Spotlight on Cecelia!
Cecelia is aging gracefully after a stroke.
She had a stroke just 8 days before her 80th birthday last year.
The damage from the stroke frustrates Cecelia, but it doesn’t stop her! She’s still adjusting, but she’s not a quitter!
Balance can be an issue after a stroke.
Cecelia laments, “I can’t just hurry out of the car anymore. I stand and pause before I start walking.” When she walks on grass or uneven surfaces, she uses a walking stick.
Sometimes she struggles to find words (as many people over 40 do). “It used to be a funny thing prior to the stroke because it wasn’t that often. I’d laugh and say that I’m having a senior moment, but then the word would come to me. Now, it happens too often to be funny, but when I’m struggling to answer a question, I say, ‘How soon do you need to know?’”
Cecelia has never been a stranger to challenges.
Adversity is just part of aging gracefully. “It’s what you do with your challenges that matters.”
In fact, Cecelia lived without electricity in North Carolina until she was twelve years old!
She says, “Women didn’t have a lot of activity there” but after she moved away, she determined to be an active person the rest of her life.
She is sure she’ll be golfing again by the end of the summer.
Cecelia has been widowed twice, returning to the workforce by reinventing herself when necessary. She was a secretary for many years, later became a radio/tv producer for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, and didn’t start training as a postpartum doula until she was 64 years old!
Cecelia still watches over the care of newborns while parents sleep. She also teaches the new moms and dads how to bathe, diaper, and feed their new arrivals, helping them transition into their new exhaustive responsibilities with a higher level of confidence.
When she recently missed a luncheon, she explained to me that she had received an urgent call to help with newborn twins!
This delightful woman is full of surprises and I’ve enjoyed her in Strength & Balance classes for two years. Even the first few months after her stroke, Cecelia came to class even though she had to find a driver to get there.
“I’m slower now and sometimes my left arm doesn’t do what I want it to do. Besides the physical exercises, I really appreciate the cognitive work we do in class. Getting my legs to do the grapevine is difficult now, but I know that much of my problem is just fear.”
Since Cecelia knows that the fear of falling increases her chance of falling, she continues to exercise but is more mindful of her movements.
Inactivity also increases the likelihood of falling, so she’s doing the right thing!
People like Cecelia inspire us to keep aging gracefully!
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below…
Have you been making excuses? Does Cecelia help you throw out your excuses?
Do YOU make a point to stay active and exercise?
Please congratulate Cecelia for facing her fear and living life actively anyway!