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Posts Tagged ‘Darren Templeton’

Happy Monday Everyone! I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weekend (at least for my friends in NJ!). I hope it was nice wherever you were!

I recently came across a beautiful pillow in Darren’s closet that was made to commemorate a wonderful event. A group of 18 dedicated, caring and loving women participated in the MORE marathon, and team half marathon on April 10, 2005. Some of these women I knew better than others; some I did not know at all. Some were runners, some were walkers and ALL were “doing it for Darren.” Not only did they become part of the group to raise funds (which they did and was MUCH appreciated) but they provided motivation and support that they might not have even realized. After the event, they gathered at our house with their aches, pains, blisters, smiles and medals. They had accomplished their goals and we were all so proud of them and their efforts to support us.

Darren’s spinal cord injury had only happened 9 months before. Our emotions were raw, our world was turned upside down, and our uncertainty was ever-present. But here were these women who decided to support us. Through their efforts and commitment, they showed us what “community” was all about. They showed us love, support and companionship. They also showed me the power of running.

It had been many, many years since I had run for any reason. But I am so thankful to my friend Liz Schecter, who organized this group, and later encouraged me to get back into running. Since a fateful conversation on New Year’s Day in 2007 (I am not 100% sure of the date, but I think it’s correct!), I have completed two full marathons and two half marathons. In just 6 days I will run my third half marathon.

Thank you to Liz, Maryann, Terry, Kelly, Trish, Meg, Christine, Cyndy, Diane, Lisa, Laura, Linda, Denise, Lynette, Teresa, Pam, Tammy and Erica for what you gave us 10 years ago and how your gift has provided me with a way to focus on goals, deal with a life-changing event, challenge myself and SO MUCH MORE. I am forever grateful…………

If you would like to help me in my own version of “Do It For Darren” and for all of our Push to Walk clients, please click here to donate, or come to Long Branch this Sunday, April 26 and cheer on Team Push to Walk!

Thank you, Cynthia

 

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Happy Friday!

First, a shout-out to the Kinnelon High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and their advisor Anna Ellington for supporting Push to Walk and raising $600 for us through their help with the Jack O’Lantern Jamboree held last October. Thank you for all of your energy and enthusiasm!

For the next several Fridays, my blog post will be tied to new content we’ve added to the Family Corner section of our website. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve added new information to that part of our site, but I have committed to completing it, and have thought of new topics as well.

On the topic of “Doctors and Out-patient Therapy,” I hope I have provided some helpful information. Even though it has been almost 10 years (this July) since Darren’s injury, I can still remember the worries I had in coming home. He had battled SO many medical issues during his in-patient stay, that I was fearful of what lay ahead. At Shepherd Center, if there was a need for a doctor or a specialist, they were just called in. They did their rounds, came to his room – it was all very convenient. But the idea of being home without that medical support (in addition to all the other concerns!) was overwhelming.

Preparing ahead was the key, and making connections well before our arrival home made the transition that much easier. Read my post here. I hope you find it helpful.

If you have ideas for new topics in our Family Corner, or have questions you can’t find answers to anywhere else, please let me know!

Enjoy the weekend,

Cynthia

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March 23, 1986 – a day I’ll never forget! I am guessing most mothers remember the births of their children with an amazing amount of clarity. It IS a life changing event, especially the birth of the first child, so that should not be surprising. But every year, I think about the events of that day (and the night before as well) and it seems so hard to believe it happened 26 years ago! Wow!

I often stray from my self-prescribed topics of blog posts for Push to Walk, but today I am going to tie in triumphs and successes to one of my favorite people in the whole entire world – my son, Darren. Today he is 26 years old, and I am going to do what every mother loves to do – brag about their children.

Darren was always the strong, silent type. He was not rambuctious, running around crazy or loud. He was thoughtful, sensitive and caring. He is still all of those things and more. After sustaining his spinal cord injury at age 18, we shared many hugs and tears, more than one would ever imagine. We have also shared smiles and laughter, along with more hugs and tears of the happy kind. I think this has all brought us closer. But the fact remains that he is 26, wants to be independent, on his own and making his own decisions. As with most moms of young adult children, we let them find their way, make mistakes, offer guidance and then hold our breath as we watch them conquer the world.  Sometimes they trip and fall, but we are not always there to catch them. They (hopefully!) figure it all out.

Darren lived on campus three of his four years of undergraduate school. He then moved back home while getting his Master’s Degree. Almost simultaneously, he graduated, got a full time job and moved into his own apartment. I thought it was too many new things to do all at once. Can’t you get settled in your job before you move out, I asked. Don’t you want to enjoy a little time off before you start working for the rest of your life? Don’t you want to live at home and save some money? All of the answers, of course, were no. He had a plan and he followed it.

All of those things happened about 9 months ago. And all of those things seem to be going well. I say “seem,” because I am not privy to all the details of his life anymore. He is private and keeps some things to himself. I respect that. I’m curious, yes! But he tells me what he wants, and I guess what he thinks I need to know. I have to accept that. And that is OK.

So for today, I am trumpeting about Darren’s successes and triumphs. He is doing what so many other 26 year olds want and should be doing. Don’t get the wrong idea – every day is not a happy one, for either of us. We have our down days, our sad days, our frustrating days. The days I still want to scream and yell – Why Darren? Why me? Why us? Why ALL of us in the world of spinal cord injuries? There are no answers, no solutions, except to look deep inside ourselves and listen to our hearts. Acknowledge the hurt, but also the joy. Accept what is today, and hope for a better tomorrow. Recognize the weakness, but concentrate on strength. And, as much as possible, stay positive.

As I reflect on Darren’s 26 years of life, I celebrate all that he is, who he is and how he lives his life. I am so proud to be his Mom, and I wish him the BEST birthday ever.

Thank you for reading these words from my heart.  I am grateful to have the opporuntiy to write and share my feelings. I hope you enjoy sharing them with me.

Cynthia

P.S. Celebrate Darren’s birthday by registering TODAY for Push to Walk’s Poker Tournament on March 31. The price goes up $25 at midnight tonight!!

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