A Little Piece of Heaven


Although we humans are creatures of the pack, we all still need some alone time now and then. A few of us need it more than others, while some can go days without the need to be in contact with others. There are others who start going crazy after a few hours of solitude. One thing we can all agree on is being alone can have its charms, but loneliness can be dreadful.

Being born and raised in a family surrounded by loved ones is the picture perfect example, yet not all of us are so lucky. There are some of us who instead of growing up surrounded by love, grow up in an abyss of loneliness.

As a child, we do not have control over our lives, as an adult – we do. The first step is to stop from dwelling in seas of self-pity. Luck is random. It is like the weather and cannot be controlled. However, destiny is a boat that can be sailed, a boat that does not sink unless you let it sink. A boat can survive any storm and always reach a safe port. It can do all of this if the captain has the will. My friend, you are the captain.

Sometimes as we sail through life, we are unexpectedly hit by a huge storm. A storm that can knock us over, turn our world upside down. A storm in the form of an ailment, accident, loss or any bad news or occurrence can make your heart break. Once that happens, there is no turning back and the only choice is to give in or to pull through.

After the initial turbulence of the episode, you may find some peace in the calm seas of self-pity, but do not deceive yourself. Those calm seas are just the eye of the storm and surviving in the middle of a storm is not the way to live. You have to pull yourself through it. You have to do it!

The first few months after my stroke, I found myself dwelling over all that I had lost, my life, my future, my mobility, all of it. I was numb, and I thought, “What sense is there in continuing living in such state?” If at that moment, someone gave me a speech that my destiny is a boat I can sail, I would have given a sarcastic reply. “Should I steer it with these paralyzed arms or by screaming to the steersman which direction to steer with this paralyzed tongue?”

Well, that was 20 years ago. My arms are still paralyzed, and I still cannot say a word. I have my boat exactly where I want it. I have learned that the navigating of one’s life is not about what one can physically do; it is all about “WILL!”

I cannot lie. At the start, I had no dreams, no plans, and not much will to live. The only reason I was living was that I was alive. My only pleasure was the company of friends who from time to time dropped by to say hi! I appreciated my friends so much that I decided to surprise everybody with gifts that Christmas.

I remember the first Christmas of being paralyzed like it was yesterday. I remember sitting there in my wheelchair overwhelmed with emotions as everyone was opening their gifts. This moment of pure rejoicing overtook me completely. I realized that SHARING is the greatest thing in life! Sharing is the one thing that brings me joy. Through all that has happened to me, I realized I am still able to share and that makes my life worth living.

That day my life took on a new and deeper meaning. I found my little piece of heaven. I started to open up more, share more, and most importantly to live life more. I started to dream again. My faith had been restored. I started to make friends from all around the world.   I kept sharing every day, more and more simple words. (You cannot imagine how powerful a few simple words can be.) As time went by, I realized that when I shared I also inspired, and this made me want to continue sharing my life, thoughts and love.

No matter what one’s situation or condition may be, sharing with others is the most meaningful thing we will ever do in our lives. I am not talking about material things, but things like experience, knowledge, history, and most importantly thoughts, emotions, love, words and moments.





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About the Author | Kati van der Hoeven

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