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Hardship & Kindness

We have all faced hardship at some point in our lives. No one is spared from life’s difficult lessons. Thing is, you usually can’t plan for them and they hit out of nowhere.  Then you find your support, your strength, your true friends, and your grit.

Dealing with the virus certainly hit us all, some far worse than others. As of this writing, I know of only two people personally who have had it, I know no one who passed from it. I am incredibly fortunate in that regard.

Others are not only dealing with the quarantine, but have illnesses of their own, compromised immune systems, chemo treatments, therapies, etc., who are struggling even harder. Many are out of work now because of it and struggling to make ends meet.

We are all going through this hard time together – some worse than others – and we will get through and hopefully find better, kinder versions of ourselves on the other side.

I wasn’t going to write this. I hoped I could heal before our store reopened and no one would know, but maybe it will help someone going through a different hardship right now.

On March 5, I wasn’t feeling well and wound up fainting early in the morning. When I came to I was bleeding from the head, could not sit up, nor move at all from the waist down.

After a two hour emergency surgery we were told I had a 50/50 chance of walking again. I badly injured C6 on my spinal cord. I fractured my neck.

I was a perfectly normal functioning woman with a family and a great business. A few days prior, my husband and I were featured speakers at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. We were helping our brides and grooms whose weddings were being postponed due to COVID-19.  I was reading with my youngest and welcoming my eldest’s new puppy into the family.

In an instant, I was in the intensive care unit with staples in my head and paralyzed from the chest down.

Fortunately, I believe the very strong medications I was on kept me from panicking for the first week. In addition, it was determined that my injury was “incomplete” meaning there was a better chance I would be able to walk again.  I was moved to a rehabilitation center for the next month.

At rehab it was determined that all the pathways were getting signals from my brain, a very positive sign! Now came the hard part – relearning everything.

I heard people say that before, that they had to “re-learn” how to do something very basic and I always wondered what that meant.  I understand 100% now and it is exactly that. My injury affected everything from chest down, but C6 is responsible for wrist and hands. While I was fortunate to have some control of my left hand, my right was completely numb and would not work at all. I couldn’t hold a spoon to feed myself. Brushing my teeth was near impossible, brushing my hair was impossible, as was everything else from normal bodily functions to getting dressed or even sitting up.

Unable to do most everything, learning it all over was an extremely large and bitter pill on it’s own, but just one day into rehab I was fed a larger and more bitter one. I was told that visitors were not allowed due to the Coronavirus. I wasn’t going to be able to see my family.

At first I felt like I couldn’t breathe, but I remembered reading about the Corona patients who couldn’t see or speak with their families, and the families of the victims who passed away that couldn’t have a proper funeral. I felt fortunate not to have the virus and grateful to be able to speak with my family over the phone. Others were in far worse places.

I will spare you the rehab details but tell you I worked my ass off to the point of tears almost daily.  I purposely watched no television or social media, I focused solely on getting better. In fact, I was reprimanded numerous times for exercising in my room alone (not allowed because I was a fall risk) and overheard a nurse refer to me as “cocky” for continuing to do it.

Because of my progress (score 1 for the cocky girl), I was able to come home early to continue my physical – and mental – therapy with my loves. Home Sweet Home.

The accident was two months ago. I can walk, my hands are improving, and I’m off all but two of the (ridiculous) 13 medications they had me on.  I feel physically stronger every day and mentally, well, I’m getting there, too.  My family is incredible, celebrating my ups (I love hearing, “Good job, Mommy!”) and encouraging me through the downs.

Franco has been by my side every minute, walking with me, pushing me farther, making sure I’m properly fed, and safe and sound. My beautiful girls help with my hand exercises, cheering me on, and keep me laughing! The addition of adorable puppy Eva (look at that face omg) completes the family and was the perfect addition, especially while I was away. It is a very long road ahead as recovery lasts up to a year, but this is my life and part of my story.  I am no different from anyone facing hardship. We all have our cross to bear, some heavier than others.

Having the right support, attitude, determination, and grit is determining my outcome and I believe I will be a better person on the inside for this. I hope when the world reopens we will all be a little kinder, softer, and understanding.

Everyone will face hardship in their life, some are going through very difficult times right now. Please be kind and you will help their journey without knowing you made that difference. When it happens to you, you will appreciate that smile or the kind words.

The fact that we are shut down during my recovery has been an incredible blessing and coincidence (are there really any coincidences?) but I can’t wait to get the green light to reopen! I miss being open! While I may not be able to do appointments right away, I will be there helping and cheering when you say YES!

Thank you for reading and sharing in my story. I’d love to hear yours.

 

 

24 thoughts on “Hardship & Kindness”

  1. Wow.. Sending prayers and positive vibes to you and your family!! I hope everything opens soon and hope to see you on June 27 for my bridal trial! God Bless! Stay strong!

    1. Erica, thank you so much for your sweet comments! We can’t wait to see you on June 27th. There is nothing better than hearing from our brides! Thank you!

