NO LIMITS NO BOUNDARIES
HOPE YES LOVE YES AND REMEMBER NO LIMITS NO BOUNDARIES
Who I am is of no concern for now. What I have become and how it has transformed me is.
Twenty-six years ago, it sounds as if it was yesterday.
An emergency room doctor declared the words; How do you feel?
My initial assessments were, “How do I overlook”?
I jumped into the water, and suddenly I felt something crack in my neck.
It reflected, not unlike a guitar string that wound up extremely tight.
I vaguely recall struggling to move, and I was drowning.
Not the memories I wanted to remind, but grateful for the recollections I had left, considering the gravity of my current situation.
After enduring the doctor’s questions, I noticed that my hands and my arms not moving.
Muddled up, I really didn’t have time to think about it.
They occupied me with answering queries that brought the doctor to the conclusion that there was no severe trauma to the brain.
Truly, God is good.
Before this life-changing experience, I thought of myself as a nice guy.
You realize, all-around, cool me, smooth with the women and a Fred Astaire on the dance floor.
A confidant to those I cared for. Yet, there was nothing more important in my heart than my daughters.
Dahiana Crystal and Dahiana Marie.
Yeah, I realize they both have the same first name, but that’s a whole different story.
I was in the prime of my way of life.
Living the dream, I owned a home renovation company and life was good.
This is until the unforgettable day when life threw me a curveball.
At the beginning of this account, I mentioned, “twenty-six years as if it were just yesterday.”
That’s because, on July 11, 1986, I had a tragic accident and because of a quadriplegic.
I am now fifty-two years of age. I have had an agent for half my life in a wheelchair.
Not an easy Turk, yet it was within my capacities.
Not have I become compliant with my disability.
Being disabled is something I wouldn’t hope for my worst adversary.
Oh, it. In the beginning, I was angry with God.
Could I learn how he would allow this to take place to me?
In my distressed state.
It assured me this was a vicious laugh and that my wheelchair looking out my window watching everybody working on their routine lives.
The kids playing surface in the handling, running, jumping, living ordinary lives. How I yearned to be a part of that again.
After having to sit cut half my life, I have linked to the discovery that as imperfect individuals, we all have some type of deterioration or physical limitation.
So I consider, should I dwell on impending death or physical impairment, or should I try living my way of life to the fullest?
Mr. Valentino, Mr. Valentino, do you understand what I am telling you?
You are paralyzed! Could see the doctor’s mouth moving, but at that moment my brain was selecting only what it wanted to hear.
Until I heard him say the word “permanent.”
Permanently disabled, I severed your spinal cord at the C-4 and C-5 levels. You cannot walk again.
Most likely, you will need a respirator to continue breathing.”
Overwhelmed by emotion, I cried out, I’m only twenty-six years old. I have a wife, two kids to care for. Why did this happen to me? Why me? Why God?”
Out of despair, I beg my doctor to be merciful and put me to sleep.
“I cannot imagine what you are feeling, but my job as a doctor is to save lives, not to end them. Your vital signs have stabilized. Would you like to see your wife?” “Does she know, doc? That I’m paralyzed?“.
We had to stabilize your head and neck; the procedure was complex, and we needed her consent.
So yes, she knows. I felt queasy as if someone punched me in the pit of my stomach.
Apprehensively, I awaited her presence. I could scarcely hear the nurse outside in the hallway directing my life toward my room.
Her feet moved quickly, then suddenly she stops.
Our eyes meet and a flood of tears meet and a flood of tears streamed down our faces.
We had been married for only eight months.
No matter how hard we tried to speak, we couldn’t.
The lump in our throats wouldn’t concede it.
She gently touched my hand, lifted it up to her lips, and kissed me.
I couldn’t feel it! I smiled while desperately trying to hide my emotions.
It has been written, God will not give you more than you could endure. My perseverance was about to be tested.
Three months have passed. It’s been touch and goes and to make things worse, the doctor needs to wean me off the respirator.
Either that or they depend on it to breathe for me.
Too many nights I could hear the respirators rhythmically pumping, incorporating air into my lungs, fearing that at any moment it could shut off.
I was resolute in accomplishing breathing with my own lungs. So I turned to the one I thought had abandoned me.
I prayed: Almighty God, forgive me for thinking you were punishing me.
