Chapter 2:1- On 12/25/1973, The World Changed Forever
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The date was December 20th 1973, the day that the world changed forever for me. It was the first time I awoke in my new body. I felt an itch on my lower left leg, and in my drowsiness, I reached down to scratch it. I was thinking to myself... “an itch?!?!?! They must have saved it, God did love me, a miracle had happened… THANK YOU GOD!!!” As my hand slowly slid down my thigh and reached my knee, I found no knee… no leg… only bandages, and nothing else where my leg used to be. I looked through my half open eyes to the blurred image at the side of my bed and asked, “It’s gone isn’t it?” My aunt Deb who was sitting with me quietly replied “Yes” and left to get my mother, before she was out the door I closed my eyes, began to cry and fell back to sleep. I didn’t want to be there anymore, sleep and dreams of another life would allow me to escape.
The seeds of hatred and resentment had been planted. It was 5 days before Christmas, and I was 8 years old. “Look what Santa brought me for Christmas”, I thought to myself sarcastically. This was the time of year when other children’s heads are filled with anticipation and excitement. Mine was filled with confusion and contempt. The celebration of the birth of Christ in 1973 was the beginning of the death of my belief in baby Jesus and the religion that exalted him.
I wasn’t out of the hospital yet, but they did let me come home for a day to visit my family near Christmas time. I remember everyone being at my Grandmothers house, and how I felt so ashamed as they all tried to help me. Things that used to be simple, like getting from the road in front of the house to her front door, which was maybe 30 yards, went from a brisk walk of a few seconds, to fifteen minutes and 5 people struggling to drag a wheelchair through the snow.
The doorways that I used to race through while my Grandmother called after me to be careful, became a complex obstacle where two of my uncles would spend about 5 minutes trying to figure a way that would not scrape the paint, or jar me too much as they tried to squeeze me in through the door in my new mode of transportation, a shiny wheelchair with orange seat covers.
Those orange covers made me feel like I was carrying a neon sign saying, “Look at me!!! I’m a cripple!!!” It was an ordeal to just get from one room to another as they slowly tried to guide me along without knocking into furniture or decorations. I was humiliated, not even being able to go to the bathroom without someone helping me. That day, I swore that no one would ever have to “do” for me. I would take care of myself. If something had to be done, I would either do it myself, or it wouldn’t get done.
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The Warrior Sage Chapter/SectionWho Is Willard Barth?Author's NotesPreface - Exploring Strength And WeaknessChapter 1:1 - The Process Of Self-AwarenessChapter 1:2 The Stages Of Child Development
Chapter 2:1 The World Changed ForeverChapter 2:2 The Vicious Cycle BeginsChapter 2:3 Losing FaithChapter 2:4 My Dark SecretChapter 2:5 Where Is the Love?Chapter 3:1 Seeking Paths Of AcceptanceChapter 3:2 The Road To Alcohol DependenceChapter 3:3 Leaving My Childhood BehindChapter 3:4 Escaping Responsibility; The Joy Ride EndsChapter 3:5 Living A Duality BeginsChapter 3:6 Out Of ControlChapter 3:7 Crossing The Line To InsanityChapter 3:8 The Black-out Drinking BeginsChapter 3:9 Facing The MusicChapter 3:10 A New BeginningChapter 3:11 More Lessons To LearnChapter 4:1 The Final PartyChapter 4:2 A Moment Of ClarityChapter 4:3 My New Life BeginsChapter 4:4 Sober - Time To Face The WorldChapter 4:5 The First Year Of SobrietyChapter 4:6 Major Change Comes In Year TwoChapter 4:7 My Daughter Is Born April 20, 1992Chapter 5:1 Life Changing Decisions Follow My Daughter's Birth Chapter 5:2 Recognizing The Voice InsideChapter 5:3 The Empress HotelChapter 5:4 A New Chapter In My Life BeginsChapter 6:1 Finding My Way HomeChapter 6:2 Falling Into PlaceChapter 6:3 A New AwarenessChapter 6:4 Personal Finances And Personal DevelopmentChapter 6:5 The George Washington StoryChapter 6:6 Letting Go So Others Can Grow Chapter 6:7 The Wrap Up
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