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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

I wish everyone in our Push to Walk family a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy family, friends, caring and sharing this holiday season. May you enjoy celebrating with those you love, cherishing the gifts of time spent together, family bonds and friendship. I am blessed to have all of you in my life, and am thankful to know you and your families. Our Push to Walk family holds a special place in my heart, and I am grateful to our wonderful and dedicated staff, motivated clients, supportive families, generous donors and good friends  who, together, make it all happen! Thank you for all you do for me, our clients, our program and our organization. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Love Cynthia

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Ahhh, finally….on the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me……

Dare we put all my “days” together? They will definitely not sound anything like the song, nor as pretty, but hopefully meaningful……and now that I know the twelve days of Christmas actually START on Christmas Day, I’ll have to….oh no, don’t even think about that……..guess I should have done my research BEFORE starting this little project!

I’ll stick with twelve drummers drumming because I can relate to that. Whether it be a high school marching band like my friend Lisa’s daughter – highly competitive and striking to watch – or  Ohio State University’s incredible musical feats, or drummers in bands, I love them all! We’ve seen some incredible drummers perform live music recently, some SO young, and they are all amazing. There’s something hypnotic about live music, and drummers can do that to me!

So here goes: 12 drummers drumming, 11 parents praying, 10 lords/ladies-a-lifting, 9 ladies dancing, 8 merry Santas, 7 Christmas cookies, 6 silver bells, 5 golden rings, 4 waterfalls, 3 rules of three, 2 sunrises & sunsets and one family. Well, not too bad if you hum along and have a little imagination!

Stay tuned for a follow-up post before I journey into 2014 with new ideas!

Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas, and may it be blessed with family and friends to celebrate joy and peace during the season.

Love Cynthia

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Oh, I’ve been singing this song in my head (you wouldn’t want me to sing out loud!) for days trying to get ready for this project of mine I have convinced myself to take on. So here goes………

On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…………a wonderful family! My two children, Darren and Arianne, have brought so much love and joy into my world, I can’t really describe it. I’m sure all of you parents out there reading this can relate to what I’m saying.

While I try to follow my own advice all through the year, during the Christmas season I try especially hard to not lose sight of the importance of family in my life. While my husband and I have both lost our parents, and extended family is not really part of our lives, my husband, children, siblings and their kids are my focus. It is my family that got me through the most difficult days when Darren was first spinal cord injured (my Mom was alive then and provided a very strong support system) and continues to this day. It is my family that keeps me going  day after day, month after month and year after year.

I hope you have family with which to celebrate this holiday season, and if blood relatives are not part of your life, I hope you have found friends and communities who can stand in their place and give you the support you need to life live as fully as possible every single day of this holiday season.

Celebrate FAMILY! Until tomorrow…………Cynthia

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Hello Everyone,

I know I’ve been out of touch for quite awhile, caught up in busy days and never enough time to do everything I want to…….

The last few weeks have been tough, but this morning, Frank Sinatra’s words found their way into my head, and I knew it was a sign to write a blogpost!

With a computer hard drive crash, a big project getting derailed and my son not feeling well (always a concern of us Moms!), I was frustrated, disappointed and not feeling so optimistic. But here’s the thing – I’ve got to keep going! These things are all pretty small in the big picture; I just have to convince myself to keep a reasonable perspective and get on with life. So perhaps reading, typing and re-reading these words will help me – and maybe even you, too, if you are dealing with something difficult in your life:

I've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life
(That’s life)

Here’s to a better day RIGHT NOW!

Cynthia

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Along with so many of you, I have been watching and listening to hours of coverage about the bombs that were set off at the Boston Marathon. The terror that ensued, the deaths and injuries, the heroic acts of kindness – all of it in my head and leading to so many questions. I would venture a guess that all of us have been in a situation where large numbers of people have gathered with no way to secure our safety. Furthermore, many of us have been specifically at marathons, either on the course or at the finish fine. More thoughts, more questions, more fear………..

But today I wanted to write about an interview I saw on TV with the staff of the Forum Restaurant, the site of the second bomb that was set off in Boston. With sidewalk seating, many patrons were outside, craning their necks to see what the noise was created by the first bomb when the second one went off right where they were. People ran into the restaurant, through the back and out of harm’s way. But the staff ran to the front and started helping people. When the newscaster asked if they saw themselves as “heroes,” all of them shook their heads no…….but I believe it was the Manager who said “we were in the wrong place at the wrong time but we did the right thing.” Those words have stayed with me; I found them very moving and powerful.

