It’s Not What You Think

The mind can be a powerful instrument. It can also be a trickster. Prior to traveling to Colorado to celebrate my 35th anniversary of life AFTER the cliff, I thought I’d be reliving the incident with Michael, the man who was behind me when I fell 40ft and disappeared before his eyes. However, my mind didn’t prepare me for not feeling 100%. In order to travel, I rested to clear my head as much as possible. Still congested, I did the best I could with the energy on-hand. All weekend, I wished I felt better but I also found gratitude for the health that I take for granted most days.

Although nature has always inspired me, my other interests have changed. The Fort Collins weekend home had a yoga studio. Each day I took time to sit, meditate and do a few asanas (poses) to assist my healing, in a much more an inward journey than an outward experience. In college, my practice was partying, playing sports, and acting silly.

On October 16, 2017, I laid in bed and recalled the day I fell. As details flowed through my mind’s eye, I remembered how beautiful the day was as autumn filled the air. The leaves were turning color all over SIUC campus. I heard Little Grand Canyon was a special place to view the color change. After partying all night, I gathered friends to see what Mother Nature would provide for our senses. Slowly, we came together and headed to the great outdoors.

My mind shifted to the rescue of 1982. Being carried out of the canyon in a basket was a unique adventure. Transported by ambulance and then helicopter to the hospital, I knew my life was altered as I couldn’t feel anything from my chest down.

Last weekend in Fort Collins, I could feel the warmth of the covers touching my body, reminding me that I feel. Gratitude swept over me as I felt my body just laying calmly on the bed. I could feel my feet, my legs, my back, my arms, my head; all resting on the cozy surface. What a feeling!

As the day progressed, Beth, Michael and I headed for the hills. As a forester, Michael’s workplace is rather distinct and gorgeous. For hours we hung out at Borden Memorial Forest. I thought we’d do another video, talk about the event from our past, but I simply took the time in nature to reflect, to give thanks, to appreciate my friends and the impressive surroundings.

Later in the day there was some talk of my fall; who was there, what transpired afterwards for Michael. We reminisced, not only about October 16, 1982, but our time at SIUC. As I told Michael, we all have a story, it’s what we remember about our past. Some of it’s clear, some of it is foggy, some of it lost until a friend reminds us of an event. One thing is evident, we share a history.

It was great to be with Michael and his family. Elaine, Ben, and Nick dined with us each night furnished a wonderful home cooked meal. More memories were created and placed in the bank. The trip certainly wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was better. It showed me how deeply my fall touched lives and how it no longer consumes my life or those who shared the day with me. Be well… Nancy T

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