IFC S1 R38 - Motivation/Inspiration - "A Day in a Human Life"

in #ifc3 years ago (edited)

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"A Day in a Human Life"

This was written four years ago - capturing the moment

Had such a special moment today. Historical moment in a human life. My son found his own music today! It was only recently that we learned he could not read music - after 2 years of violin lessons - he had become so adept at playing what he heard that it was a shock to us and his new instructor that he was playing strictly by ear. In these last few months he has worked so hard learning to read music which has made a world of difference...but, it's been challenging, not particularly 'fun' and tedious. His teacher is in the NC Symphony and has traveled all over the world playing...very talented, amazing human being but also takes her craft very seriously and expects her students to adhere to the same caliber - stand this way, hold the bow that way, hold your violin this way, etc. This has also been an added challenge, having to basically re-learn 'everything'. It truly hurt me to see him struggling so hard, not knowing where this would lead. Whether good or bad for him with everything he's been through.

But this last week, I heard something different coming from his playing I had not heard before...a confidence, strength and a 'joy'. I was feeling hopeful.

TODAY, when we went for his lesson, I was quite excited for Petia to hear this 'new' side of my son coming out. She has so often looked him in the eyes and said, "I believe in you...you can do this...I see it in you!"

He walked in the room where Petia stood waiting with her normal serious demeanor and with a hand gesture sat me down in a chair in the corner with my youngest son. She tunes my son's violin and then hands it to him with barely a smile on her face. "And, what will you be playing for me today?", She asks. He very confidently chooses a piece and begins to play and then suddenly Petia joins him in what I can only describe as perfect harmony. BEAUTIFUL! The piece is over and Petia just starts balling..."I have waited my whole career for this kind of moment...I am blown away...you went from beginner violinist to THIS....You just jumped to a whole new level." My son's face was beaming from inside out.

Then they continued on a few more pieces together, both smiling as they played. And as if some inner voice or instinct told her to, she dropped out of the piece and backed away leaving my son to basically 'fly' with his own heart. I don't know how she knew that this was 'that moment', but somehow she did. And something in my son recognized this moment, too. With his violin's lone voice, he suddenly stood taller, held his instrument like he owned it and played with so much intensity and grace that I couldn't believe this was my child standing there. Actually, he wasn't my child in that moment. I was looking at an emerging person - this very strong and impressive presence...a glimpse of something I have no words for...perhaps the man he will grow into one day.

As he played and I looked up into his face, I saw his eyes squinting and blinking and thought, "Oh maybe I need to have his eyes checked." (the Mommy in me :) ) but before I could finish that thought, his little face started to get splotchy and his chin started to quiver. This is when I realized what I was witnessing was that he was 'feeling' the music and was moving his own soul. I felt that all familiar wave of emotion welling inside of me, so very grateful to be present for this moment - so moved.

He finished the piece and looked at me real quick and giggled...then took a long, deep breath and I said, "I think you just experienced your own music and you were moved by it." He couldn't talk...he just gave a long "yes", deep breath and the biggest smile I've ever seen. We all had to wipe our eyes a few times. Petia told him how special this day was and that she was going to write the date down in her journal.."this is a historical day!"

Then she told him, "Until this day we've had lessons...today...we played music together." :) Whoa...To me this is what life is about..these very special moments when we are moved from within...when we are aware of who we are on the deepest level of this human life. For my son it was music, to others it may be art, writing, etc...or something as simple as witnessing human kindness. Or like me, a mom...witnessing my child connect with music and blossom right before my eyes. I am so very grateful that I was conscious enough to see this. What a gift.

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This day alone would have been enough to last me a lifetime of inspiration. However, this is only part of the story that led to this day.

When my son was 4 years old, we were at a birthday party and an older child (much older) jumped on him while he was inside one of those balloon jumping gyms. We had always been extra protective parents, but the last 5 minutes he came to us and wanted to go inside with his little friends and so we relented, letting him go while watching for him to come out the other side. This did not happen. One of his friends emerged telling us that he was hurt and could not move. As we rushed him to the hospital, we found out that his arm was broken.

This would begin our nightmare as parents.

He wore his cast for the allotted time, but when it came off I noticed a bulge on top of his arm. We had 5 doctors in all that would look at his arm and all said that it was fine. I accepted their explanation that he was just too small and that it wouldn't be noticeable when he started developing muscles - that bone creates fibers as it heals and this was 'normal'. But it never felt right with me.

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I always watched that arm when he played or gestured, keeping an eye on it waiting for that bulge to be buried under muscle, but it never did. My husband and I had many conversations about it and he always reassured me that he thought it was fine. After all, we had so many doctors look at it. Surely it was fine, right?

