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A Walk Through 2012

IMG_2757Right before Christmas I went rummaging through my stockpile looking for holiday gift wrap. I searched and searched, but there was none to be found.

How odd, I thought. I always stock up on clearance gift wrap after the holidays. How could I have missed that last year? And then it dawned on me. I was still learning to walk again December of last year. There was no holiday clearance shopping last year.

Talk about an eye opener. This past year I reclaimed my life. I learned to walk again. 2012 was a year of healing.

Physically speaking, much of my energy was devoted to walking again. I used to walk five miles a day pretty religiously for years. But after the accident, I had to start with a walker, then crutches and then slowly taking steps on my own with no assistance. It was a humbling experience and I won’t ever forget it.

As time went on, I forced myself back into distance walking. To start, I would walk on the treadmill for five minutes daily. After I mastered that, I moved on to ten minutes and so on and so forth. And then the day came when I hit a mile on the treadmill. I can’t even begin to describe the joy I felt.

After hitting a mile, I moved my walk back outdoors to a safe place that is for pedestrians and bicyclists only. Even today it’s the only place where I feel safe to walk.

IMG_2745As the months of 2012 went on, my endurance improved with each walk I took. By the fall I was back to walking my five miles.

IMG_2754Were there days when I felt like quitting? Did it hurt? Yes and yes, but I knew I had to press on. It was that or become disabled. I honestly believe if I stayed home on the couch, my body would’ve permanently deteriorated and I would have life long medical problems. And that just wasn’t an option for me.

beesSpending all of that time outside was a real game changer. I started noticing things I hadn’t before. I started paying attention to my environment. The beauty that surrounded me. I became more aware.

IMG_4348I also started seeing things differently through my camera lens. Picking up on shadows and light. And finding beauty in things that I never paid attention to before.

IMG_0832The months ticked by and I started to feel like me again. Those feet of mine that the doctor’s weren’t sure would ever walk a normal walk again did just fine, thank you very much. They took me on some wonderful journeys all over the country.

IMG_4284NYC was a big fear of mine for most of 2012. I never shared that with you before. So many cars and so many people. Just the thought of being near so many wheels made my heart skip beats. But I faced my fears and forced myself back to the city that I loved so very much. It wasn’t easy and I was afraid, but I walked on those city sidewalks and felt like I was part of the game again.

IMG_7650I also went on to climb mountain trails at Mt. Rainier and hiked four miles through Muir Woods in San Francisco. Mostly uphill I might add. Or at least it felt that way!

IMG_4684Oh, and I forgot the heels. Those became part of my wardrobe again in 2012. Pretty amazing when you look back at this….


Perspective, yes?

What I’ve shared with you in this post is just a tiny slice of my 2012. Just a fraction really. 2012 was also filled with huge happenings in my family. Proms, kids getting driver’s licenses, school problems, school victories, fun family events, an amazing vacation, arguments, laughter.

You know, life.

It was a good year. A hard year, yes. But certainly a year of growth and accomplishment. I honestly cannot complain. God has been good.

I’m not sure what’s in store for 2013. And even if I could look into a crystal ball and find out, I wouldn’t. I want to take each day step by step and enjoy the journey. Be in the present, as they say.

Because each day is certainly a present. A gift to be opened and enjoyed because there are no guarantees of a tomorrow.


  1. Wow, what a year you’ve had. It’s wonderful how far you’ve come, and how you’ve faced your fears.

  2. Um, for real…the “heels” pic? HOTTIE TOTTIE!!!! Way to grab fate by the ears, pull it in real close, and blow a big fat razzberry in its face. HA! You ARE in charge of your destiny. 🙂 Way to go!

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is the old saying? ‘The past is history, the future is promised to no one; so cherish life today, for that is why they call it a ‘present.’ or words to that effect. I don’t have time to look it up right now!! You have come a long way baby!! You have some beautiful pix above, I agree with Carol, you do rock your heels pic! I wish you all the happiness and joy in the world for 2013!

  4. What a testimony you are to God’s healing power! Thank you for the reminder to live in the present; oh how much each of us take for-granted Melanie!

    I love, love your photos! I wish I could jump through the computer and be at each destination!

  5. Yay for YOU! VEry inspiring, you keep going, girl!

  6. Melanie, I have been following along this year and have seen you make amazing progress! I am so proud of you for your determination and hard work! You do rock those high heels girl! Have a marvelous 2012!

  7. OOPS, I meant a marvelous 2013!!!!!

  8. It was a long hard road, wasn’t it? I remember vividly those first posts after the accident…wondering if you would be able to make it back. I should have known 🙂 You’re an inspiration, Mel…I need to get back outside too!

  9. You are an inspiration. You are smiling in every photo – even the tough one behind your walker. YOU ARE AMAZING!


  10. Melanie, so glad you’ve recovered from that horrible evening. I enjoy reading your blog. I just wish some others would look at your story and realize how lucky they are. You’re a miracle and you beam positive energy. You can see that you’re genuinely happy to be alive, and a wonderful mother to those darling kids.

    God Bless

  11. Jennifer Ryder says:

    Thank you for inviting us along on your journey. You’ve been an inspiration. I’m hoping to learn some lessons from you in order to help my sister. She was terribly injured during Hurricane Sandy when a tree fell on her and we almost lost her. She broke both ankles – one a compound fracture, a leg, hip, scapula, wrist, 3 ribs, and 10 vertebrae and developed several other problems during her 16 days in the ICU. She’s currently in a rehab facility and hopes to get the okay to start bearing weight next week. She has a great attitude, which really helps. We were able to spend a lot of time with her during the holidays.
    Jen R., NH

    • Anonymous says:


      If anyone can assist with some inspiration it is Melanie. Scan through the posts from July through October or December of 2011 and see the ups and downs of ICU, hospitals and rehab. Our girl fought through quite a bit of trauma and drama and found ways to inspire us and make us smile and she came out whole. I am praying that your sister also finds the strength, love, faith and support to make a full recovery. My best wishes to her and your entire family for a complete recovery. Good Luck!!

      • Jennifer Ryder says:

        Thank you! I remember reading the posts every day whether Melanie was able to do them herself or have someone do it for her. I thought about her experiences a lot while I was with my sister.

  12. Wow, congrats! I learned to walk again in 2012 as well — pretty cool, huh? 🙂 Congratulations!

    I haven’t made it nearly as far as you have, but you’re a definite inspiration & I’ll keep watching!!

  13. N'awlins Darlin' says:

    You are one bad broad!! I mean that in a good way. Happy New Year!!

  14. Elizabeth Labanieh says:

    You are so very strong! Your post hit me like most things don’t. I wanted to let you know just how very strong and awesome you are and thanks for sharing. I just found your blog shortly before Christmas and look forward to everything you post, more and more when I hear more of your story. I have taken the oppostie path a lot in life. I have given in and given up. This past few months have been filled with discovery and understanding that what I have done is give up and that I don’t have to. So, hopefully, one day I become as strong as you! 🙂

  15. Winnie P. says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It must not have been easy for you to write but please know it was inspiring.

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