Surviving Storms with your partner is a double obstacle because you have to hope you will have the support when you need it the most!
Managing storms in your Life have their new paths, new decisions and new attitude. Our interview with Mike Daly, is outstanding and explicit journey of the United States Air Force, a Lawyer, of course a Cancer survivor. Yes, that is definitely part of the journey too that left Mike legally deaf.
“Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?” – James Baldwin
“In his iconic novel Giovanni’s Room, gay author James Baldwin makes a powerful statement about love. He proclaims that sex and gender don’t matter; all that matters is that two people love each other. Nothing should stand in their way if they have love in their hearts. These words resonated with millions of people who felt like their emotions were invalid because of the gender of the object of their love. With this quote, Baldwin assured them that it didn’t matter because love is love.”
Our story today is called Surviving storms with my partner. And we are going to bring Mike Daly in from Connecticut. And what a wonderful, inspiring story. Especially this month of June, I feel that it’s super important to talk about these things.
Because we don’t always just have one storm that we have happened in our lives. We feel we’re Superman, but we’re really not. But we think we are. And I would like to you know, we just we just think it’s it won’t happen to me. We we don’t prepare for the unexpected. We truly we weren’t prepared for the pandemic. We weren’t prepared for wildfires or hurricanes. When we’re given you know that five minute evacuation notice. It’s unbelievable to you know, what do I take what what do I What do we do next?
Yeah, it’s crazy. And I’ve been in that five minute evacuation. Notice, and it really is life changing. Um, you know, I just wanted to mention your backup plan puts your life all in one place everything that’s all up in your head into one place in case of any unpredictable circumstance. And that takes that aftermath, a painful Aftermath out of a tragedy because you’re prepared and you don’t have to worry. And you don’t have to stress. Yeah. So I’d like to welcome our listeners, our listeners.
So I would like to welcome our wonderful Connecticut guest today. It is going to be very, very huge because Mike didn’t have just one storm hit his life. He had many. And we are going to bring him on right now.
Hey, Mike. Hi, how’s everybody doing today? Awesome. Awesome. I’m just gonna give here a little introduction to every all our listeners here. So Mike comes to us from beautiful Connecticut. And I would like just a second. He has an outstanding, and he has an explicit journey that he talks about with the United States Air Force. He is a lawyer, a pilot, of course, a cancer survivor. And yes, definitely part of the journey that left him legally deaf. And I can’t believe how many storms you have managed. Mike. Unbelievable. Do you want to tell our listeners how this all started? where it began for you?
Well, it kind of was, you know, we have a plan, or we think we have a plan or people have a plan for us. So the plan was graduate high school, and go to college and being from I was born and raised in New York, all of the Irish kids in New York, where do you go to college, you go to Florida, and offline. first cousins went to come. And of course, I was going to follow those steps. Until I realized I didn’t want to go to Fordham. So the first thing was I went home and I broke news to my parents that I didn’t want to Fordham, which was the first storm. And little did, I realized that wasn’t even a storm, the best was yet to come. So when I finally convinced them that a college education was better than no college education, they agreed that I could go to a State University in New York. And then I came home and I told you that I had decided that I wasn’t going to go to college because I was going to get married.
Surviving Storms with your partner and that was the said, that was the big storm. So the question, of course, then became, how is it that you are going to do this? And I said, Well, I’m gonna enlist in the military, which was not wasn’t planned, it was seven days, Southeast Asia was still an issue when it was difficult, you know, my parents weren’t, you know, particularly thrilled at the prospect of you know, their eldest son, enlisting in the military and perhaps finding himself in Southeast Asia.
So my father said to me, which is one of the things that has stuck with me through my entire journey was, acts have consequences. And if you take the action, know that the whatever comes from that you are responsible for, you have to dress good, bad or indifferent. And one of the things that he had said was, this is the day that you go to college. So if you’re looking for a college education, go now, because you have two sisters that have a brother, that’s 14 years younger than you. So I have three additional children to educate, and two weddings to pay for, because with that switch you did back in the day. And so if you don’t go now, don’t come home thinking that you can say, Okay, I want to go to college now. Because your decision not to go now means that when you’re ready to go, you figure it out. But so that was the first thing I didn’t have a plan for.
So I went into the military. My father didn’t give me some good advice. He said to me, you know, the military might not be your career. So make sure you figure out what you’re there, you’re going to have them teach you so that you have a skill that translates when you come out, which was sort of interesting, because I got involved with telecommunications and air to ground communications.
I was very fortunate that I was trained and my background investigation came back clear. And I was able to get into air to ground communications for the National Emergency airborne command post an Air Force One. So I got excellent training. I had a skill that that was that translated. And ultimately I was stationed back in Washington DC working on presidential communications. When my I stepping back before I went to, so I got after I got my training. The wedding was being planned. And that wedding plan didn’t go particularly well and it became apparent that I’m at the ripe old age of eight 18 I was not ready to be married. And so we broke off the engagement. sort of interesting because now my plan has changed, my life has changed.
And again, I don’t have necessarily have a plan because this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. But I mean, the best of it. And I certainly not consider not getting married a storm, especially as things begin to unfold. But it was different, it was different than I wasn’t prepared. So I found myself at 18 years old, being stationed at what they considered a remote base in Germany, where there was no barracks, there was no housing, I didn’t speak German, and I had to buy a car and I had to find an apartment and I had to learn to grocery shop, because the closest based was about an hour away.