Two years later, he was leaning back on his arm and I 'knew'! It was as if his arm was on backwards. Something was horribly, horribly wrong. I made an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist from one of the best medical hospitals in the country immediately (which happened to be an hour away).

X rays revealed that he was wrongly diagnosed (by 5 doctors!). His tendon was balled up in the back of his elbow and the ulna was displaced from the socket and growing outside of it. Due to not having surgery at the time of injury, his arm grew in such a way that he would have life-long pain, injuries and surgeries...he would eventually lose the use of his arm (His right arm, to be exact).

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It would be a 9 hour surgery. My husband and I were lost in a fog of grief, worry and disbelief. "I don't understand....I don't understand...this can't be happening." I kept repeating -as if saying this would somehow present some intervening miracle phone call from the operating room. "How could such a little body be under anesthesia for 9 hours?! Something is wrong!"

The doctor finally emerged through a side door - noticeably fatigued with that same expressionless face she had when giving us his diagnosis. "I managed to stretch the tendon and reconnect it, but the ulna and socket were much more difficult. I was able to remove enough to get the bone in the socket - my original diagnosis still stands." Not exactly what we wanted to hear.

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I don't think we slept for 3 months. Our son didn't do well with anesthesia, his pain was hard to manage for many weeks and the worry we felt was overwhelming. He was in a cast from the his fingers to his shoulder. This massive appendage of plaster that resembled a club invading every minute of his life (hugs, bath-time, eating, dressing,etc). And during this time, we found out who our true friends were. As my youngest son would say, "Mommy, it's too hebby" and people started dropping like hot cakes out of our lives. That was also difficult to comprehend.

As well, our son's surgeon barred him from playing outside or rough housing with other kids. This further isolated him from other children and his brother. It was all about 'the arm' and keeping it protected.

These changes presented far more than the physical

School became a big problem.. Obviously he could not 'write' with his clubbed arm during this important developmental stage of his education. Despite hours of working with him every night to use his left arm, it was just too difficult and a struggle. It took hours to get one sentence and as he fell behind, the parent/teacher conferences increased. The feedback during these conferences were brutal, uncaring, disconnected -"something is wrong with your son", "He doesn't look us in the eye or seem to connect in any way", "We're not impressed and see no progress". This was certainly not our experience with him - he was a silly, happy, imaginative giggle box of love that thrived on 'interacting'. In fact, I would say 'too much so' that it was hard to get him to go to bed at night because he didn't want to miss out on interactions. However, it was possible that his circumstance was causing problems while at school.

Nothing made sense and everything was upside down and a pressure-cooker of uncertainties

In the meantime, we were continuing with follow-up appointments with his surgeon on the progress of his healing. Her deadpan expression and solemn look continued.

However, one day she uncharacteristically greeted us with a smile. She closed the door behind her and very animatedly said, "I don't want to get your hopes up, but I heard there is a procedure that two doctors are performing on this type of injury with great success. They won't talk about with anyone, it is not in the medical journals and it is 'experimental' at this point but I've heard through the grapevine that every case has been successful. Just to be clear, I don't want to get your hopes up as I don't know exactly what they are doing - I need to know right now if you would be open to something experimental." Then she continued, "If you are interested, I will jump on a plane right now and fly out there and sleep on their front lawns if I have to in order to get them to share their procedure - and I won't leave until they do." She was smiling ! In my heart, I knew this was right but my head was saying 'this is scary...caution, caution, caution'.

The hard reality was that given the situation, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain - quite possibly his only chance of having use of his arm. We agreed and waited with baited breath for her two week return.

She did, in fact, stalk and pin down these doctors and was successful in gaining their knowledge in this promising, new experimental procedure. Her enthusiasm immediately filled us with hope, "I can do this, it will work...I feel good about this...piece of cake!!!" She wanted to perform surgery that very next week, it was moving so fast!

The procedure:
His arm was cut and separated into 4 sections held together by rods, plates and screws. The space between the 4 sections of bones were a precise distance apart in order for the bone to magically send signals to the other/'communicating' across the space and basically building a bridge. The space/bridge would eventually fill in with bone over time. In essence, his body would build a brand new arm!

Another 9 hour surgery! This time, we waited with hope. This time, we got that halfway mark phone call, "Things are going really well."

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It would take another year (two years total) with one additional surgery (6 hours) to remove all the hardware. We continued to struggle with his school and the demeaning teachers that just stuck him in the back of the room - under-estimating, under-value-ing him with such disconnection and non-caring slowly eroding away his confidence.

