Riki Schumacher: Thankful

Funny thing about age. It sneaks up on you. I’m hitting a milestone this year, another decade beginning. So why am I grateful about this? I am turning the same age my mom did when she had a major stroke. It had a lasting affect, losing mobility in her right side. The family started pointing fingers at each other, about how she was over worked, too much stress, her weight, yadda, yadda. Sad, but it woke all of us up about our health.

She struggled to come back from the stroke, with amazing patience and fortitude, daily doing her therapy. But she was never the same. Her speech was slurred, her right leg and arm very sluggish. The very saddest thing about her new physical state was that she was completely cut off from playing her sweet piano and her beautiful ceramics ever again. Here’s where the grateful part comes in for me. I am so grateful I was able to have her for another 12 years after the stroke. She never complained, was always in good humor, and continued to find a reason to display her newly crooked smile at us whenever we could visit her. 

I am grateful for each and everyday I have in a healthy state. Health is not something I take for granted. The brave, adorable woman I spoke of above, was my aunt. She adopted us when my birth mother died at age 36. She, and my uncle, were truly angels in our lives, there were three little girls that they rescued. My mother died from cancer, years after being deserted by my father, and just couldn't handle the stress of raising three little girls in the 60’s with little income.

But we all made it through those tough times. All sisters are now living full, loving and healthy lives, with wonderful husbands. We are all so grateful for the angels who rescued us, and for having our health. People say “if you have your health, you have everything”. I’m not sure that is entirely true, but I believe there is a lot of truth to it.

Best of health to each of you.
You can learn more about Riki Schumacher on her blog, Riki Jewelry


Alice said...

Riki, the women in your family are strong ones! From your mom trying to raise three children on her own, to your aunt taking over the mother role and later enduring a stroke, and you three girls for coming through all the tragedy. One never knows how strong they are until they are faced with adversity. My own mom had no confidence in herself, never wrote a check, or pumped gas into her car, or did the taxes, or paid a bill. Yet when she was faced with stage 4 cancer, she fought like a bear.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing the story of the strong women in your family. This year will be a new decade birthday for me to.o It is one I feel anxious about yet your words are reminders to face it with grace. I appreciate your timely post.

Jen Crossley said...

Your Family has alot of strong woman Riki,as are you.Health is everything.

Chris said...

Thank you Riki for sharing this! It's so inspiring to learn of your life story. Your Aunt reminds me to persevere in optimism and acceptance. A woman of unusual beauty~ You and your sisters received a legacy of loving generosity. I can see that in your blog and in your kind presence~

In the Light of the Moon said...

When my husband was sick and in the hospital for 3+ months..health was all I thought about...that and ...It only takes a minute for your life to change.I learned so many things during that time and I would never change it,as weird as they may sound.

I am so thankful to you sweet Riki that you have shared this with us....and I am so thankful to all of your Beautiful Angels that have created this tradition of kindness and love.

Here's to them.

and that funny little thing that sneaks up on all of us.

and to making every minute count.

love you.