How We Heal: The Stories

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Mike Hart

“His body is strong, but not coordinated. His mind is strong, and it is pulling things together. His spirit is strong, and he’s keeping a good attitude. You watch that and you say, ‘Yep, he’s healing.'”

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The Collection

I had to take care of the chickens. I had to physically go outside to be with them. They helped me forget what I was going through. It put me into the present in a different way.

For so many months, he was so sick, and unable to even move his arms and legs. He used to get mad watching his sister play because it was like, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ And now …

I would go down in my garage with a piece of paper that said, ‘c-a-n-c-e-r.’ I’d tape it to my backdrop and I’d blow it apart with my airsoft machine gun. I was killing cancer.

We thought there was no way Andre could go through this much chemo and radiation—again—and still be on the field in 2017. So to see him go out for that first practice …

I would sit down at the piano and I would just start to play. And I would really just begin to sing my way into the truth, I would begin to declare healing over my body.

My understanding of the main work of healing is receiving love, and opening up to that. Medical treatments complement that, and can support that. But the essence of healing is really opening up to love in the world.

Healing starts from within yourself. The process is aided by the surroundings and people you choose. You want to make choices that are healthy, mentally and physically, for your mind and body.

There’s no reason to dwell on it and be mad about it, because I can’t change it. Even if I did know those things, my recovery’s the same. Finding out who hit me doesn’t help me heal any faster than I am.

In my mind, I just kept realizing I can’t be his mom right now, I have to focus on me, I have to focus on the healing to be able to get where I need to be.

Before Teddy’s accident, if you were to ask me what healing means, I would think of it in such simple terms … But now I know that healing is asking for forgiveness. Healing is humility.

I always feel better after I’ve finished writing. It’s like when you have a deep encounter with somebody where you know you’ve really shared yourself and they’ve really shared themselves with you.

I named my brain tumor Joe Bully. He’s the worst bully ever. Joe Bully is really, really, really mean, and he messed with the wrong boy.

Some days I don’t think I can help myself, never mind others. But it’s just something you have got to do. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

There will always be pain for us, just under the surface of our hardened skin. But the goodness of us being together is healing.

We have chosen to be in every moment we’re given, because you don’t know if it’s the last moment. Rather than throwing away those small moments of being able to sit and have a cup of coffee and watch the kids play, I’ll take them.

Just because I have all of these illnesses, and all of these issues, doesn’t mean that I should just look super-sick. There’s no shame in trying to look as great as you possibly can, even when you’re not feeling good.

Kevin Amundson

The healing process for me is ongoing. Every day. I still have my bad days. I still have days where I just want to lie in bed, not get up. Not do anything all day. But knowing I can push through … that helps.

After my treatment, I wasn’t strong enough to get back into running right away, so my Mom was like, ‘Oh, you should at least try swimming.’

One day I said to Spiro, ‘I think I have to become a nurse.’ I remember he said, ‘Why? You are a teacher.’ I said, ‘I can become a nurse and take care of people like you.

She’s not just a dog. She is my angel dog. If she weren’t here for me, and being as calm and easygoing as she is, I’m not really sure how far I would be on my recovery at all.

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