I have asked myself many times since hearing those words – would I have done the same thing? The “right thing?” It is one thing to help someone in need when no other threat is present. I am sure I could do that. An act of kindness, a lending hand – sure. But now two bombs had gone off; might there not be more? Yet these people, and so many more, helped those that were injured, seeing unthinkable sights, and they saved people’s lives. They all put their own lives in danger to save others.

These actions shout out the word HERO loud and clear. I only hope I would do the same if faced with the same circumstances. Would you???

Cynthia

P.S. Watch the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams show tonight at 10 pm for a mother/daughter survival story from the bombings. I saw a preview this morning……

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Dear Friends,

As 2012 comes to a close, I am looking back on a year filled with many memorable events: some happy, some sad; some positive, some negative. I guess the same is true for any given year, and probably any given person. Of course, most present in my mind are the most recent occurrences of Hurricane Sandy and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Each was so different, but the profound effects of the loss of life, especially children, seems way more overwhelming than the destruction of property. I also know there were lives lost in Sandy as well, and I do not mean to diminish those losses by any means. They are real and profound as well. Sadness seems to engulf us from one month to the next, and for those directly and even indirectly affected, healing will take a very long time.

As I reflect on 2012, despite sadness and losses, I try to dwell on the positive. In reviewing the year’s events, I hope I learn about myself and how I handled various situations. What could I have done or said differently that could have made a difference? Did I treat everyone as I would want to be treated myself?  Did I live my days of 2012 in the best way possible? Was I the best person I could have been? These are questions I can only answer myself.

As I prepare for 2013, I want to think about all the questions I asked above and plan for a better year ahead. I am proud of my personal accomplishments and for those associated with Push to Walk. But of course, there is so much more we all want to do in the year ahead! As a staff and organization, we are committed to expanding our program, serving more clients and seeing more progress. We have come all this way because of our friends and supporters, and together, we look to a bright and successful 2013.

Happy holidays to everyone, and have a wonderful New Year! Thanks for being a part of this wonderful journey we are all on together.

Sincerely, Cynthia

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Happy Friday Everyone!

Riding my exercise bike this morning, I was watching the news as usual and was so happy to see a story about a flash mob that gathered in a store parking lot to collect money for a family in need. It just spoke volumes about how generous people really are, and how collectively, we can all make a difference to others. Reminds me of the old favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which I watched for the very first time just last year! I loved that story – who doesn’t?

So along those lines of spreading the Christmas spirit and being thankful for all those who have helped me, my family and Push to Walk, I would now like to mention other people and organizations who are near and dear to my heart and share how thankful I am to them:

Bob Parker and NewBridge (www.newbridge.org), a local non profit which helps bring balance to people’s lives through counseling, housing and education for children, adults and seniors. Besides having my own ties to them for many, many years, their nurse and social worker helped my Mother and provided some much needed services when she was living alone.

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis, a new favorite since being immersed in the world of spinal cord injury, is a wonderful group of people dedicated to uniting and empowering the international spinal cord injury community to cure paralysis through advocacy, education and support for research. Marilyn Smith and her team have worked tirelessly to make progress in all of these areas and continues to provide a voice for all of us in search of a cure. Thank you! (www.u2fp.org)

Another favorite local non profit is the Community Soup Kitchen (www.cskmorristown.org) who provides nutritious meals in a warm, safe, and caring environment, free of charge, no questions asked along with assistance in accessing community resources, services, and educational programs. Carol Kennedy has been involved with this organization for many years and they meet an ever increasing need for these types of services.

Some SCI favorite resources: The Kessler Foundation, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, SCI Sucks, Spinalpedia and  FacingDisability.com. Check out these links and take advantage of the information and services they provide. Perhaps they will become some of your favorites in the future!

Enjoy the weekend, and I hope you look forward to the holidays with as much love and joy in your hearts as I do!

Cynthia

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I can’t say it’s my favorite holiday as I also really love Christmas, but it is a very close second! Lots of food, family, friends and all in the name of giving THANKS for what we have, who we are, and what we do. I am grateful for all these things and more, every day, but with a day to celebrate thanks, it is that much more special.

I am a big believer in things being “relative.” Yes, there are things in my life that are not perfect – I think we can all say that to some extent. But whatever I have going on may be worse than some, but not so bad compared to others. When people complain about “little things” I really, really try to see things from their point of view. Sometimes their complaints are valid, and present real difficulties. But other times I just want to say “really? REALLY???” Oh, they just have no idea………..

And I’m not just talking about my world as related to spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, MS and other neurological conditions. I see friends struggling with major illnesses, children with severe problems, catastrophic losses from Hurricane Sandy – the list goes on and on. Those are the REAL problems.

