Rhon’s Inspiration Station: How To Stay Young
I picked this article as it INSPIRED me, and hopefully it will you too! This article comes from the book “THANK YOU POWER”- AUTHOR: DEBORAH NORVILLE
EMMA ROTHBURST DOES NOT LOOK AT THE DISASTER that hit her life as a Blessing but she does know she has been blessed. Her story in her home town near Kansas City and it haunted television viewers who saw the news reports about it.
It was a fall Friday night during Emma’s junior year in high school. She and friend Ashley Wanger were on their way home. Ashley was driving. Suddenly, from out of nowhere a police car in hot pursuit came barreling down the street. Traveling eighty to ninety miles an hour, the cops blew through a red light. The squad car’s dash-cam video later showed that the stoplight had been red for at least fifteen seconds before the officers reached the intersection. Ashley had the right of way. But that didn’t matter . The final video images are Emma’s face, eyes wide open ,her hands instinctively rising to her face in horror.
Mercifully, Emma doesn’t remember any of this. She remembers her mother dropping her off at Ashley’s home and then waking up in intensive care just before being wheeled into surgery. Friends who saw what happened in between would say it’s a good thing she doesn’t remember. They were sure both girls would be brought out of the wreckage in body bags. Emma nearly was.
Miraculously , Ashley suffered only cuts and bruises, but Emma’s injuries were another story. The sixteen-year old suffered a shattered pelvis, fractures to the tibia, fibula, and ankles, a punctured uterus and fallopian tubes and damage to her ovaries, her bladder and kidney. She also had a bruised liver and heart, a perforated diaphragm and a collapsed right lung. Emma was in hospital for more than a month. Once she was able to return, she attended classes in a wheelchair. For a while doctors weren’t sure if Emma would ever walk again. They’s still not certain if she’ll be able to have children.
The accident rearranged Emma and her family’s world as much as it rearranged her body. A former junior-high cheerleader who ran three miles a day, Emma now spends every single day dealing with pain. Yes, incredibly, for some one with the hip injuries she sustained, she can walk. You don’t have to talk with Emma for long to know she is one very determined young lady.
” No one ever told me I wouldn’t be able to walk, but that’s what everyone seemed so upset about. If you have a crushed pelvis “she explained” You never hear of anyone recovering all the way from that. So, I just decided that I was going to walk.
Emma walks with a limp. She can’t run or jog, she can’t even stand for a long time Now a college freshman, she is thrilled just to be able to sit through all her classes. In the beginning, that simply wasn’t possible. Her right side is atrophied from the impact of the crash, which, coupled with an oddly mending pelvis, means that she’s a bit lopsided on her bottom. But Emma’s figured out a practical way to deal with this “I just put my cell phone in my right butt pocket and even myself out. Nobody notices”
Her matter-of-retelling of her accident and long road back to health might lead on to believe that she’s naturally optimistic. Don’t be fooled.
“Funny think about “positive people like that,” she says “They are not really like that. When I was stuck in bed, I knew I would have pain the next day. I was always excited to have visitors come to see me. But then they would leave and I would have a little bit of resentment. You know like, you can sit down and then stand up and walk away, And I can’t. ” Then as if forcibly pushing those negative thoughts out of the room, Emma continues matter-of-factly. But I attribute that to the numerous painkillers I was on . They kind of shift your mood around”.
It’s clear that Emma’s determined mind-set has been a key asset in her recovery She gives a lot of credit to he visitors who came to see her, many of whom she didn’t even know.
“Lying in bed all day and being in pain, there’s nothing really you can do. They came to just to visit me That kind of stuff really kept me going. Even random people. I had no idea who they were. But they came. In normal life that , that wouldn’t be a big deal-people coming to visit. But, oh no ! It was really a big deal”.
Emma is grateful for one constant during those dark first days: her mom. Mrs. Rothbrust sayed with her daughter round the clock, nursing her, consoling her, counseling her. Emmy’s Dad had to work, but he brought breakfast every morning and checked in on Emma each day. Emma has tried to let those who came to see her what their gift of time meant to her.
“Some of those people I have gone back to and said ” Wow, thank you so much for visiting me. I was so bored that day! “
And , I have tried to add all those people that prayed for me to my prayers. It’s only fair”, she explains. They put all that time and energy and intense faith into me. They deserve to get it back.”
GRATITUDE RETURNED BY GRATITUDE. PRAYER REPAID BY MORE PRAYERS. Asked if there was any silver lining to her horrible tragedy, Emma is quick to answer, “I’m alive. I really should be dead, and I am not, and there is something I have to do, I guess.
What that is, the girl who tried to live right, do no wrong, get good grades, and make her parents proud, can’t. A good person before, Emma says she thinks she is now better at helping others. “I think when you suffer a whole lot, you are more in tune with other people and their feelings. I think that this is part of God’s purpose, but only not sure , I am only eighteen.” ONLY EIGHTEEN, BUT WISE WAY BEYOND THAT.
“PRE ACCIDENT, I WAS A NICE PERSON, FOR SURE”. EMMA TRIES TO ARTICULATE A CERTAIN KNOWING THAT SHE POSSESSSES. “Now I can just see people tell they are upset or in pain. I know that a smile can make you feel better about anything-even if it’s just for that minute. You have that one minute: I feel better. Somebody smiled at me!” She also affirms that reaching out to others when you are hurting yourself can have awesome results. “When you are in a bad mood and you see someone else in a bad mood you try to cheer them up, and it ends up cheering you up too”. She explains You didn’t even think about that happening. But you shouldn’t help others because you think things will get better for you in the end. Selfish acts don’t come back to repay you. Only selfless acts do.”
Emma is strikingly free of emotional baggage from her accident. She credits her faith for that. And she has no rancor towards the police officers responsible for her injuries. “They didn’t plan on hurting anybody. But the way they did their job could be considered questionable”
Meanwhile, Emma a linguistics major, says she has a message for anyone who is suffering : “Don’t focus on yourself. Focus on tomorrow and know that no matter what, it will be OK!. Deep living in the moment, and be grateful for the little things. For people being there, for the sandwich in front of you. The little things…the little things are best. Focus on the little things and the days will pass until you feel better. The THANK YOUS that were once a silly-sweet ritual when she was a girl have been a life preserver as the young woman has dealt with challenges that would unravel many of us. Emma’s faith and her practice of Thank You Power were firmly in place before her automobile accident !
He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.—–Epictetus
THANK YOU POWER -envision the life you’d like!