I'm still working on my memoir, believe it or not. In that light, I'd like to share an alternate opening for the story. I'd enjoy anyon'es thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Enjoy!
I had a stroke when I was 11. It sucked, but life goes on no matter how much we'd like to freeze it or rewind it. People say how brave I was or how strong I am. Bull--I had to recover; life kept moving with or without me. And frankly, I didn't realize that "without me" was an option. Believe me, there were plenty of times when--if I had understood more about life--I would have stayed behind.
Anyway, I had a stroke, was in a coma for three weeks, woke up and had to relearn how to walk and talk & all that crap, and it sucked. It really, massively, majorly sucked. BUT, that's not what my story is about. It's more about how completely amazing life is. Even when it sucks.
So yes, being on the respirator, having a voice too soft to be heard, and accepting that my body had to relearn how to do things that my brain still knew was frustrating and all kinds of difficult, but really it all just underscores the fun stuff, and helps me enjoy the really simple things. Being on a respirator was rough? Yes, but taking a deep breath of crisp fall air makes it worth it. Having no voice was frustrating? Yup. And singing my heart out fills me up. Really, having a stroke wasn't all that bad in retrospect, because I can stare up at the sky and enjoy the awe at its expanse; I can watch my kittens play and giggle at their silliness; I can enjoy every small piece of life so thoroughly.