But you figure it out, but you figure it out. Guess as I went through, I go through life, finding out more and more that I can hold on to that actions have consequences. But I, but that, but only enables me to say, Okay, this happened now. And what am I gonna do? I have never really reached the point where I need to have an action plan. There’s never been a decision if this if then. So I made the best of it. I had a great career, I got that as transferred back to Washington, DC, and I met somebody. And it was a man. And I started to come to terms with emotions that I didn’t really understand. But I did know, that couldn’t stay in the military. Because back in the 70s, the theory was if you were in the military, and you were gay, you were considered a national security. And who’s going to because national security risk then somebody who’s working on presidential communications and national airborne, emergency everyone command plus communications, but me.
So I felt like I had a target on my back. So again, we’re faced with a change in plan. Thanks to my dad, I did. I didn’t necessarily have a plan for what he do next. But I was prepared for whatever happens next, because he encouraged me to not look at the military as a career in case I wanted the ability to go out. Well, as I was getting out, Mike.
Yeah. Is it is it different now in United States Air Force?
I don’t I you know, it goes back and forth. You know, I’ve understand they’ve had the don’t ask, don’t tell policy. So you could stay in and as long as you didn’t advertise the fact your sexuality, and nobody was allowed to ask you about your sexuality. And I understand that under the Trump administration, they changed it so that it was not as as open and affirming. And quite frankly, oh, but there, yeah, it’s up. But right. Yeah, you’re back. There you go.
Okay. Switch it a little bit to your right. My right. Here, no, your left. Better. There you go. I can see your head. Right. There’s my symbol in the corner. And it’s right in your eye there. So yeah. There we go. There we go. You’re back. So you think, yeah, there you go. You think it’s different now?
I think it probably is a little bit different. I mean, back in the 70s, it was an absolute. So when I wasn’t going to stick around long enough to find whether this was a passing phase, or for real or not. I mean, I had gone in thinking that I was signed all the paperwork and everything. And suddenly, you know, you meet somebody and everything turns upside down.
So do you think these feelings just really like they came out of nowhere and you weren’t really sure you weren’t understanding yourself? Is that part of the problem?
I think? Well, I think part of the problem was was that I wasn’t understanding myself. Part of the problem was, you know, I had never considered it. I don’t remember, particularly being attractive. Certainly not that I can recall being attracted to men when I was like in high school or anything, whether that was my own fear, my refusal to acknowledge it, or just I’m not but It was never anything that I addressed or was concerned with, right or dictating, you know, did I, you know, was any good, what I suppose a good relationship, I was thinking that I was going to spend the rest of my life with this person. And it was, you know, and it was a traditional, you know, was a woman relationship, right.
So, it wasn’t until I, you know, I spent two years in Germany on my own, I, and I dated, and then I went, I was transferred to NBC. And I dated, and I met somebody that big I became friends with that just led me to have a different set of emotion, not understand what was happening to me, knowing that it wasn’t a one afternoon or a one week thing, it was an issue that, that that remained at the forefront caused me a lot of concern, both because I didn’t know how to deal with it. Plus, know if it was reciprocal. And honestly, at that point in time, I didn’t know how to find out it was. So but I did know that it was occupying enough of my time, and thoughts to be taken seriously, which meant that I didn’t believe that I had a future in the military.
I despite the fact as I made the decision to leave the military. People saying to me, but you know, Mike, you know, you’ve got good career I was, I was young, I was in a very a field where I’ve always going to be comfortable a field that I knew where I could be answered, I had been promoted. as quickly as possible, I had made all my promotions The first time I was eligible. So from both a career advancement perspective, as well as a technical perspective, and and I had started to go to college, when I was in Washington, DC I was taken, like I said, University of Maryland, everything seemed on track, but for this other feelings, this other feeling. And it actually was and and the other overriding theme in life is everybody’s named Mike.
So my name is Mike, the gentleman that I found myself wanting to be romantically involved with his name was Mike. And it was his father that actually gives me my gives rise to my second monitor. So his father, I, who I met a bunch of times, couldn’t understand why I wanted to get out the military. And I couldn’t tell them, you know, what am I supposed to say, you know, I think I might have a crush on your son. Yeah, just kind of puts me in this awkward position. You know, so you can’t say that. But you know, so basically, he said, What are you going to do? And I said, I’m finished my degree. And who knows, maybe I’ll go to graduate, maybe I’ll go to law school. And then I immediately said to him, but people like me, don’t go to law school. So I’ll probably just get my degree and get a job and do something. So he said to me, you know, what do you mean, people like you, you don’t go to law school. He said, when you’re my age. And you said yourself, she was I wonder why I go to law school.
He said, I just I said, he said, I want you to just get up and go and look in the mirror? Because there’s your answer. Because the only thing stopping you from doing anything is yourself. And when you accomplish something, I want you to get up when you say, Gee, I wonder how I how that happened? Or how I did that, or anything you need to happen. Go look at me, again. Because there’s your answer, you get it. So I had both of these ideas, you know, actions have consequences, which I to heart. And then if you don’t do something or do accomplish something, it’s because you did it or you told yourself you couldn’t do it. But there was some there was still though, if you tried and there was never a discussion if you try and it doesn’t work out, whether because the person in the mirror I can control the outcome which I found out later on, or you know, the need for a backup plan.