The toll from this was great on our family. However there were many human angels that rose to the occasion in this journey, going far above and beyond what any normal person would do. Our son had a new arm and he would NOT spend the rest of his life in pain and in operating rooms. Our last step would be the rehabilitation phase to determine his 'range of motion' after so much trauma to the arm. That too, went very well. Happy ending achieved ;)

With that, I realized that our whole family needed some rehabilitation and much needed healing. I decided, with the agreement of our boys, that we would take a break from this school environment and try homeschooling for a year - just have fun while catching up on two years lost.

The shift was immediate and overwhelmingly positive

Barely into our first few weeks, my son came to me and said, "I think I would like to take violin...can you set that up for me?" :)

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This story could have gone in so many other directions and paths than it did. Which is why I find it inspirational and motivational. I think most inspirational stories have some element of tragedy and struggle because often life gives us these lessons and it's through these times that we grow the most and discover who we are.

Each one of us, individually, could have become stuck in the sludge of negative people/experience, fear and overwhelming difficulty that enveloped this chapter of our lives but it was actually our love for each other, the good in people, determination...hope... that helped us through. There would be no moment like the one had there not been this experience and our son's amazing will to 'feel' his own music.

Petia and one very happy student "violist"

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Petia Radneva-Manolova - a master violinist, child prodigy from her native land of Bolgaria with a lineage of violists. The connection between these two was instant.

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Reading this reminds me that everything truly will be okay!!! That hope you held is inspirational😊

Thank you @charisma777 "Everything truly will be okay" If you want it to be

You have my vote good luck!

Thank you so much, @xomegax !

What a touching and inspirational story.. And what a challenge your son had to deal with.. It had me crying a lil bit a couple times.. Makes me glad to know it turned out as well as it did especially considering how much worse it could have been! It's not that often entries on here make me feel so much. So.. I'm voting for you for this round. Thank you for the great entry and the inspiration. All the best to you and yours. <3

Thank you, @apolymask. I have to admit, writing this out brought quite a bit of tears for me, too. Still trying to shake it off ;) First time our son heard the details of what was done to his arm....whoa. It was a family affair posting it.

Thank you for your empathic heart and your vote.

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A Reminder Bot for a busy mom? :) I love that! I need one of those

It's the first time I used the service, but it works great! Anyone can use it, it's free.

I am definitely going to try it out! Thank you :)

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You seem to have a very special access to inner strength. What your family's been through is a hopeful example for all of us. While reading, I kept up hope that your son would play the violin again, for the moment of breakthrough could not possibly be the end. Your son has had an experience that some people make late in life. The naturalness with which we use our bodies has certainly become a peculiarity for the use of his arm. He will never forget what it is like to be restricted and appreciate life.

I am amazed that the schooling at home was no problem. That would be unthinkable here in Germany!

That you and your husband have passed through this time together and it did not lead to separation is as wonderful as it is remarkable. You kept your nerve and your heart. I'm in love with you;-)

Friends who are or can be none at this time are a reflection of what people are afraid of. For my part, I have experienced that in the worst distress I simply wished for pragmatic help and support, without having to feel how much it overwhelmed the other person to be there for me. The insecurity of others was like a poison. I hope I let this poison out of my system - in the end it's all about forgiving one's own weak moments and doubts.

To overcome this doubt, I read in your story. It will help you to overcome the difficulties ahead, I'm sure.

I'm grateful that you show the doctor and the musician and pay tribute to them. You always amaze me with the fact that what you usually only see in the cinema has become reality in your life.

Thank you, dear @erh.germany Your words were so needed to read.

Yes, that inner strength came the hard way - no complaints, but you either learn these skills or you become plowed over. I never wanted to be plowed over, I wanted to 'live' and wanted to understand, grow. I learned that these things come in cycles and that there is always a light at the other end - we do survive them. And I do very much believe in 'happy endings' ;) However, I have to say that in times of extreme difficulty, you're really not in a state of mindful skill use, you're in a state of 'autopilot' and knocking back your emotions and worry just to get through the day in order to have some normalcy and functionality. :)

Yes, we are allowed to homeschool here. Grateful for that. We also have a very large population of homeschoolers in the U.S. and in my state. I respect those that went before us because they really did the hard work as it is now well-established and accepted. After we finished that school year, I did take our son to a Pediatric Developmental doctor just to make sure everything was okay and received the validation needed. Not only did the doctor homeschool his own children and suggest it for us, but he told us that our son was fine. He also told us there was something wrong with the school as he had 8 other families coming to him with similar history. It was a Montessori School if you can believe it. We have 800 families in our homeschool community and many of them are teachers/Professors that became disenchanted with public schools now homeschooling their own children. So, it's really quite nice to have these professionals as teachers for our children now ;) Maybe Germany has a better educational system than here? I hope so.

