’re powerful: they get me rooting for Rocky so much that I forget he’s not real, and they move me to tears, both happy and sad. And one thing I love about the guy: he keeps getting up. He’s a reminder to me that I can take whatever life hits me with…that it’s the truly tough ones who keep getting up. They don’t make excuses; they just keep going and getting tougher from the calluses life gives them.
After that second aneurysm, I was angry. I couldn’t believe the doctors had let this happen.
“There’s a little something in there. Sometimes those dissipate on their own, so we’ll keep an eye on it and if it’s still there when we put her skull plate back, we’ll clip it.”
Well, thanks for taking that half-assed approach, guys…it didn’t wait for you, it GOT BIGGER!
I would lie awake in my bed just seething sometimes. I had been relearning to walk, and doing well. I really thought I would be walking out of the hospital when that day came. And I had been able to move my left arm. I didn’t remember just how much I was able to move my left arm before the second aneurysm until I was reading my dad’s notes from the hospital and adding them in to the memoir. Then I remembered the anger I dealt with following the second hemorrhage. I blamed the hospital a lot at first, but over time I realized that it was the fact that I was still in the hospital, and my skull plate was still out, that saved me when that hemorrhage occurred. Whether an earlier surgery could have saved me some range of motion, I don’t know, but I do know that I love that hospital, and they did save my life. I owe them too much to go around blaming them for anything.
Sometimes I was just angry that a second hemorrhage had happened at all. Hadn’t the first one been enough to knock the shit out of me and jerk me out of the lifestyle I had been living? Hadn’t it driven home the point that I wanted to do things differently? But eventually, I just had to hand my life over to God. That’s the only way you can really live. I developed an attitude about the hardships I had gone through (and still face every day) that Rocky sums up much better than I could:
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.”
The last part is my favorite: “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.” That’s why I keep going…through the pain…through the days when I’d much rather be gone from here and hanging out with my grandparents: I keep going to show that I’m NOT going to let this world and its suffering keep me beaten and on my knees, I’ll keep going and trying to earn the forgiveness already given to me by Jesus.