  2. Wow, so sorry to hear about your fall. You are right we all have our hardships to bear and you have a wonderful family to help you heal. I myself battled cancer in 2017 and a hip replacement in 2018. I continued to sell homes while getting chemo and only took off 1 month after my hip replacement. I am back to feeling great with no ongoing problems. With your determination I believe you will get back to your old self. It will probably take a year to fully recover but you will make. Sending prayers to you, Franco and your girls as they help you heal. You are strong, you’ve got this!!!Terry

    1. Terry, how wonderful to hear from you and what an inspiring turn of events for you! Congratulations on your determination and success. We are proud to know you and know you will persist no matter what. Thank you for your sweet and uplifting comments and thank you for sharing your story.

  3. No words can even describe how saddened we are for you and your loved ones! Our hearts are heavy and we have been praying for your recovery. Your story is remarkable but gives us strength to move forward. God bless you and your recovery…LOVE to your precious family! Lynn and MaKindree

    1. Lynn, thank you for your thoughtful and kind words. We really appreciate your support. Your beautiful daughter MaKindree wrote me on Facebook and I’m touched by your thoughtfulness. Your prayers are appreciated and needed. Thank you.

  4. Wendy, there has not been a day that passed since I found out about your accident that I haven’t thought and prayed for you. I am so grateful that you are healing and proud that you had the tenacity to be the “cocky” girl who worked so hard to be well. Thank you for having the courage to write this story to remind us all to be grateful every moment for the gifts in our lives. Sending you a virtual hug and can’t wait to see you and Darianna Bridal back stronger and making a beautiful imprint on our community. Xoxo

    1. Esther, your support means the world to me and I am grateful to have someone as special as you in my life. Please come visit us as soon as things return to normal. We would love to see you.

  5. I can’t express how wonderful it is to hear from you, Wendy. My thoughts and prayers have been with you every day. I am so glad to hear you are on the mend, and am so sorry you have gone through this. Positivity is everything and you are extraordinary. You and your family are remarkable, and it certainly shines through in every way. Wishing you a safe and healthy recovery my “cocky friend.” That made me laugh! Sending all of my best.

    1. Jenna, reading your words really meant a lot to me. Thank you! Many are in a difficult place right now but I am sure we will soon look back on this as a distant memory. We will all be stronger for it and be in a much better place. Thank you for your thoughts and friendship.

  6. So sorry to hear what you have been through! Will pray for your continued recovery! So happy that you are home with your family to continue your recovery! You have been a special person in my life, Be safe and be strong! You got this! ❤️

    1. Deb, we will take all of the prayers we can get. Thank you because they seem to be working. Thank you for your kind words and special thoughts as well. They mean a lot to our family.

  7. Wendy,

    I am so sorry to hear about your health scare. I am so happy that you are healing well and continue to get better. What a story. I will always remember how kind you were for my shopping experience and what a great big smile you had the entire time. You really are great. Praying for your continued recovery and for the family as well.

    1. Brittney, your comments really made me smile – thank you very much! During these trying times, I really needed that. You remind me why our family owned bridal and tuxedo store loves what we do. Brides like you are the reason we enjoy going into our store every day. Thank you for commenting. You made my day! Wendy

  8. Wendy,
    My family and I are sad hearing this news. We are thinking about you and for a continued speedy recovery. We are very happy you are home with your family.
    Stay strong! Our thoughts and prayers are with you! ❤

    1. Lori, there is something very special to receive a personal message from one of our brides. Thank you very much for the kind thoughts. We are working very hard to be ready to open our store as soon as Pennsylvania permits it to serve our brides and grooms again. We are very excited about your wedding this summer and can’t wait to see pictures. Please tell your mother we said hello. We hope you and Jared are both well.

  9. Holy moly! I am glad you are recovering well. Thinking positive always helps. Good vibes to you and get well soon. Cheers! 🌺

    1. Dawn, thank you for the well wishes and positive thoughts. They go a long way and we really appreciate them. We hope you and your family are safe during these unusual times.

  10. Hello Wendy and Franco, I am Marcy- Sheara’s mom from Mi-Lady Bra Boutique in Jenkintown. I just read your letter and all I can say is wow wow wow!!!!! I admire people of strength like you Wendy. Our family, like yours, has had many serious hurdles to achieve. Like you, we take them one by one and achieve success. My mom (who was from Paris) used to say to my sister and me (when we were very young) “some people have very small little lives where not much happens – We are not one of those people”. True words. Our success has to be worked on all the time and we try hard not to look back. I wish you the same I wish myself – strength, fun and hard work.

    1. Marcy, we know exactly who you are! Thank you so much for sharing your personal story with us. We loved it! Your mother was a wise woman. Thank you so much for your comments. It means a lot to us to hear from you. We really love working with you and your beautiful store. Our brides and mothers love your services and we are grateful that you are there to help them. We feel strong and will get through all of this. We will certainly support your small business as we all work to get back to normal business.

  11. So pleased to read this! I wish they’d let me back in to visit more, but I see you were too busy for visitors anyway.

    So glad you’re doing so well 🙂

    1. Thank you Sharon! Would have loved to see you more frequently. It’s wonderful to be home now with my family.

  12. What can I say? What can I do? I am so very sorry about your accident. Please continue to improve an just know that every red light turns green…

    1. Barbara, thank you for the kind words! The mere fact that you commented means the world to us. We are grateful for your kindness and friendship.

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