13 years ago I woke from a coma. To tears, bright light, parents in hushed voices, a sterile room. I didn’t know what had happened. I knew it was bad, but I couldn’t name it. The first words I heard were from Scott, “Heidi, do you want to live?” I understood then, I existed between life and death. I said, “Yes.”
If I could hinge my life on one word it would be hope. Hope saved me. From the firefighters who rescued me to learning the word survivor at the burn unit and taking my first precarious steps on prosthetic legs, hope was with me.
When I began speaking in front of audiences, telling my story, people asked, “Will you write a book?” I shook my head, “No, I don’t think so.” Summing up my story in 20 minutes with a positive spin came easily, but to lay out a painful past I had fought hard to overcome seemed irresponsible somehow. By dredging up every surgery, every disappointment wouldn’t I undo everything I had laid to rest?
The short answer is no. I didn’t hurt all the hard work I’d done over the years. But, it was exhausting. I cried a lot. I took breaks and deep breaths. I kept going. I carried a notebook with me everywhere. At that time I could barely contain the words in my head. This story was relentless, determined to get out. I worried about being exposed, everyone will see my insides! I swallowed doubt and continued, hoping this was right.
This week I’m taking stock, poring over my life, thinking about firsts. The first time I rode a 2 wheeler and the first time I crashed it. Being captivated by Charlotte’s Web. Getting a main part in a play. Hearing laughter from an audience. Perfecting the walkover. First dance, first kiss, first heartbreak. Choosing life. Standing on man-made legs. Losing a best friend. Walking down the aisle. A baby girl. Then, a baby boy. Using my voice. The delicious chill that ran along my spine when I fell head over heels for writing. Pitching my story out loud. Getting ‘the call’. The first time I signed my name beside Author.
A week ago I received some of the best news of my life. I’m going to be a published author; my story will be a book!!! There are not enough exclamation points to express how thrilled I am. I am honored and ecstatic to announce that Behler Publications will be the publisher of Fancy Feet! My dream come true.
In almost all firsts hope is born. And courage follows.
I’m linking up with Yeah Write this week! Come check out the gorgeous writing over there.