Sunday, March 12, 2017

Thrill of Victory - Agony of Defeat

I know some people are too young to remember ABC “Wide World of Sports” and they had the montage “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat” and they showed this ski jump fall by Vinko Bogataj (Shown in the first 30 seconds) 

This is how Pastor John started his sermon today.  The reason for the fall…"Midway down the inrun for his jump, Bogataj realised that the conditions had made the ramp too fast. He attempted to lower his center of gravity and stop his jump, but instead lost his balance completely and rocketed out of control off the end of the inrun, tumbling and flipping wildly, and crashing through a light retaining fence near a crowd of spectators before coming to a halt. “ (wikipedia)

Pastor John talked about how you react to a changes in your path and he had a really great sermon today and I just couldn’t help but think of Matt, the entire time. 

If Vikno Bogataj hadn’t changed his path, he likely would have been killed doing that jump if he hadn’t adjusted his path,  instead he received a concussion and a broken ankle.  We have to “adjust our sails” so to speak to the changing winds in our lives and do something differently, not just lay down and die.  Things don’t always go as planned and we have to learn to adjust to the roadblocks in life.   MS changed Matt’s path but his life is not over, just life as he once knew it.   He once was a hard working plumber/pipefitter at Ford Motor Co, active in his community, father to four and husband to Cindy.  And now he’s pretty much confined to a wheel chair.  (He can transfer from chair to bed and back to chair)  His dexterity has deteriorated a lot and has a hard time gripping things (including a fork or spoon) and he tries his best to maintain what is left of his independence.  It is hard and you can’t help but wonder “why”?  Matt doesn’t want sympathy, he just wants everyone to know he can’t help it.  March is MS Awareness month and while he told me “I”m very well aware” and he wants others to know his journey through MS. 

I told him I thought that God brought him to where he is for a reason.  He is there to be a light to others and he truly enjoys the other residents.  He enjoys getting to know them and was recently voted President of Resident council, although we hear the vote was really close and there may be a re-vote. (Voter Fraud? ha ha-- Matt O for President! Making Bellevue Care Center Great Again!)  (I am not sure all the details of this, but would certainly campaign for my brother if I could)  Matt enjoys very much selling candy bars to raise money for a monthly pizza party!  He loves his pizza and diet pepsi! 

He told me he loves getting to know the other residents and he even can tell you things about the caregivers - like one of the activity girls played basketball in college.  He still has a love for people that doesn’t end and he truly enjoys getting to know people. 
He has been tired lately and even a little depressed.  He’s adjusted the best he can to a “new normal”.  He misses being an active part of society.  

My sister, Robin and I are part of a group called “IRUN4” where you are paired with a disabled person and dedicate your runs (or walks) to,  we each have a buddy!  I decided to sign up Matt for a buddy, and he was just paired with Brandon and we are getting to know Brandon, he’s already sent us pictures of a couple of runs and Matt does his “laps” around the nursing home. It may be just the inspiration Matt needs to get out there and keep moving!  

We haven’t updated in a while and Matt didn’t have a lot to say today but Pastor John’s sermon really impacted me And I couldn’t wait share that story with him and felt it was a good time for an update.  

It’s hard some days when you can’t cheer Matt up and there is no magic “thing” to say or do.  This quote pretty much sums it up:   When your heart is breaking for someone who is broken, but your words can’t reach them and your love can’t save them, ask the angels to go where you cannot. To whisper into their heart what their ears can’t hear: “We will not give up on you. Don’t give up on yourself.” — Sandra Kring

If you get a chance, stop by and see him! He’s at Bellevue Care Center in Bellevue, Room 107, it’s on the corner of Flatrock and Gardner Roads just south of Route 20. (If you turn south by Family Video it’s the next intersection) 

If you haven’t signed up for the MS Walk yet it is May 6th in Sandusky. 
Here is the link to our team - come and walk with us or donate or both! (Donations not required) All money goes to the MS Society. 
Walk for Matt O

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