Still steppin’

This is a Built Ford Tough Blog Takeover. My Mom wrote this post to share with you all. Enjoy.

How many steps does it take to walk a mile in my shoes? A whole lot!!!! But I am steppin’. These last few months have been quite a journey. I set goals that had to be met by June 30th. I met several of them before that date and am still setting new goals.

My most important goal was to write this story. To detail this journey. To express how much I appreciate the outpouring of love that I have received since February 12th. Like the child in me, I was so tickled to receive emojis, funny posts and loving posts. I even received visitors, that stood outside of my window and we talked through the screen, with masks on. Damn COVID-19. I received flowers, cards and gifts. You all made my heart FULL!

Early in the day on February 12th, I was sitting at my computer and the letters started jumping all over the screen. They were running across the screen like they were in a relay. I just knew that my laptop was falling apart. The night before, Regan and I went to the Kennedy Center. I walked into a wall and thought “they really need to put up better signs about this construction!”

Back to the words running across my laptop screen. I shook it off and decided that I would take my laptop in to the MAC store. While sitting at the dining room table, attempting to write my list for the day, Regan came in and saw my handwriting. She said “Mom, put your clothes on, I’m taking you to the ER.” I didn’t question her. I got dressed. We left.

While signing in at the ER front desk I couldn’t write. My beautiful Palmer Penmanship script resembled chicken scratch. I was admitted to the hospital. Tests. Tests. More tests. Afterward, I learned that I had had an ischemic stroke. Doctor’s noted that it was wonderful that Regan acted quickly and didn’t question her instincts.

While in the hospital I was not allowed to do anything without assistance. Me? Not allowed? ALLOWED? It is amazing how quickly we let others take over our lives. I wasn’t having it! Not walking to the bathroom alone – ridiculous. Yeah…ridiculous, until the day I fell doing just that. I scared the nurses, the staff, but most importantly, I scared myself. From that point, an alarm was activated on my bed. That’s right! I was being monitored. I am hard-headed.

When I came home I set goals for what I wanted to achieve and by when.

Complete my physical, occupational & speech therapies by June 30. DONE!

Complete a 500 piece puzzle. DONE!

Restart my cello lessons and make my teacher proud. DONE!

I have slowed a bit…but I have not stopped. I won’t stop!

Sorry…it’s been a minute.

It has been a while since my last post. A lot has happened. A. LOT.

My Mom had a stroke on February 12th, adding another level of Tough to our Built Ford ToughNESS!!! She is fine now, but it was a scary time. But anyone who knows my Mom, KNOWS..she is a FIGHTER!!! She is doing much better…lost a step…but is still feisty.

My Dad is …. the epitome of Tough. WE are Built Ford Tough…because of HIM!!

Our world is in turmoil and has heightened my need to connect. So…I am back…to this…my blog…our stories…our life!!!

Here is something that I posted recently to Facebook. Check it out:

I took a week off from Social Media.

I was sad, sleep-deprived, unfocused and weary. I was thinking about things that I experienced over 40 years ago. Painful experiences of racism, that I had buried in smiles and laughter. Feelings were unearthed and they bothered me. I was exhausted around the “are you ok?” NO…I WAS NOT.

So, I allowed myself to be free from the news. Free from social media. OMG!!! Sooooo refreshing. SO! REFRESHING!

Came back. Peeked in. Unfollowed some things, unfriended some folks. Gonna go back to my bubble.

I don’t need to see or read a lot of what I see or read. Going back to dialing 7, 10 or 11 digits, hearing voices that give me warmth, looking at pics that make me smile, giggling on the phone with who makes me swoon, wrapping my arms around who needs me near.

I will check in from time to time. I’m not against social media, just don’t need to be scrolling aimlessly. If you wanna chat…I am all for a phone call. I check my FB messenger if you wanna connect.

Everyone…have a great day. Smile. Tell those that you love…that you LOVE THEM. Don’t wait. Call up your friends. See how they are REALLY doing. I’m fine can mean so many different things based on the way that it is said.

Our New Normal

OUR NEW NORMAL

He can not
He can not say that he can not
I do not believe that he can not
Because he could do anything
But now he can not

He used to swim 100 laps a day
But now he can not
I used to watch his beautiful body
Slice water like a dolphin
Now I can not

He used to hit home runs just because I asked
But now he can not
He gets angry that he can not
But cannot say that he can not
I get angry that he can not

He tries when he is alone
To get up
To stand
To walk
But he can not

He won’t try when he is with me
Because he can not
He tries – but he can not
Why him
Who could do anything

They said this day would come
It has come
With a vengeance
We both want to make it not so
But we can not

So we have begun building Our New Normal
Not because we must
But Because we can
Always we can
We can do anything

Antoinette Ford
August 24, 2018
Revised March 9, 2019