Following my mother’s episode and subsequent diagnosis as a “vegetable,” life was continuing in the Herman household. We kids were no longer kids. I was 13 and wanting my own life, like any know-it-all teenager. My mom was getting “better,” but also more frustrated with herself. Someone gave her a card with a cute bunny in it. When she tried to read the card and couldn’t, she became very mad at herself. She said, “That’s how I feel, like a ‘dumb bunny!’” From that day forward, she would berate herself by calling herself a “dumb bunny.” It ripped me up to hear that. We tried to change her association with the phrase and make it into a cute, lovable bunny. If someone you love (including yourself) is going through their own difficulties, please encourage them to stay strong and to Never Give In!
My dad never gave in. My dad was so incredibly busy, which forced us kids to learn to be very self-sufficient. But how does one man work full time, care for five kids (yes, I counted my mom as a (big) kid at that point), handle all the doctor appointments, medications, bills, etc., and still try to take care of himself? That is the true definition of a “man” and a “father” to me.
Four years into my mom’s aneurysm recovery, my dad was diagnosed with foot cancer! Surgeons were forced to remove the skin from the entire top of his right foot as part of the treatment.
Despite all these struggles, no one in our family ever asked, “Why us, Lord?” We trusted in our faith, trusted in each other, and we did whatever it took. We lived by the unspoken motto: Never Give In! (I still live by that motto today. As you’ll learn later, I would need it… often.) In fact, almost 10 years to the day since her devastating brain hemorrhage, my mom passed her driver’s test! The state of California had once again deemed her competent enough to drive on the crazy streets of Southern California! This was truly a milestone in her recovery.
At that point, the new clinical diagnosis from all her doctors, and anyone else, was unanimous: Patricia Ann Herman was no longer a “vegetable.” She was a walking, talking, highly functioning “miracle.”
The human spirit itself is miraculous and can accomplish incredible feats. If you have your own “miracle” story, please share it with me in the comments below. I pray, no matter what struggle you may be facing, you Never Give In!