NEVER STOP FIGHTING. I am feeling so blessed for so many birthday wishes, messages, and comments as well as so many shares and encouraging support of my latest article you can view here:
https://projectheart.org/2016/10/stephanies-story/ Yesterday I turned 31 years old, and as every single CHDer knows - our birthdays for us and our parents are just an indescribable, surreal, totally weird, awesome, sad, scared and miraculous, greatly achieved feeling.
I never expected to see 30, let alone now 31 years old and I'm very thankful to say the least.
I think about so many CHD friends who will never see their 31st birthday and I know they are up there making things happen for us down here. Andrew and Mike were two of my best friends who will never see 31 and it's my CHD friends who are both here with me on earth and on the other side that I hold deep inside my heart every single day that fuels the fire in my veins to fight for us.
I never thought I'd actually be looking forward to the future.
Especially with a boyfriend who is the most amazing human being I have ever met in my life.
I am so blessed every single day to spend my life with him and have someone who takes such great care of me.
He is my hero every single day and the strongest, hardest working man I have ever known who still manages to get energy to put up with me everyday. Hehe. <3 As survivors, we are not the only heroes.
The other heroes are the ones who love us through it all like our parents, doctors, siblings, family, friends and significant others.
Seriously, our parents and significant others should get a medal of honor because we are not exactly the easiest and most graceful people to deal with. Haha. ;P
Actually - just anyone that sees us every single day and is on the other end of our struggles needs an award. Our daily life changes based on whatever our bodies decide to do that day and as much as we mentally try to keep it together and mentally and physically try to control our bodies - we unfortunately have to face the mirrors at the end of everyday and see we are not a Jedi that can make it all go away and just be whoever we want to be when we want to be it. For those of you who CHOOSE to live this life with us --Aside from not understanding you and thinking you're weird for choosing to be by our side, haha, we also cannot find enough ways to thank you for not giving up on us and admire you in a way that is indescribable. Sometimes I look at my boyfriend, my brother, my friends, my mom or my dad and I'm like "wow .. these people are amazing .. why do they even still TALK to me?" Hahaha. So thanks. lol. 😜 Society has taught us we have no place here, but we are fighting back along with every other person with any disability and invisible illness by living and loving and thriving - even if we have to re-write the rules a bit. I am so thankful for having a relentlessly strong and resilient mother who somehow raised me with no technology, no information, no resources, no CHD groups or parent friends. She did it all on her own and made sure I was always taken care of. She didn't make me feel like I couldn't do anything - actually quite the opposite - she let me try whatever I wanted and learn my own lessons which I think is the best thing a parent could ever do. She's my hilarious, fun, strong and faithful mother and I'm so proud to have come from such an amazing woman.
My father is the most loving, hilarious person who I miss all of the time because he lives in Ohio. However when we are together we are best friends and he, just like my mother, will listen to me talk until their eyes look like they're going to explode .. and then I usually stop .. lol. Or they fall asleep.
He has been such a strong force in my life that is hard to explain. He's been a positive influence and role model, and always gives the best hugs.
Last but not least, my big brother. Justin.
He has always been my best friend and we have been there for each other through every single thing in life.
Except I regret not talking to him about more of my problems because he always has the best answers to everything!
No matter how far apart, we still kept in touch, no matter how long it was we went without seeing each other as soon as we see each other it's like we were kids again who didn't miss a beat.
He's always protected me and loved me in a way I wish I would've recognized before this past year. He's so sweet, fun and hilarious and just a solid good man. I am so proud of who he has become and I am SO excited we are in the same city now and can grow up together. Yayyyy!!!
Thank you to everyone for all of your love and support, from the bottom of my right ventricle. 😆 I am looking forward to the new year, taking everything I did in my twenties and using my thirties to bring it all to fruition. Woohoo! <3
All of your support and love never goes unnoticed or forgotten. I carry every single one of you with me everyday. .. Which is why my right ventricle is so big. (Ahaha jk!) I wouldn't have it any other way! Cheers to creating history together! <3 Stephanie
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead Thank you for your support. Thank you for existing. Your existence gives me hope.
Educate. Inspire. Heal.