Making the World a Better Place, One Person at a Time
Prologue: A few weeks ago, I – Evelyn – was copied on the e-mail below. Earlier that day Diane had been called away urgently from our meeting. Her explanatory message that evening touched me so deeply that I urged her to submit it as a peace story. Diane was reluctant to do so - partly because she felt it might sound too self-serving. I can testify that self-serving is not in Diane’s DNA and that this was not penned for promotional purposes. After much arm-twisting, I was permitted to submit her story.)
“My ex-husband had a stroke this morning. It was his day off. When he got out of bed to go to the bathroom, his hands were numb. And when he called to his dog, his speech was slurred. His wife was already at work. But he managed to reach 911 on his own.
I spent a large part of the afternoon at the hospital and was there when they did some neurological tests on him. His cognitive function is fine (no idea of his long-term memory yet) but he did remember meeting my daughter’s boyfriend last night! And he did crack a couple of jokes, but his speech is slurred. His right arm and right leg are weak but not paralyzed. He is very, very lucky! They won’t know long term effects until 24 hours after the stroke as his body has to go through the whole stroke process. I was glad I went and it was his current wife, my daughter and myself who spent a couple of hours by his bed, turning him, propping him up, etc. I am very fortunate that we all have a very good and supportive relationship.
When I left my husband, in 1993, I left for the kids. We were more friends than partners and I wanted the kids to know what a loving relationship could be (in marriage). But we remained friends and became a “parental unit” with Paul, my second husband. I remember telling the kids that family consists of those people that love you. It’s not defined by birth or by marriage but by love and support and that they had many people, many grandparents and parents that loved them.
My daughter saw that again today, when I was there for Sandy (my ex-husband) and for Francoise (his wife). We just are there for each other. That is my way of making a difference in this world.
What I forgot to say in my introduction this morning is that my mission in life is to make the world a better place, one person at a time. And that is why I do the work that I do, which is that I facilitate, train and coach in the space of relationship system intelligence. I work in the interpersonal relations area and help to surface what is going on at a subconscious level to help people understand themselves and others better. The more I can normalize someone’s experience, the easier it becomes for them to understand where they or someone else may be coming from.”
Epilogue: Within 24 hours of being admitted, he was fully paralyzed and breathing with a respirator. After almost three weeks, the doctors finally figured out that he had suffered a bilateral brain stem stroke. Almost two months later, he is still in ICU, quadriplegic, has a tracheostomy and is fully conscious, the stroke having avoided the brain but rather hit the brain stem and motor functions. He has a wide circle of family and friends who continue to be by his side to keep his spirits up. Our daughter has found a way for him to communicate using an alphabet board. Aimee shared with me that she was so grateful that we all get along and especially that Francoise and I get along so well. It has made it easier for her as she can be open with all of her emotions and concerns. She is grateful that she was brought up that way and can see other options than relationships falling apart and people hating each other. It makes her sad that others don’t see that too.
By: Diane Brochu-King (as e-mailed to friends by Diane after the hospital visit, and submitted in this form by Evelyn Voigt, after much brow-beating for permission to do so!)