Even crooked trees grow up to be as strong and mighty as the straight ones.
We’ve all felt like the crooked tree in the forest at one point or another, not quite fitting in.
I used towonder how will I (a self professed crooked tree) be remembered?At some point or another we all question how others willremember us after we pass on. Well, I got to find out, except I’m still living. After I nearly diedandthroughout mymiraculous recovery from it, I’ve heard the memories and impressions that people had of me.It’s been a mixture of surprise andincredibly surreal. However, it also bears the marks of sadness becauseas much as I’d like to I cannot revisit and relive the past. Therefore, Ialso can’t go back and change it, but I can change the future. Although, none of us truly have control we do have the power to make choices. In fact we make thousands each day(knowingly and unknowingly) however small they may seem. This begs the question “How would you like to be remembered?” For being strong, tenacious, brilliant, ambitious, or kind? Rather thanunkind, lazy, or at a stand still in life I’m sure. I’ve been more than surprised(and blessed) to hear that the last memories of me would’ve been greatly positive. This confirms that I’ve had a great life and left the kind of mark on it I want to thus far(and I’m not finished! You too can leave the marks you desire, and there’s no time like the present in which to start. Sometimes, life can be daunting and it seems better to take the path of least resistance, but I promise there’s more rewardsto be had from thepath less traveled. You can start today planting seeds for the future(whether straight or crooked) that will grow into trees looming in a forest comprising the memories of you.There are hardly words to describe how truly wild life can be. Since this whole event occurred to me(iethe massive stroke)hardly a day has gone by where I’m not in awe of the things that I’ve seen since. Just as a huge wave of love, and the best came out of New Yorkers after 9/11; I have witnessed much of the same from people after my own disaster. This has left me a better person andwith the conviction, that it shouldn’t require a disaster to bring out the best in us. We canchoose to be our best selves everyday.
“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.
– Charles Dickens.”
How many friends doyou have? I’m not speaking of Facebook, Instagram or social media, butactual friends. We cross paths withand touch hundreds of people every year. This didn’t become so obvious to me until I landed in the ICU of an upstate New York Hospital. Anonlinefundraiser was started for me, and who were the majority of donors? Well, not many of them wereclose friends, surprising?Yes!Instead, they were the girl I had crossed paths with once in my work and charmed, the group oflovely friends in Brooklyn that I played beer pong with oncein their loft, a group of pretty girls I took a pin-upclass with in New York City, family members and best friends of people(ie my boyfriend at the time) that loved me. Even people I worked with or had worked with contributed. As manyof my friendsthat gave, so did peoplewho I had crossed paths with beforethestroke occurred. Some of these near perfect strangers even wrote in loving(some funny)things with their donations.Not only was I peasantly surprised by the outpouring of love,but even more so the reactions I received from those I had met only once(or twice). Icouldn’t believe they remembered me, much less that I left such an impression. What if I had been grumpy,unfriendly,or unapproachable that day instead? It was obvious that you never know who your going to meet, andhow they’ll react to(and remember) you. Little did I know at the time, that each of these beautiful souls could easily have beensome of my very close friends! This also begs the question “ How would you like to be remembered?We all want to be remembered fondly, and I just happened to get a glimpse of my own rememberence. This clearly showed me that, youshould not take your presence for granted. Because you affect far more then you know. I left a lasting impression not because of what happened to me, but rather because of who I am as a person. These people remembered a friendly,fun,relatable girl. Wecan all leave such impressions. How? By waking up each day, embracing it, being grateful for our lives, and holding onto our childlike wonder. Moreoverby letting go of our fears or worriesand taking life head on, because after all We only have one!