I stopped counseling since I was perfectly fine. After all, I finally made progress in the wake of three years of weekly sessions. Guilt and anxiety no longer dominated my days, which felt like a monumental gift. I scheduled dentist appointments to fix my second cracked molar, casualties of teeth clenching—despite the biteplate I wore each night. My doctor added a temporary muscle relaxant at bedtime to reduce the clenching. A high dose of Celebrex usually tempered the headache and kept me moving.
I watched Beth hold a pen awkwardly in her right fist, not hesitating as she wrote her motto on a Challenged Athletes application. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
She wholeheartedly believed the motto was true. And it really was, though only for her and a small percentage of other people with her priceless perspective. Those with and without a disability.
I filed away a note to myself that said, “Anything is possible, except when it’s not.” I intended to write about how she dismissed all she couldn’t do as irrelevant.
“I think walking is over-rated,” Beth said, with a smile.
Unable to stand and not focused on a far-off cure for quadriplegia, she continued to work hard to defy the usual limits of quad hands. Her spinal cord injury erased normal finger function. Even so, she wouldn’t write off any fine-motor tasks she really wanted to do. One example of many: putting her hair up in a ponytail after trying several times a day for two years. A tribute to unwavering belief and persistence.
As Beth's last year of high school started, she quietly completed an early admission application to Harvard, convinced it was a long shot.
“I didn’t tell anyone since I didn’t think I would get in,” she said.
If someone asked about college plans, Beth mentioned the University of Michigan, one of the colleges she planned to apply to after she heard back from Harvard in December.
NEXT: A new job!
A mom with a story