The next chapter-

Books almost always have chapters for ease of navigation. The chapters are almost always listed in a table of contents. -Wikipedia

My how things would be different if this were true to the chapters of life. Our chapters are not for ease of navigation and a table of contents will certainly not be found at any point. Our chapters are different, a new fresh start, a time to start telling a story irrelevant to the chapter before. I have once again reached that point in my life where a new chapter will begin but since it has been nine months since the last time I’ve checked in with you all I wanted to give you some cliff notes on where things are at with me since I last wrote.

Love-

It can take an incredible amount of sacrifice to unconditionally love someone. By no means does that mean that everyone sacrifices to love. Ultimately we are all drawn to love someone because of an inexplicable reaction in our brains that overpowers us with the willingness to do whatever it takes to be with that person. I think many people find that in some cases over time it’s natural for love to become less black and white and a little greyer. There are a lot of things that can break relationships down and in my case with Katrina we had led each other into situations that ultimately did not work for us as individuals. We both felt strongly we needed to work on our individuality for a while before we could be good for anyone in a relationship. An important chapter of my life has now come to a close and I hope that both of us are better people for having written it together.

Family-

I’m embarrassed to say that it has taken me way too long to appreciate the importance of family. Another thing that I took for granted I guess. The last few months have been a shuffle of dynamics, roles and support structures for my family and I really couldn’t have a better one by my side. After Katrina and I split up back in October the following weeks and months had me coming to a realization that will be very important for the rest of my life… Help is always there if you know how to ask for it and receive it and there’s no one we would rather help than our own blood. I also recently learned some very important lessons about what I have put my family through over the past three years and all there is to be said is I wish it upon no one.

Friends-

Friendship is something that I have never taken for granted. The beautiful thing about friendship is that each and every one of us has something to teach each other but it takes friends to actually learn from one another. My many friends in this life have taught me so much about who I want to be as a person, who I am expected to be as a person and how I can become that person. The last three years for me have been tough in regards to losing friends. First it was Shane while I was in the hospital then it was CR then three years to the day of my injury I get a phone call about the one and only Sarah. Each of these people had so much to teach us about the way they live their lives, so much we can take on with us every day in their memories and infectious smiles and constant positive energy. I guess ultimately the question is what do we learn from our friends… those that are now gone have just as much to teach us as the next you will meet. I have learned that there is no guarantee at tomorrow, there is no sense in trying to control the uncontrollable, explain the unexplainable and there is no reason not to love yourself because someone out there loves you.

Riley-

I’m not going to lie it’s been a heavy couple months. The stress of buying a house, the end of a six-year relationship, a complete change in my support system and watching a friend slip through our fingers = therapy needed. Being paralyzed is the least of my worries.

As many of you know from reading here it was quite a challenge for me to find accessible housing since I’ve been in Portland. Our ultimate goal was to build or remodel something to meet my specific accessibility needs but getting there was a slow process. I am ecstatic to announce that my search will be over as of the end of this month! Katrina was instrumental in helping me find the appropriate house that could be remodeled for accessibility so I will be forever grateful to her for going through that hugely stressful process. Moving into an accessible home is really going to make a world of difference for me that no able body person could really understand unless you spent a week in my chair. Want to give a huge thank you to my Dad for stepping in as job foreman, Joseph and Julie for all your creative genius and support, my Mom, Brother, Hera, Amos, Coryna, Leana and Kirsten for all their help on the site and once again Katrina for motivating me all the way through closing.

Another big step in the right direction coming around the corner for me is getting back on the road again! I really truly have some amazing people in my life and they want to see me driving so we are going to make it happen! The freedom that driving on my own will bring back into my life is much anticipated… Need to thank Katrina for her help getting my vehicle situation dialed it wouldn’t have happened without her undying dedication to see me moving forward. Now I gets to be at ?? miles per hour…

My body is good all things considered. As far as a medical diagnosis goes I am considered plateaued meaning highly unlikely to gain back any additional function from here forward. Not giving up hope on modern medicine but my body’s nervous system has healed itself as much as possible. I am so lucky to have my mom acting as my personal nutritionist as she is quite educated in the field. Mostly just working on physical therapy to get my arms as strong as can be so I can get in a sit ski this fall!

Work is great, love the challenge, love the people, love uncle Phil and love Nike!

Love to you all thanks for your continued support!

Riley

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