I know that a God abundant in Mercy and Loving-Kindness could not do this. You teach us that unforeseen circumstances befall us all.
I believe this to be so. If I’m to begin a new journey in life without the ability to walk or the use of my hands, I can accept that.
But please God, give me the ability to think, breathe and speak on my own.
I had never spoken to God with such sincerity and conviction.
Yet he answered my plea when, a month later, I breathed on my own.
My first thought: “I wonder how Adam must have felt when he took in his first breath.”
Finally, after two and a half months in intensive care, I’m being transferred to a regular hospital floor.
It was as if being released from solitary confinement.
That may sound somewhat overstated, but it restricted me to two visitors an hour and for only a fifteen-minute visit.
Trust me, in a life-changing situation like this, having family support is the first step toward the healing process.
As the days followed, I immersed myself with my family, and although distraught, they professed a positive attitude.
Unknowingly to my family, they raised my spirits and give me the strength to continue.
I wished they would never leave.
Yet, I knew that eventually, I would have to embark on a venture that mentally and spiritually I was not prepared for.
Being paralyzed and the fear of being alone!
Loneliness would come to visit me like an old friend late at night when the halls of the hospital were scarcely deserted.
There was a hush of voices and distorted, daunting sounds of hospital equipment that echoed through the hallways.
The dim-lit hallways cast shadowy figures by my door as the nurses would pass by, making their nightly rounds.
It had become extremely difficult for me to fall asleep. Since the accident, my brain would not shut down.
I’m would’ve stayed home. If only I had listened.
If, if, if… So many probabilities, but the ultimate outcome had been forged.
My mind just needed to accept it. I suffered from sleep deprivation.
Time did not stop for me. Days turned into months. Months turned into years.
It seemed like a never-ending cycle of time. I reminisced about my past and I felt ashamed.
I lived a frivolous life. If I would have died at that moment, it would have been of no consequence.
What a waste of human life. For the first time, I welcomed God’s judgment with open arms.
To this day, I am befuddled. God did not forsake me and, in due time, I healed.
The doctors successfully mended my broken neck, but there was much disarray in my mind, body, and soul.
I have come to terms with my disability, and even though getting up every morning is a challenge, I’m still glad to be alive.
It’s true I don’t have all my physical capabilities. But it has blessed me with other abilities.
I can interpret and see things in a different light. It blessed me with the opportunity to raise my two daughters and watched them become mothers.
Blessed with the opportunity of watching my grandchildren grow up.
To have exceptional friends, one in particular: Manuel Perez, who opened my mind to understand what genuine friendship is all about. Tragically, he passed away too early in life. He changed and inspired me in a way I know he would be proud of.
Michael Mendez, my guide, has saved me more than once from the brink of insanity.
No matter how bad the storm he has always been my guiding light. To the countless others who showed an interest in me and became an important part of my journey.
The forgotten ones: Doctors, nurses, therapists, and caregivers who, through their dedication, pushed me beyond my so-called limitations.
And foremost, I give thanks to Almighty God that I am still here. I will never give up on my endeavor to regain what I have lost.
My faith impels me to believe that there is something greater in -store for all those who are afflicted, who have lost loved ones, or carry heavy burdens.
Word of God is unique
The word of God teaches us to have faith. To live in things not yet revealed to us.
The last book of the Bible, (Revelations-21:1–5) reads: The tent of God is with humanity, and he will reside with them and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” “Look! I am making all things new”.
God’s original purpose has not changed. Imagine living in a world without physical limitations or boundaries.
Death will cease to exist. That time is close at hand. Until then, the sparkle in my eyes has not dimmed.
Every day I struggled to defy my physical limitations and encourage all those whose names are of no consequence, to be inspired to do the same.
Remember, every day that passes is a day closer to Paradise.
Until then, strive to be not good but excellent with whatever fits you have been given.
Editorial: I want to tell you that this experience teaches us another aspect. Here it is not mentioned that his wife mistreated him, he even threw him to the ground with everything and the wheelchair.
But since he is not spiteful and even in that, I think she is wrong too. Although this behavior is not justified. One of his daughters an interested. But he never mentions this. I do.
By the time I finish telling the story and I have more, my friend is waiting for God to give him life back and live forever.
Let’s remember the price of sin pays is death. This is a great example of endurance, perseverance, and having faith and joy despite everything, and especially forgiving.