up and about

This morning we got an exciting call before we even reached the hospital, Mary-Jo was sitting up, and in her wheelchair.

I ran out of the elevator, so thrilled to soon witness the new accomplishment. I burst through her door, Kate was close behind me. A foreign feeling came over me as I entered her room. She wasn’t there; I knew I would find her in the halls somewhere. As of yet we are not allowed to take her out of the spinal unit. It would be so amazing for her to feel the fresh air on her face. That fresh Vancouver chill, kissed by the coastal sunshine. Nonetheless I bring that energy to her, every time I enter her room. She sat up in her chair for 2 hours today, an hour over the required time. Her physiotherapist is remarkable. She went over a lot of what Mary-Jo can start to do, expect and learn. She said the swelling is still decreasing so it’s too early to tell the long-term effects. She also mentioned that the first month is crucial. The progress she makes this month will be a tell tale sign of what is possible and what they can work on the most. They look for the trigger points in her body where there is a little feeling, or where they can visually see nerves twitching. They concentrate on these areas first because they know a definite connection is possible. The nurse also took her off of her heart monitor, which is excellent. A common side effect of spinal cord injures are really high and unstable heart conditions. Not a huge concern anymore for Mary-Jo’s case. Her room smells like sweet summer air due to all of the gorgeous flower arrangements. Thank you all so kindly.

Our families are truly the most amazing gift we have in this precious life. It has been an eye opening experience to watch our family come together. In your heart you know that that love and support is always there. But we drift because of busy lives or distance, and that love becomes one of the lesser-acknowledged concentrations. Then an event occurs such as this, and like a sponge your family helps you soak up all of those drops of water. Each family member exposing their role, the organizer, the advocate, the healer, the supporter, the care taker, the investigator, the role model, and the nurturer. The amount of talents which are born, because of the catalyst love, overflow into the most healing energy of all. Know that we are all connected. We may not be all of the same blood, or bear the same last name. But we all face these challenges and trials together, in being there for each other we give birth to a new family one that has endured and conquered. A family that has witnessed the greatest gift of all, caring for anybody, just as we care for our families.

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.