The way people reacted to what our son was going through really upset me. I still can't comprehend it and likely never will. I suppose the saying, "You find out who your true friends are during hard times." says so much as to the pervasiveness of this mindset. I never believed that saying entirely. Unfortunately, it is true - I don't know why though...really. Fear? I don't know if it's fear or selfishness. There were some parents that were complaining to the teachers and school that our son was getting 'special privileges' because he was able to stay inside while their children had to stay outside. And I agree, a little understanding and compassion would have gone a long way - I am very mindful of not burdening other people or overwhelming them - I tend to actually keep to myself if I can't be present and supportive of others.

I'm grateful that you show the doctor and the musician and pay tribute to them. You always amaze me with the fact that what you usually only see in the cinema has become reality in your life.

Thank you, @erh.germany I suppose it is a tribute to them because they were both emulating such a big light from within themselves. I owe so much gratitude to both for their part in this happy ending. When it comes down to it, these are the people that make the world a better place...just knowing that such people exist, makes the world a better place. And they do!

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and well-written response and feedback as always. Very grateful for your beautiful perspective.

Enjoy your weekend

Thank you, too.
What you say I find is normal. In times of difficulties and challenges, you do what is needed. It's actually something valuable that you put yourself on duty and not let yourself be overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Most people who are more or less stable go through their difficult times and function. The aftermath comes later and to work with what had bothered me and where I feel disappointment towards others.

From what I know about myself is that my feelings of disappointment are connected to guilt on my part. When people dropped me during my hardest times I was deeply hurt. ... Thoughts came that I myself was probably not there for them, either through my own ignorance or because my circumstances were tough at the same time. Also, in some cases I felt trust and was kind of light minded about their potential to help themselves. Sometimes people are mad about me even though I haven't known the real issues because they did not tell me and did not ask actively for help.

I learned that in case I need support that I actively must ask for help and that a "no" from the person must be accepted by me. It's tricky when to call an event "done" or "overcome". To accept that there are people who are simply not the right ones in helping me even though they are my friends or family sometimes overshadows those helpers who did support me. Certain challenges need certain characters. Most people are not made for all cases ... that is what I learned from my worst crisis in life.

I got rid of my guilt (for the main part, still working on some issues) and give to those who were not able to give something to me. I do that because I want to open up a new chance of coming close again.

I lost one friend in this and never got in touch again with her. This is not so dramatic after all.

All in all your story is a good example that in all circumstances we lose something and we win something. What do you think?

Please, call me Erika :)

P.S. I don't know if our education system is better. ... I guess, not. OECD standards all over the world seem to be pretty much the same to me... But I do not know enough about other countries.

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You have my vote for this round ma'am.

Wow, thank you so much @addempsea !

Wow, this is truly inspirational! Congratulations on the win! 👍👍👍

Wowwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm in awe of him! This is such an amazing story, and I'm seeing so much of his spirit now!!! I really really really hope that I get to hear him play someday!

And I know this exact feeling of being moved by my own music! I sing alto - so singing in harmony is like nothing else to me. Two voices intertwined.... ohhhh so amazing!
I remember the first time when tears filled my eyes with the sound of perfect music.... i'll never forget that!

wow - i feel so connected to him! What a special child! I'm so glad thatyou started homeschooling too! It makes such a difference in the right child!

Love that you fought for your son ... isn't it amazing that we always KNOW when something isn't right? I have a similar story with a similar happy ending :)

love this Wings :)
Thank you for sharing!

He really has such a strong spirit. I think, in a lot of ways, his strength helped us get through that difficult time - but I am so incredibly grateful that it had a happy ending, too. So grateful.

That is a very beautiful place to be when you find your own music....nothing compares - especially that first time you feel it.

How interesting that you are an alto - I would have never guessed that! I bet you have a beautiful voice, Dreem.

It is amazing that we have that instinct and knowing although I wish that it was a little easier to know that you know ;) haha

Here is a song I did for Snook's bad karaoke contest :)

I had a better song for you but dlive ate it :(
I hate that they delete videos after a while!!!

I'm singing harmony with myself in another layer in parts hhehee

Oh my goodness, @dreemsteem!!! Your voice is so very beautiful! Thank you so much for taking the time to find this amazing gem. Re-upload the other? I want to hear!

You just have so many gifts and I am so happy that you have this platform to express them. I truly am in awe! I'm going to have to be your stalker now ;)

I know your time is so limited now with other projects, but I do hope that you can find the time every once in awhile to share your other gifts like singing and your writing :)

Did you also do the video? So perfect!

What a beautiful gift. xo

Wow... so very sweet, this story.
what a long journey for him.

Yes, it was quite a journey for him. I'm almost afraid to say life has found its normalcy but he is now doing so well. Everyone has a story.