So despite the fact that my everything in my life kept changing, I recognize that the action or the change had a consequence. I and I would also recognize that I’m responsible for it. But with that yet and figure out okay, what’s the next step? So I came out of the military and I got a job working for American Airlines. And it was it was was a good ride me while I was there, I came to terms with what I was feeling, realized that I was in fact gay.
A little bit, it gave me a little bit of space to, to allow your career to continue, but allow space for your emotions and feelings to figure out where you’re at with that.
And it was actually kind of funny, because I had a meeting room, there was no pressure, there was no pressure to date, there was no pressure for to not D, I could just be open to the stability. And I was able to support myself. So I was in a position where I could continue my education. And I could move forward with my life in whatever direction it went, still not having a plan. So I met somebody whose name also is Mike. And we, we dated for many, many months before I could even decide what it was that I wanted to do that I could be sure that this was what I wanted. He Fortunately, he was very patient. That was kind of our first storm. You know, I mean, I think many times were scratching his head saying, you know, what are we doing with this lunatic who can’t make up his mind about anything? You obviously have a thing for Mike’s. Oh, that I mean, that’s, you know, every pretty buddy was Mike. But, you know, fortunately, he he was patient, he dealt with me, he kind of waited until I sort of figured things out. I was ready to make make the move, and it would go now looking back 43 years later, it obviously was the right.
You know, we were supposed to be together because, you know, he became my support, I became his support. And we decided to make a certain commitment. Um, and it’s, it’s, it’s interesting, because when we made that commitment, we also that was probably the only time in my life I’ve had a plan. Because what we did was we bought one and bought a second home. And he went through all of the legal mechanics that we needed to go to to be to be sure that we could, if there was an illness, we had access to each other that we were able to make decisions with respect to each other’s care. We could make decisions with respect to each other’s finances as well as own. We both had conversations with our families. So interestingly enough, not about the nature of our relationship, just the fact that we had invested together and everything. And we, so if anything happened, nobody’s family should expect anything, because everything was going to the other. And it was sort of interesting, because my parents never asked any questions needed. Hey, the two families came together like any other relationship. Mike’s Mike’s folks and Mike were so good that my parents table for all of my for both my sister and my brother’s weddings.
Surviving Storms with your partner is a whole bunch of obstacles like when my parents became friends with his parents, we spent holidays together. And nobody ever nobody ever asked any questions about what the needs are really, two boys, everybody just accepted it. So from that respect, I think I was pretty lucky because it was one big change in my life that I didn’t have to plan for. Because I know so many people that have had, you know, issues with their family issues with their sibling issues with their social network and everything. And you know, Mike and I were pretty charmed, our parents accepted us they know, we made the decision. When we bought a home, we were going to tell people that we had separate rooms or anything, we weren’t going to advertise the situation to the neighbors into the community, a large book, we weren’t going to deny it. And we weren’t going to talk about going away with someone or doing something with someone it was always Mike and Mike. And if people chose to question us, we would answer them. And if people chose not to question, we were going to let them accept whatever was going on in their own terms. So it was sort of interesting, because neither nobody in either family ever asked anything.
SAME SEX PARTNERS
That’s really nice. Isn’t that when you think about it, because there’s so many family I mean, who doesn’t have family issues? Right. Right. So especially with same sex partnerships, and and trying I think it’s even more important to have a financial and, and not even just a spiritual but a financial plan of, of small and big things in your life. more organized. And then the average heterosexual partnership because of, of the ability to make a plan together. And and I think what happens when a man and woman get married, they don’t really get all that stuff together normally, like they just get on with their lives, they did their wedding they did their whatever their parties, and then they just both work and and go on from there. But I really like how you
said that you try to get your life organized with each other. And that’s super important.
Well, it was important. And one of the reasons that it was important is because the Lord, there was no mechanism to do it for us. But traditional, we never had the opportunity to have a traditional marriage recognize our relationship. So if something happened to me or something happened to Mike, and we didn’t have those documents in place, we could we it would have been impossible. Absent our families recognize our relationship and agreeing for us to take care of each other, you know, we can have life insurance. But what happens, you know what happens with all of that stuff, if we or for that matter, what happens is later on when I found out that I had cancer and stuff, what happens when those decisions need to be made, and everything so that we were all very aware of the fact that that we needed those protections. And that was one of the things kind of that that really made our cemented our relationship was you know, our concern out those those things.
And you know, those are pretty big life decisions. When you start buying homes together in planning. You’re not relying on the Lord to take care of you but relying on each other to to affirmatively take those steps and take that time to make sure that the other person is, you know, is taken care of. I think what happens is that cements the relationship in a different sort of a way than a traditional marriage and stuff because it does, it says to a certain extent . And and that’s one of the ways when you don’t have a sodomized or legal ending. I think that’s one of the ways that you show your partner that you’re all in.
