“Life is NOT what happens to you. But what you happen to do with it.” One of my favorite movies is “Regarding Henry” with Harrison Ford and Annette Benning. If you have not seen this movie rent it asap! It is about a very successful lawyer who spends all his time at work believing that to be happy is to make a lot of money not caring who it hurts in the process. He has a wife and daughter whom he spends very little time with. Long story short, he gets shot during a robbery and loses most of his memory changing his life forever. He is obviously in the hospital for a very long time and has an amazing physical therapist who helps him learn to walk/talk and basically live again. His physical therapist at one time was a famous football player making a lot of money but suffered an injury during one of his games and could no longer play. Henry (Harrison Ford) is very scared to have to re-learn everything most of us learn before the age of two. His physical therapist who is also his best friend in the movie asks him: “Do you think I mind having bad knees? I was making millions of dollars playing a sport I loved. All the women wanted me. All the men wanted to be me. I had everything. That one injury took it all away from me.” Henry looks at him completely confused and the physical therapist asks again: “So do you think I mind having these bad knees?” Henry answers: “Well, if you didn’t have that accident on the field your knees would be fine and you would still have everything. So yes, I’m sure you mind having those bad knees.”
The therapist lets out a small chuckle and says: “Hell no, I don’t mind having these bad knees. If I was still playing that game I wouldn’t be here with you helping you to walk and talk again. I wouldn’t be drinking this expensive beer across from a man whose life I saved. So, no I don’t mind these bad knees. That accident saved my life.”
Most days I feel exactly how the physical therapist did in this movie. Both he and Henry suffered accidents that completely changed their lives and paths forever. Neither would ever make a lot of money again and would have some pain both physically and mentally for the rest of their lives. Most of the time I’m okay with the fact that I fell off my bike and had brain surgery. I despise chronic pain but I would not be the person I am today if that had not happened to me. Yes, if I had been wearing a bike helmet none of this would have probably happened but I wouldn’t appreciate life the way I do. I wouldn’t be the mother I am. I wouldn’t love so much that it actually hurts. When I love someone I love them so much it hurts. I would never have become a social work and changed so many lives during my ten years practicing social work. I wouldn’t be the non-judging, accepting, understanding person I am today. So much of the person I am today is because of that bike accident.
I do not know if had the chance I would go back in time and have that day erased from my life. That may sound crazy but I doesn’t really matter now does it? I cannot change what happened to me or how I have to live my life now because of it. But I see the bright side of every day and I’m very lucky that I am alive and am here to share my story, love my family, promote bike helmets (mildly ironic the man in this picture isn’t wearing one), and hopefully support and inspire as many people as I can.