Yeah… I’m fine.

The Substitute • season 6 • episode 4

Kelley, 54 – Mason, Ohio (USA) :

Half-way through season 2 I was struck with a spinal stroke that left me paralyzed from the lower part of my chest on down. Like John Locke, I probably spent too much time trying to be or feel normal in a world that is not designed for wheelchairs. Despite my best efforts, and those of John Locke, reality often meets us in the most unfriendly of ways. Sometimes it’s a set of steps and others it is being denied the “Outback Walkabout” you’ve desired so long. I’ve spent five years wishing I could find an island like John Locke, where I could wiggle my toes, stand up and resume the life I once knew.
All that said however, redemption comes less in the getting up and walking and more in the acceptance of what cannot be changed and learning to live, love, thrive and give of yourself to those in need and in worse condition than you. Perhaps most importantly, one must learn to accept the dependence they now require from loved ones. I felt like John was catching that in his sideways world with Helen. His growth there moved me. When John could chuckle after landing face first in the grass to be greeted only by a water sprinkler was a gift of grace, one that I think he was learning how to share, and an inspiration for my daily life.