But we all should do that. Well, we doesn’t matter what laws are in place really. Right? We should all be thinking about, okay, I want to make sure you’re going to be okay. I want to make sure that I’m going to be okay, if I get sick. And you know, can you look after me? Would you be able, you know, like looking at all of those viewpoints. And that’s, that’s so awesome that and I just wish everybody did that whether there’s a law or not, the laws change and we need to be better prepared. Right. Yeah.
So yeah. You know, and, you know, so and, you know, so when we bought the house and everything, you know, we we, we knew that we were going to need to play and we both, you know, we had though we had our first house, which is where Mike’s folks lived, then we had the second house, that we really kind of needed to plan for that. Um, and then, you know, I finished college. And it was sort of interesting, because then it became the decision of what, what’s next? You know, are you going to stay at American Airlines? Are you you know, and if you are, what’s your career path. And one of the things was on. Because we both worked at very different deployments. I was on the technical side, and he was on.
And believe it or not, you’ll you’ll kind of laugh Tina I knowing that the challenges to get myself on tours to do this podcast, I was actually doing data processing equipment and computer system design and everything. But that was many years ago, and now is a very different world. And now it’s sort of funny. Once again, I guess I should have stayed up on the technology, because then I could work myself on and I wouldn’t have tortured you the way I did. Try to get up on the air and do this podcast. Well, you know, things change every year. You just can’t keep that mic. It’s, it’s all cool. It’s all cool.
Thank goodness I have I have my background in Microsoft Certified systems engineer. Sorry. It was all trouble troubleshooting. Absolutely, yeah. So no problem. So we decided, you know, so what do you do next?
I really I was in my late 20s. I didn’t particularly feature myself staying in this job was 65 years old. Mike and I were in different An area. So it wasn’t a transfer within the company together wouldn’t have been the easiest thing to do. And even if I did, my job would have stayed this, his mind has changed, but my job would have stayed the same. So I decided to go to graduate school and I went to law school. And so for the next three years, once again, it was kind of all about me. You know, I was I worked full time, you know, so I, the household and stuff.
So what with the way that this would work out, was I would get up in the morning, I would study, I would go to school, I leave school, and I would drive into Hartford and I would work usually from like four o’clock in the evening until one o’clock and then do like, computer simulations and other things. And then I would go home, and I would fall asleep, and I would get up in the same routine. And then the weekends. Were pretty much dedicated to, you know, study catching up, you know, and we were in the middle of, you know, work renovating a home, we but you know, what we could afford, which was a handyman special, so many weekends, you know, or many nights after work or many weekends, you know, the goal was to just get a couple of sheets of sheetrock up on the walls or anything. And ultimately, we finished right before graduated from law school, we finished renovating the house.
Um, so there was a lot of stuff going on. And things weren’t particularly always easy. Because of all of that. I wasn’t feeling very well. And I said to me, I was talking to my mother who is was, is that that was a diabetic. And I kind of told her how I was feeling. And she kind of raised her eyebrows and made an appointment for me with her endocrinologist. And when they brought me in and started doing the testing, I rang all the bells. And so in the middle of going to graduate school in the middle of renovating a house in the middle of trying to get everything, I found out that I was a type one diabetic, and I needed to learn how to adjust my diet, adjust my exercise, manage my sleep and everything around the need to give myself shots.
Which was you know, which was a very big deal, it was a big lifestyle change. And you know, as always, it was all about me, no plan, no discussion about what happens if either one of us ever gets serious mess, but fortunately, you know, Mike was there, I’m rolled with it, Mike took the time, he learned probably he was more willing and open to learn than I was because I was much more comfortable defying. And I recognize that many ways. I was fortunate because it didn’t happen to me when I was 17. And it didn’t happen to me when I was 20. When you know you you want to out have pizza and you want to just kind of do what all of your friends are doing. Because that’s the most important thing. Other than trying to figure out if you’re gay or straight, but the secret that I didn’t have, you know, but being a diabetic, you can’t keep it a secret. So, as always, you know, Mike came through with the master plan, Mike came through and said, You know, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do this, you know, we don’t have a plan. He didn’t plan for it. Maybe we should have planned because my mother was a diabetic, but you know, we didn’t. So once again, he stepped up and you know, do what you have to do.
Which go here, while you were doing all those things, you were probably eating wrong, and you were probably not exercising. Right. So it it said, check your health, Mike.
Yeah. So suddenly, you know, instead of being able to grab a Burger King on my way from, from Springfield, Hartford to go to work, it became either finding a place where I could get a reasonable meal or planning in the midst of everything to have food with me that was not going to you know, was not going to tip the scale and, and it was also a lot of coming to terms. I mean, Mike had just pay close attention to me because oftentimes, if your blood, especially if it’s going very low, you don’t right, you don’t necessarily realize it and that’s actually much more dangerous. In the immediate, then, that high blood sugar, blood sugar will affect you over time. A low blood sugar in essence makes you incapable of operating a motor vehicle or anything.
So he really had to be very much on the ball and it was an It was incredibly stressful because there weren’t you know, now we’re talking about the mid 80s there weren’t card phones, there weren’t cell phones he couldn’t fall in said you remember to he, he could go and say how are you feeling or anything else? So And I was gone from, you know, six or seven o’clock in the morning, until, until midnight or one o’clock at, you know, so there was a lot, you know, was a lot of stress and there was there was no plan. Other than, you know, when I got to work, obviously, I would make it a point to call them and say, you know, or I’d say in the bill, but you know, once again, we had, you know, no plan, which takes me back to my two monitors, which probably are not there, okay. But there should be a third which is make a plan, which actions have consequences. And, you know, and you got to make it work. And you know, you’re you are responsible for yourself, if it goes right, you look in the mirror if it goes wrong in the mirror.
