Laura's Story: Finding My Joy Again
Life for me has not been easy. From the ages of 5 to 7, my birth mother would allow her boyfriend to do you unspeakable things. Needless to say that had an extreme effect on my childhood and my younger years. In my early 30s, I was married to someone who I thought was wonderful, but they turned out to have NPD. When I was finally ready to walk out the door, he decided to shoot me through the bathroom window. Took quite a few years to get over all of that. And when I finally thought I had finally gotten myself together, a kid in a gang, whose gang initiation was to take out a motorcycle rider, decided to run me over with his car while I was riding my Harley. That decision that he made changed my life in every way possible. It took my career, my independence, a good chunk of my health, and 2/3 of my left leg. That was in August 2014. I’ve had well over 100 surgeries. I have nicknamed my residual limb the “Thirdling” and my current prosthetic of just a couple of months is “Thing 11”. I started with “Thing 1”. I’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things from a wheelchair and with a metal leg. I’ve had to find ways to focus as the TBI left me with memory deficits and short-term memory issues. I’ve had to obviously relearn how to walk with Thing 11. I’ve done a lot of therapy both physically and mentally, but I am still here. I’m still trying to find my new niche in life. I’m trying to learn how to live on a very limited social security disability. I’ve had to learn how to deal with not having a job as seems only having one leg is a liability to most companies that they are not willing to take. My one passion in life was my motorcycles. I have ridden motorcycles since I was five years old and I wasn’t about to give that up. I’ve had to modify my motorcycles now so that I can still ride. I had to make a hand shifter and I had to make holders for my crutches because I didn’t have a prosthetic yet and of course I had to learn how to go from two wheels to three. I would say my passion for riding is the one thing that keeps me moving forward. Some days it’s only a quarter of a step, but it’s forward. I live on my own and I don’t have any family around, so some days are really really rough, but I have to move forward because backwards isn’t an option. I ride with a group called Stilettos On Steel. We are on national all female riding group. I am the RC for my chapter and I absolutely love having my girls in my chapter as my family. They help me find the reasons to smile and my joy again.
I’ve only got two shirts from BD. My limited income holds me back or I would have an entire wardrobe. I can identify with most of the collections, but my current favorite is Perfectly Imperfect because I would like to think that with all the work that I’ve done and with who I am as a person that has a lot of scars physically and mentally, and of course only one leg, I am very imperfect, but I would like to think that I am still beautiful and as perfect a person, a friend that anyone could ever ask for.
People asked me all the time, "how do you do it?". And my answer to them is honestly I don’t know how I do it either, I just do. Life is always going to be about ups and downs and sometimes you’re on the top of the mountain and others you’re down in the valley but no matter what there is beauty and grace in both places!
If you see me out on the road don’t hesitate to stop and say hi! The blessings in my journeys aren’t just the views that I get to see but also the friends I meet along the way!