The 3 D’s: Dreams, Desire, Determination
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France
I never equated a dream to a goal until my dream and my goal became one in the same. And I never had a dream that I was so desirous to grab hold of until I felt my life slipping through my fingers.
My dream was formulated sometime between realizing that I was going to live, surviving a life threatening bacterial infection, and aching to be home. I don’t remember my exact location when my dream began to form. I was in the hospital, and maybe still in the ICU, but I can’t be certain. All I knew was after losing three limbs, half of my chest, and my life, as I had known it; my recovery was going to be long and arduous. But all I could think about-- dream about, was going home to my two little boys and my husband.
When I got out of the hospital, almost three months to the day from when I was admitted, and on to the physical Rehab facility, I was terrified. I had no feet to stand on; only one hand-- the left hand-- and it was damaged from the illness. I had no idea what it was going to take, or how painful it would be to get back on my brand new soon to be purchased feet.
I arrived at the rehab facility, and met with my physical therapist, Bob. After doing an evaluation of me, he shook his head. “We have a lot of work to do here.” He explained how my muscles had deteriorated over the past months, while lying in a hospital bed. After asking Bob how long it would take to be able to walk on prostheses, he told me, “That’s entirely up to you, and how hard you’re willing to work.” My fate rested in my own hands.
I explained to Bob that I had a dream…a goal. “I want to be home by my son’s 5th birthday, July 13th. I want to walk in my door totally unassisted, to help celebrate his life. I want to go home, and re-claim my life!” Bob raised his eyebrows, and shook his head again. “That’s a pretty lofty goal,” he said. “Be prepared to work hard.”
My regiment of exercises was brutal. But I hit that rehab gym every day six hours a day (that was all Bob would allow me to stay) working to exhaustion. The stronger I became, the more real my dream became. As I began to believe in myself, I knew I could accomplish my goal. I noticed, while doing my physical therapy, that if I kept my dream at the forefront of my mind, my grueling daily routine didn’t seem that grueling. I also noticed that the closer I came to realizing my dream; my desire actually increased and fueled my determination. My immense desire and unrelenting determination made me unstoppable. All of my hard work paid off. On June 31st I got my first pair of prosthetic legs.
When I stood for the first time on my new legs, it hurt like I couldn’t believe! But once again, I put my dream in the forefront of my mind, and my desire surged. I took one agonizing step after another, determined not to let my physical pain get in the way of my dream. As time went by, I started to adapt to my new legs. The pain turned into discomfort, and as I was able to wear my prostheses for longer periods of time, the discomfort began to ease. I was becoming more proficient on my new fake feet walking indoors and outdoors. I could even go up and down stairs. Finally, I was ready to go home.
I walked into my home totally unassisted, realizing a dream that had been set almost six months previous. My accomplishment was great. I had a dream, a plan of action, and belief in myself that I would never quit. And my reward for realizing my dream was my home…my family, and the privilege of reclaiming my life.
I left my house on February 15th, a victim. I entered my home July 23rd, a survivor.
When you’re on the Survivor’s path, no dream is too big. No obstacle will deter you if you have that unrelenting desire to accomplish your goal. And as the desire to grab your dream grows, it will fuel your determination and make you unstoppable. So never be afraid to set your goals high—to dream big.
A Survivor knows that to believe in a dream is a dream already realized.