So, but, but still no plan. Yeah. So I was on fortunately, you know, so, either. Either way, when you’re thinking about this where you know, your life is going to change, I was going to law school. Nobody was under the impression that I was going to continue in American lines as an attorney. But there was no plan. There was no what Where do you want to work? Don’t know, what kind of job do you want? You don’t know?
What kind of law Do you want practice I want to do with planning and taxes. Well, that didn’t fit with my personality at all. I had been out in the community I was when I was born networker. I thrived on meeting new people and new experiences and everything. And there I was putting myself into a position where I would be miserable. The last thing I could do is sit in a room by myself, and draft documents and do that other stuff. Lots of people thrive on it, but I need to socialize the outlet. But even even as we went through three years of law school, there was never a discussion. The plan was that I was going to graduate. And the long term plan was there was going to be a lawyer. That was it. So when I you know, fortunately, I was very lucky when I was the tester plan had been to take my last school course, we were going to go to Europe, take a vacation, and then we were going to come back and I’m just going to resign from the company which would have terminated my flight benefits. And and my health insurance and a whole lot of other stuff. No, we didn’t talk about getting health insurance.
No, we didn’t shop around and we had diabetic in the house who wouldn’t be unemployed who didn’t make any plans for health insurance. Yeah, but once again, I got lucky because the the end of the in the middle of third year of law school, the company offered a severance package that included a year salary and an include lifetime health and medical insurance and I qualified even though we knew that we should have had a plan, we chose to not focus on it. And we got lucky, we got lucky because what ultimately happened was I was able to leave the company in March instead of waiting till May. And I was able to leave with money to take us over as well as health insurance that was so critical for my medical issues.
But no plan. And Gail when I came out, I passed the bar and I found a job and I tried my hand at a state planning and tax law for probably about 60 days. Fortunately, we had a litigator in the same firm who took me to court with him and I took to that like a doctor. So I for almost 30 years was a litigator but don’t help me. And you’re with people though, so it was right up your alley. Well, yeah, it was right up my alley because I was out networking trying to find business, make connections meet potential clients. I you know, was gregarious, and I was outgoing and as you can tell, I like to talk and and I enjoy problem solving my I have an enjoyable evening if I’m just by myself as you know, I used to follow the Supreme Court like many people follow the New York Yankees. So I I don’t mind sitting there and speculating on you know, what’s Neal gorgeous, got to watch Sondra Sotomayor gonna do and everything and then reading a decision or reading a book about the philosophy of the law or anything else. So yes, what was great If you like that, if you like that, yeah, unfortunately, I did. Fortunately, I did. I mean, I also liked the New York Yankees, but but I liked doing that. So it was, you know, so it was good and I enjoyed it and, you know, putting the argument together and, and you know, and having a thing come to you.
And, you know, tell you what their issues are and you figuring out the strengths and the weaknesses and making recommendations. Now, you also need need to plan that. And you don’t, because law school doesn’t train you for any of that law school does not prepare you for the prospect of people trusting their lives to you. And you making decisions, you don’t make the decision, you make the recommendation. But you know, what, you, you make a recommendation and you say you should do this cause and you’re not usually whether it’s a financial issue, or it’s a marital issue or anything else, people aren’t necessarily in the best position to make those decisions. So you do find yourself guiding people through their lives. And nothing prepares you for the emotional toll that that takes because you home at night. You go home at night, and your life remains the same. But all of those people whose lives you touched, they are not saying often times, they’re very, very, very fewer.
You know, when I started out, I started out litigating in a general practice, and I was doing divorce work. And it used to frighten me because you know, that you’d get into you get into the, you know, into a courtroom and you’d settle something, and there will be a lot of pressure for you to not only settle the case, but to resolve it that day. And I like to do that. Because you don’t know, you know, something sounds good. But you need to live with it. You need to figure it out. And I kind of had a lot of people aggravated because I said yep, I think we’ve got a deal. And we’ll finalize it next week. And I would tell my client, you go home and you live with it. And you think it and, and things so I just want you to know, which was unpopular. So then you’re swimming upstream.
Yeah. But I found my niche, I found my niche. And, and, and it was going well, and then something else hit. Right so that it was going well. And then we came back from Europe and I had a an odd rope on my back. And somebody pointed about to me and I scratched it and it bled. And Mike said to me, you know, you need to get that checked out. So I tell him the next day from work, and it was a you need to get that out. And I was they came over the next day. And Mike said, Have you made an appointment yet now, we had a very good friend, that was physician and he was a surgeon. So my thought was I should just call Tom, he’ll cut it off. And that’ll probably be it. So finally, I came home after about a week and I said okay, so this is how it works. You either make that appointment based on your schedule, or I don’t care if you’re in front of if you’re planning to be in front of the United States Supreme Court. If I have to make that appointment, you don’t come out of here.