So this Thanksgiving, I’d like to express my gratitude to all those in my life who contribute to who I am, what I do and what I have.  I am so thankful for my family, friends, co-workers and everyone in my Push to Walk family, far and wide. Thank you for being part of my life!

I wish all of you and your loved ones a wonderful, thankful Thanksgiving holiday! May it be a day of joy and celebration, but also recognize  others who are struggling and may need our help and support. I hope this holiday brings out the best in all of us, and that we help each other.

Love Cynthia

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Is it an anniversary? A second birthday? A day to celebrate life or mourn loss? For me, it’s all of these things and so much more. July 23, 2004 was the day our lives changed forever. Most notably my son Darren’s, when he sustained his spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. It affected his whole family, his friends and an entire community. Now, 8 years later, I’d also like to think it has changed the spinal cord injury community as well, at least locally, with Push to Walk.

But the personal side of the story is now a part of our lives. I can’t even begin to imagine the thoughts in Darren’s head as this date comes around each year. On the outside, I see a strong, motivated, determined young man who lives life to the fullest. He’s accomplished so much and has much more he strives to do. He sets goals for himself and works toward them with a calculated plan. I admire him every minute of every day.

Even eight years later, tears are always just beneath the surface and a thought, a word, or a vision brings all the raw emotions to the surface. And I am not the person living this life, but observing it one step away. How Darren and all the others with SCI I’ve met do it, I can’t completely comprehend.  As I write through my tears at this keyboard, I recall the many wonderful memories of life before SCI and there are many. And in these 8 years, there are also many good and happy memories. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss our “old life.” The spontaneity, the freedom, the ability to do whatever one pleases without the challenges that must be faced at every turn.

But here I find myself, immersed daily in the lives of people with SCI, and I am grateful I am where I am, doing what I am doing. Sure, some days I’d rather stay in bed and keep the covers over my head, but what would that accomplish? I’ve said for a very long time “if Darren can keep going, then so can I.” So I wake up each morning and face the day, having a hopeful, optimistic plan for something good to happen today. To work toward some goal that will help someone, do something that will make someone’s life a little better, a little easier, or a little happier. This is what keeps me going.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us in some way during this journey. There are way too many people to name, but my family, friends, neighbors know who they are. To countless others who have been there for us in the past and continue to support us – thank you. While I would not have chosen this path for myself (and certainly not for Darren), I am trying to at least have a positive impact on those around me.

Here’s to LIFE – the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks to those around me for helping me to focus on the good, not dwell on the bad and to laugh at the ugly…………..we are all in this together and I treasure your love, friendship and support.

Love Cynthia

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Hi Everyone,

Here we are mid-week already for our week-long Summer Camp, and I feel like we’re just getting started! Our campers are enjoying activities with current clients, former clients, prospective clients, families and friends! I always like seeing when our events officially “end,” and people are talking to one another, sharing stories, showing others their accessible vehicles, and just hanging out. This, to me, is PRICELESS and exactly what I hoped our camp would accomplish.

Please check our Facebook page for recent news, pictures and videos:   https://www.facebook.com/PushtoWalk

Our campers tell me they are loving their workouts, and while they are tired afterwards, they are energized and excited about what they are doing! Hopefully this week will help each person reach new goals and strive for more!

We are so grateful for all the support and donations we have received so far to help make our Summer Camp a success! For starters, thanks to Scott Chesney (www.scottchesney.com) and Curly’s Ice Cream in Riverdale for a great Ice Cream Social on Sunday. Thanks to Laurie Kammer and David McCauley (www.riseupgallery.com) and the Riverdale Art Center (www.riverdaleartcenter.org) for teaming up to host a wonderful Art Workshop on Monday night. Thanks also to Steve and Laurie Colella (Colella’s Pizza, Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ) for donating a delicious lunch on Tuesday that provided food for clients, guests and even the rugby players Tuesday night! Speaking of rugby, the NY Warriors Quad Rugby Team put on a fun exhibition at the Wayne YMCA. Campers and clients (even staff!) had a great time playing and learning about the game. Several of the rugby players traveled quite a distance, and we really appreciate their interest in being part of our camp activities.

Check our website for details on events still to come: Trivia Night at Hooters in Wayne tonight (Wednesday), a Push to Walk Open House and Dr. Wise Young’s Open House at Rutgers on Thursday, Pizza and Music Night Friday night, and capping off the week with Adaptive Sports Day and a second presentation by Scott Chesney on Saturday. http://www.pushtowalknj.org/document/description-of-activities.pdf.

Hope to see you at one of our events! Cynthia

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