Mary-Jo is by far the most inspirational human being that I know. Since the accident I have never once heard her say “if only” or “I should have…”

Her moment-to-moment existence is in a place that is of complete acceptance, and peace. To see how calmly and gracefully she accepts the new challenges and circumstances is truly humbling. She is physically broken. But never once has she uttered a word of anger at the cards life has dealt. She blissfully lies in a bed of trust and surrenders to all of the love that surrounds her. Her tears fall because of generosity and love, tears that are made of the truest and purest essence. Of course there will be days more frustrating and challenging then others. Some days will be longer or present greater obstacles. We don’t live and look to what may happen. We cherish the moments we have together and focus all of our energy on the huge steps already accomplished. She has been moved from her room with the amazing view. We miss the view but its good news because they put her in the less monitored part of the spinal unit. She is still in serious condition and needs regular vital check-ups. But she is in no longer need of the acute care. Her breathing is getting much better, and heart rate is stabilizing. She sits up in her wheelchair for about an average of four hours a day, usually more. We are constantly massaging her arms; she says they feel like 100-pound weights, with constant pins and needles. The massages release the pain and help transfer the pins and needles into some actual sensation. She now has feeling in her right and left thumb. No movement yet. The tops of her arms have feeling, and barely any on the outer edges. Mary-Jo is completely off of oxygen which is great, even when the breathing tube was out she still had oxygen assistance through the nose. It’s been only 9 days since her second operation so some of the internal swelling still exists. The nurses want to move her to GH strong. Her condition is stable enough to start full time rehabilitation. Mary-Jo still has no movement in her legs. As Christopher Reeve says, “ Please don’t accept absolutes. Don’t become paralyzed literally and figuratively by what other people say you can or can’t do. Don’t let anyone set your limits.”

This life is so fragile and we are all here to experience great lessons. We will be pushed and tested. Our faith stretched and put on trial. Some very dependable realities shattered. By far one of the most humbling things a human can endure is the test of your physical reality. Being first and foremost your physical body. We innocently attach our entire existence to that which is physical, an attachment to a source where change is constant. Then there is the spirit, that one spark that lives within each of us. That light housed in our bodies, which connects us to something much greater then just the physical homes of our souls. As I spend hours by my mom’s side I realize; the more we access that great spirit in ourselves and the more we trust that life isn’t about being attached to our physical selves we can truly find freedom. These bodies we are so blessed to live in are not ours to keep. They are the vehicles for which we travel this life. Throughout life these vehicles are the reflection of our personalities, our karma, our egos, our pasts, our presents and our futures. And underneath all of that which comes to the surface is our spirit. I pray for you to trust and know your spirit. Because we will rise and fall, but the one thing that can remain constant is our spirit and when our physical self is tested we will always have our spirit.

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.