You know, and we never talked about what it was we never talked about what it could be it was an annoyance. It was annoyance. So I went, I call I made sure that I called and I made an appointment and I went in and I had to taken out this friend of mine, this friend of ours, Tom, so not a problem, Mike, you’re fine, nothing to worry about. I think, you know, we had mutual friends and one of their daughters was getting married. And he said to me, You know, I’m sure I’ll see you at a meeting give my best and we’ll talk soon. And about four days later, I was in the office. And I got a call. And I was a smoker at the time. Like I smoked from the time I was 14 or 15 you know in the military smoking at then was a big deal because you got to get out of formation. They you know, the old term smoking if you got it would spray. Little did we know them what we know now but anyway.
So I’m in my office and I get a call from Tom. And he says want to see you Michael tonight. And what’s going on? He says I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll discuss it with you guys tonight. And I was like well, if you don’t tell me why I’m coming. I’m not going to come. So he told me that you know I had a fairly dire diagnosis and that I had a form of cancer that, you know, was pretty blunt with Brad. And he needed to talk to us about what our options were, and how we wanted to approach this. And he wanted to make patients receive both assert, uh, you know, scheduled surgery and also to see an oncologist. So I kind of had them figure out how I call my and tell him this, you know, without dropping a bomb on them on the phone. And what year are we talking about for this? At this point, we’re talking about 2004. We had kind of coasted I got I graduated from law school in 19. You know, in 1988.
We had we had our home, we bought in a larger home, we sold a home, things were going well, life was good, life’s good. I was very fortunate. You know, I mean, Mike and I were traveling, we both had flight benefits from American Airlines. Everything was going, you know, we feel we were finally we weren’t struggling to put anybody through school. You had more time, we had more time we were spending more time together. We unfortunately weren’t spending any time talking about the next phase or what if, or anything else, like every couple we have a good days are bad days, we had some days where I’m sure probably more than me, scratched his head and said, you know, what have I done here? But you know, and you know, during that time, you know, we lost mom to cancer, and you know, so there was good times and bad times. Like it like that, you know, life life happens.
So, but we had never discussed what was going to happen if one of us had serious illness, we never discussed what was going to happen if one of us, God forbid, had cancer. I mean, we didn’t, we didn’t think that those things would happen to us. If we didn’t, they wouldn’t happen to us, or we just didn’t think. So. I called Mike and I said, you know, Tom wants to see us and we went in and he kind of outlined his, you know, his concerns were and the fact that I needed surgery, and the fact that I needed to go into chemotherapy and stuff. Oh, what do you do that what happened, believe it or not, was my dad was in hospice at that point.
And so I was told this, and I was told that, you know, and, you know, give you a diagnosis, they also say, don’t go on the internet, don’t do this. And don’t do that. And I didn’t do any of that. But my dad, so he also knew that the that my chances of survival were not very good. And I’m like, why is that? Did they ever sink? Why?
Well, because the form of cancer I have, is it. It doesn’t act normally as a cancer doesn’t. It’s also very great. It’s very aggressive, and it’s virile. And so normally what happens is be asymptomatic at the beginning, it’s usually test the size to other organs and and other places in your system before it’s ever diagnosed and treated. Before it’s shown its little head, right. So and at that point, they didn’t know what my prognosis was specific to me. They only knew the fourth can’t based on the biopsy and everything in the prognosis wasn’t good.
But unfortunately, I had to start I couldn’t go through treatment because the following morning, I got notified by my father’s physicians that I needed to have being inside I suppose papers. So I signed the hospice papers, and I called my doctor and I said, You know, I gotta wait, my mother’s got Parkinson’s disease. And I’ve gotten care of this, which, you know, again, you know, what are you going to do? No, Master. Yeah, we didn’t plan for cancer, we didn’t plan for my father. We certainly didn’t plan for them to both happen in the same week. You know, that was pretty upset. You know, he was like, like, you know, every day every day matters. And I was like, Yeah, but these days matter in a very different way. So, so, we got my father taking care of and I went in and I can like, you know, get your treatment. Hat started my treatment, had some issues along the way, like everybody does, you know, you sit No, we used to call it the big red chair club. You know, you sit in those great fluffed, recliners. They’re all red and and, you know, I I couldn’t, I couldn’t let cancer control me.
The deal really was that Mike and Mike came to every single doctor’s appointment, he came to every single scan, he came to every single chemotherapy treatment and everything. But I was struck because I felt like, for the first time in my life, I had no control. So for the guy that needed to recognize that actions had consequences, and that I was responsible for those appointments, and then if it was good or bad, however, it turned out I needed to look in the mirror, but I had no plan. I was just I was floundering, I was floundering plus the fact that was a bit of a control freak. So I decided that cancer wasn’t going to control me, I was going to show the world that I could control it. So the thing that I started to do was I started riding a bicycle, not that I ever thought I was going to be Lance Armstrong. And I was never done a ride in the Tour de France, but that I could do it. And what I started doing is I would ride to my therapy treatments, which was almost 80 miles one way.
