Rise & Thrive – One Mother’s Heartwrenching Story of Adversity
Those words…”your son likely won’t make it Mrs. Pagano.” Those are words no parent should ever have to hear
But 8 years ago, on January 16, 2011, we did. He was admitted to ICU for 23 very long, very helpless, very emotionally and mentally draining days.
I can tell you that this date is forever engrained in my head and in my heart. Then just 5 days after we brought him home from the hospital we got into a severe car accident and BAM…just like that we were back at the hospital. A place that I had honestly grown to just hate..
Going through an experience like that undoubtedly changes you forever…
For my son’s first 2 years of life I lived in fear…CONSTANT fear…that he was going to get sick and not survive.
I didn’t leave my house much, except to take my son to what felt like endless doctor appointments. He was seeing about 6 different specialists.
I believe we got so used to these visits that they became like visits to a playground for another child, except this was my child’s playground. I felt so alone…
without family or friends close by and my husband working so much.
Every day became an extreme effort, on my part, to just live and breathe.
I fell into a very deep depression, so deep that my marriage and any relationships that I did have were shaky to say the least. All I lived for was my son…everything I did was for him…but looking back at that now, well it surely swallowed me whole!
Often times, those who love you the most, don’t realize how rock bottom you have hit.
Because, on the surface, I was holding it together, my husband didn’t really see it.
And because of his crazy work hours it was hard for him to really see my daily progression downward.
I remember the day that it finally hit him and I remember him telling me how helpless he felt. Trust me, it hurt, realizing that I too was shutting him out. I had convinced myself that I was the only one who was in pain, that I was the only one who was going through this, that I was the only one that knew how to care for my son.
Thankfully I got help, with a push from my husband. I also began caring for myself, again with a push from my husband. He has no idea, to this day, that he saved me, and that my faith which was deep inside of me, also saved me.
After those 2 years I decided that I could heal in a deeper way by helping other women facing the struggles of mommyhood. And I could help them by teaching them
how to care for themselves. That doing this was so crucial in giving your children, your family, your friends, your job the very best version of you. So I began
Erica’s Total Fitness Evolution.
8 years later here is what has become a very clear realization for me over the years…
These experiences happen not because you did anything wrong or because you deserve to suffer…these experiences happen so you can truly grow…
yes it sounds crazy and trust me I didn’t feel that way for several years because this journey with my son has been the most challenging thing I have ever
BUT…because of my son my “true” transformation was able to happen…because of this experience change was inevitable. Whomever I thought I was or was
not was going to change…and it changed me for the better…am I perfect? Absolutely not. But I know that I am more compassionate, understanding, open-minded,
fearless, powerful and confident than before becoming a mother.
I share this with you not because I want you to think I am superwoman or to feel sorry for me in any way…I share this to provide encouragement to you,
to challenge you to view anything difficult or trying you are going through right now as an opportunity to grow and truly evolve who are you are in a way
that WILL make you a better human being.
You can choose to rise above your hardship or you can choose to stay down…8 years later I still choose to RISE and THRIVE….you can too!