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Not Quite a Dancer, But Still...

As you know, Matt and I love to watch Dancing with the Stars. Of course, if you ask him, he may very well deny it…but as the person who sits across the couch from him each Monday and Tuesday evening, exchanging comments and critiques I can assure you – he does. Generally we blow through a lot of the filler stuff of the results show to get to the bottom two and see who’s going home – but occasionally a dance or musical performance will peak our interest and we’ll keep our finger off the DVR fast forward button for a few extra minutes.
This Tuesday they showcased the story of an up and coming street performer who had been working his way up, when he suffered a sudden and life altering brain hemorrhage. I think I might have held my breath as his wife chronicled what happened to him. The photos and videos of him in rehab – learning to walk, talk, write…all of it struck a chord with us – of course. I couldn’t help but think of our own journey…and our own lack of photographic documentation. I was so concerned about protecting Matt’s dignity, it seemed cruel to take pictures or video. I knew how he would react to seeing it. Somehow it seemed better to shelter him from the gravity of the changes. But now, looking back, part of me wishes I did have more evidence, if you will, of the incredible progress he’s made. I have a couple audio tapes and a few pics from the first Christmas at home and when the boys brought the newly repainted TA back over…but nothing from the hospital. Nothing from the nursing home. Only a small handful in Omaha and a few with his physical therapists. Watching the amazing recovery of this street performer, who emerged to onto the stage to dance the finale with his troupe – I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of…jealousy. Looking at him, I could see he wasn’t 100% steady, and his body wasn’t nearly as limber as it had once been…but there he was, standing, walking, dancing to the music. It was incredibly inspiring, and at the same time a bit depressing.
(Here is a link to the video of the dancer   Steelo's Story)

Matt looked at me and said ‘they don’t know how lucky they are’. While I wanted to agree, and at first I did… but watching the dancer and his wife after the performance – tears of joy and gratitude rolling down their faces, clearly moved by the support of the dancing community…I believe they do know how lucky they are. I wish there was a magic cure for Matt and that he could spring up off the couch and walk over to me in the kitchen with the ease and natural confidence he used to. I wish, I wish, I wish…for so many things to be better. But then I have to remind myself, just how far he has come. I have to remind myself of all the things he CAN and DOES do on a daily basis. I have to remind myself of all the amazing friends and incredibly supportive family we are blessed by. And I have to remind myself that at the end of the day, it is still him and me making our way together. And that is truly a miracle.

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