And I would try to ride home. And I’d get usually about halfway. And then I would call Mike and I’m done. And we have a point, I’d load the bike in the car, and we would come home, you know, and we would do you know, with all of the stuff that you’ve learned about answer, nausea, the vomiting the body, the inability to eat, I lost a lot of weight I didn’t want to eat I had no appetite. And the game we used to play was we used to go to a restaurant that had mud pie, mud pie was a big, because my everyday it didn’t taste like 10. And it was cool in my mouth. And I was getting sores and I was getting blisters and everything else. But the deal was they had to have meat and vegetables before I could have the mud pie. So it became a bribe bribery thing. And so one thing leads to another. So now I’m writing the by going through these chemotherapy treatments. And then I decided that I’m going to ride in the lance armstrong ride for the roses and in Austin, Texas.
So now I’m training 100 a ride because I cancer is not going to control me, I’m going to control it. And also it gave me an opportunity to raise money for cancer survivorship program across the country. People learning how to live with cancer because one of the things that I realized is that kids young, they can cut the kids are at your body, they can’t ever cut the cancer out of your mind. So I became very much the scan anxiety the fear the something bothers me right?
That’s a strange paint is it and everything. And I was having you know, I was having a fair amount of side effects. I got the chickenpox I got shingles. Wow, a lot of you know, a lot of, but every day I went to chemotherapy, I rode my bike, and I would go to chemotherapy. And I would have a joke. Many, many days. They were filthy jokes. A joke for us today, not what you want me to put on your podcast. But, but because none of us had, you know, we all the group of us became Oh, close that there was no filter, there was no barrier we just communicated. So one of the goals that Mike and always I always had was jaw and I will tell you a quick story.
One of the jokes, we would have the jokes too just to make people laugh. Because the other thing is you never knew you would go there sometimes there’ll be an empty chair. Oh, and of your team. What are your team missing? What missing? Yeah. And you’re almost didn’t want to ask because you hoped that they were just in the hospital. But you know, and you know, so we so So Mike and I became recognized, as you know, the guys and we would do a lot of noise, we’d be noisemakers and we would have all of our jokes and everything else. And one day, one of the aides came and she brought us believe it or not board a sportily and sources for lunch. When you see toward ladies in a boat, at least I did because I’m very sick. have their sixth year I really thought that I said to her What are you expecting us to eat? Is this the medical waste? From the pediatrics lounge Have you like collected up all the four skins and thrown them in a bowl? You know, that’s what tortellini looked like.
And that became He came everybody’s war cry. And he was like, I don’t believe and I said, and then you served it with a sausage. You know. And, you know, when I go back there now for my checkups and everything, they still tell that story and how they would end would never serve tortellini and saw john the same day in the in the US and said, but you know, but it was hard. It was very hard. But so the fundraising became a vehicle became very important to me. And, yeah, the and then what happened was, I had an opportunity to work with a cancer survivorship. So I’m riding my bike, going for chemotherapy, I’m trying to run this practice this law practice. And now I’m trying to raise money.
And then they tell me that the cancer survivorship organization located in Connecticut, so I reach out to them and I, they have a ride. So now I’m writing in two rides, I’m going to Austin, Texas, I’m packing Mike up. And we’re flying to Austin, Texas, he’s not riding a bike, and I’m getting 100 miles.
He doesn’t know what’s going on, I’m still going through chemotherapy treatments, I’m telling them that I’m fine. So that I can do this. He’s doing things like taking a tour of excess capital, while he doesn’t know what I’m doing, or if I’m okay. Fortunately, by that time, we have, you know, we had cell phones so I could stay in contact with stuff came back. And I was writing to this organization in Connecticut, and the doctors told me very specifically, you know, you’re limited to 50 miles. But a friend of mine who was very successful, they owned a company and everything offered, if I could ride the 100 he would match everything I raised in that particular year, I’d raised $35,000. So was huge to get a $7,000 to get a $35,000 match. But I had to coerce my friends to lie so that we made a mistake, misread the sign when you return way in a bike race to go, the shorter loop and you turn the other way to go the longer road, we all agreed that, you know, I was just going to make the mistake, and they were going to follow because they also didn’t want me riding along. And you know, then I was working at the Children’s Hospital with the pediatric and that led me to the Hole in the Wall Gang camp. So what ultimately happened was cancer, I had no plan. I use reacting on a day to day basis to my inability to control my life.
And suddenly, I started making mistakes at work. And it was all starting, it was getting too much because there was no plan. So each day, I had a plan to get through the day or the next thing, but it was always it was always to show cancer never to show me never to show my never to show anybody else that I was in control. It was always really to show cancer and I didn’t recognize what was going on. And what happens again, in that situation is the person that’s closest to you in the world. In my case, Mike would say to me, Mike, what are you trying to do? Yeah, you know, you you’ve got too many irons in the fire. You know, this is your he used to say he says you’re behaving like Don Quixote. You know, you you’ve got your Lance and you’re charging and windmills, Mike, you can’t control this. My way that you pro This is that you take care of yourself. You take care of us, you come home at night, you sleep you rest. You don’t find another project, that you somehow convince yourself that cancer is not you.
Because you can do that yourself. So we had almost the perfect storm because we had actions have consequences. We have it want to do it. And you do it go look in the mirror. And if you don’t do it, and you go look in the mirror, but we have no plan. So my plan to be cancer was my plan was to beat it every day at what I was doing. So I made some mistakes in my practice, which caused a whole host of additional problems. And then I happened to mention one day to my secretary. I’m one of these guys you can tell that you know always talks and my hands are going and everything else and I we do the Hey Jen, get this Hey, Jen, what do you think about this, she was my you know, the person that worked directly from me and I had made six people working for me. So there was also that pressure to keep the farm going because I had payroll, these people that were that depended on me to pay their bills that depended on me to provide them with health insurance, and everything.
