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Special Guest for May – Teresa Collins

May 2, 2010

Teresa Collins is the founder and owner of Teresa Collins Designs. She is also the founder of an annual scrapbooking event called Inspiration Unlimited. You can find more about her at her blog which is incredibly inspiring and soulful. We are truly delighted to have her here as our guest for May.


There are no words that an express the GRATITUDE I feel for the my BODY and health.

For me, you never realize WHAT you have until it is taken away. Eleven years ago, I suffered a major stroke. I was 7 months pregnant with my son Tyler at the time. It happened so fast— on a late Friday evening.

The day before my stroke- I ran 4 miles (yes, being big and pregnant!) and was in excellent health.

I was and am married to the LOVE of my life…He is my best friend.

At the time we had SIX beautiful children together – I worried over things that simply did not matter… I was way too hard on myself for things that did not matter. Like stretch marks, pregnancy weight, not ever feeling “perfect”, etc.

Then on November 6th- my WORLD and LIFE FOREVER changed… I suffered a major stroke. In a instant…..I lost all of my ability to move, talk and much of my vision.

I remember feeling TRAPPED inside my BODY – I could hear the doctors talk about ME…and yet, I could NOT respond. I honestly thought I was going to die- I remember, being in the ER room and saying a prayer- this is what I remember (it still seems like yesterday)… talking to our Father in Heaven…

“Please let me live…please let me tell my children one last time how much I love them… please let me say I’m sorry to those I need forgiveness from…please let my husband know that he is the love of my life and help him if I should die tonight…please let me see my children get married…please let my baby inside me survive and be unharmed from the stroke… even if my body is never the same again- please let me live just to with my family.”

I was blessed to survive and carried my sweet baby, Ty for another 6 weeks before giving birth. It took me a full year to recover. It was not easy and I STILL have side effects. My body has never the same again and for this I STILL give thanks and gratitude. I realized so many things-

Life is too precious to sweat the small stuff!!!

YOU know your heart and your intentions and each day is new day…do good things each day to bring happiness and joy into your life.

True happiness comes from SERVING others.

Love those that hate your or wish bad things upon you. Focus on the GOOD.

Be a friend to everyone.

Listen to your heart and follow those promptings!

FORGIVE yourself- don’t be so hard on yourself and others. Don’t focus on what you cannot change.

Express GRATITUDE every day for the simple things. Have a heart full of gratitude for everything!

I have so much more that I can share. I now keep a gratitude journal.

Thankfully, I was able to see this:

My daughter Taylor got married this past December. My son Matt got married and is expecting his first baby.

Both my daughters in High School- and performing on the drill team. My two youngest sons so happy and loving non-stop baseball.

Our family – one large HAPPY and grateful family.

I know there is SO much more I could write about.

It all comes to this- I am beyond thankful and grateful for all that I LOST. You read this right. For what I LOST.

I FOUND that my gratitude and thankfulness for life and my body has made me live each day with a new perspective. I never got my all my sight back from the stroke. I lost all of my left side peripheral vision. It is a constant reminder to me NOT of what I lost but more of WHAT I gained. Life can change in an instant… don’t take for one second for granted.

It is because of this that I started the amazing journey to DOCUMENT life and celebrate every day.

Grateful for EACH day- thankful that each day I can keep trying to be a better me.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 2, 2010 9:11 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I to have had major trauma in my life & during it I learned the most valuable lesson. “BE GRATEFUL” for all that you have or the very little one does have because actually if we look We HAVE IT ALL!! and then some. This past year my first born grandson was so sweet,so beautiful, so healthy, and I had one very happy daughter, suddenly 10 days later he fell ill , living on an island with lack of the kind of medical equipment he needed , well he died in the helicopter over to the mainland. Yes I am bitter, heart broken, angry, totally distraught for my daughter, how could this happen?? But I would love to be able to use that to make sure this never happens again to someone on this island. Don’t know how, don’t know when? But in my sweet angel’s name he wouldn’t want it any other way but for his Grandma to be grateful for the time we did have together!! And to share the kind of sweetness & love he brought to this earth. I miss him so very much & wish I could change it but I work on it every day to be Grateful for what we did have and do have. Life does change in seconds!!! My heart goes out for you and I sure appreciate all your sharing .What a very BEAUTIFUL family you have. Bless you all!!

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