So, one day I walked out, I said to her, I noticed that when I yell out, hey Jen, could you give me this file? Or some? Or I’d ask the question, nobody was answering my questions. So I walked out and they said, Hey, Jen, what? Are you going deaf? Can’t you hear me? And she said, I’ve been waiting to have this conversation. Let’s go in your office. And she said, go in depth, but I think you probably are. And I said, What are you crazy? And she says, No, no, I spoken to Michael about it. You know, when we had this conversation, I’m going to tell you that I want you to have you here.
So you’re not I had just finished a trial, I had just gotten inverted. How could I not here. And so no plan, I didn’t have a succession plan, I didn’t have a plan to how to wind down my practice. I didn’t have any plan for what to do if I couldn’t practice for a partner that, yeah.
And now they’re telling me that not only am I coming out of chemotherapy, finally, and I’m thinking I won, because I did all of this stuff. Forget about the fact that I was leaving a trail behind me of things that I wasn’t focused on or wasn’t focused on correctly, including my relationship. I mean, you know, I wasn’t obviously, when you’re when all of the lunatic stuff that I’m doing. I wasn’t paying attention to Mike. But he, you know, but he stuck with me, you know, he’s, you know, and he, we had no plan for how we were going to deal with chemotherapy or anything. And, you know, fortunately, I was able to make money. And fortunately, he was able to manage money. And those were the roles that are playing, those were the roles we adopted, which put us in a position where we could weather that storm, both financially and everything else. So they want me to get my hearing. So I’m just getting out chemotherapy. And I’m just thinking that I’m going to get my life back.
Yeah, and now that tell him he can’t hear. So, I, I’m gonna humor them. They want me to go get my eyes, my ears checked, I’m gonna argue with them, I’ll go get my ears checked. So I go to the I go, and they they test my hearing and I am at probably 30% 30 to 40% I’m hearing 30 to 40% of what goes on, like, it’s impossible, I can hear fine. And they’re like, No, you can’t hear my so now where I’m dealing with the fallout from finishing chemotherapy. And now I’m gonna death and assess cause from chemo or the drugs. It was as it was a result from it was one of the chemotherapy drugs that they initially they didn’t find out was they just knew that my hearing was decreasing because and then over time, we found that other patients that were on the same types of drugs, we’re experiencing similar issues. So the way they convinced me that I couldn’t hear because I refuse to accept the I did, I was trying cases I was riding my bike I was communicating with people. And my thing was if I’m deaf how I’m doing that Yeah, so but like my my my sister, Jen said, but Mike, you don’t talk on the phone anymore.
You talk on a speakerphone and it’s very loud and they can hear it down the block. So there were all these little changes going on. I was yelling to them like I always get get me this so what do you think of this are you know, do I have to I have to be and I wasn’t hearing and the answers but it was never may it was them.
It’s funny how your body just assimilates to whatever your if your eyesight starts going your body just manages it like you don’t even realize it near hearing the same. Yeah, it’s it’s crazy. Yeah.
So but I so what they did was when they told me I needed to get hearing aids. So I said sure, sure. I’m gonna wipies because God knows you know, he’s been throwing up telling me that I need to get hearing aids, I should get hearing aids. I’m thinking to myself, getting hearing aids. This is a small price to pay. I’ll just keep them in the glove box in the car. So but what I did unbeknownst to me was they told him, that when they fitted me for the year moles, they wanted when I was distracted, they wanted to slop back so that I couldn’t see him. And when they took the earmolds out, and we began to converse again, they wanted him to create a disruption.
To get my reaction, well, there was no reaction. So he was sitting behind me, and he was clapping his hands. And he was calling me names, and he was counting, and he was doing all kinds of things, but I didn’t hear any of it. And what they what we found out was that it wasn’t that bad. What I done was I’d had subconsciously learned how to read lips. So what, like what and you know, you just don’t realize, you know, like, he would say to me, I realized that, you know, when we were in the car, you don’t want to drive anymore. And I would sit sideways, I put my seatbelt on, but they’re always sets, I was always always looking. I changed the seating in house, I didn’t sit where I used to sit, I always used to sit on the couch next to him. Now suddenly, I’m sitting in chair at an angle to him. All these things were happening, but I had no idea that that was happening or anything else. So what ultimately happened was, I made so many mistakes in my practice that I had to shut down. I couldn’t hear I call it again, I couldn’t go into court and read people’s lips. Um, so and no plan, no retirement plan, no nothing.
As this was going on, a friend of mine, and I’ll spare you all of the details, except to say that to you, that I was going down and I was helping him every day because he was going through divorce, and I’m completely incapacitated. I was talking to his brother. And I’m saying, you know, Sam needs help. Sam needs help. He should be impatient. He was suffering from severe depression and everything. This was a guy that was 10 times smarter than me. He was the valedictorian of my law school class, and everything else. He ultimately took his own life and took life of both of his children and his wife. So that just kind of completely destroyed me, because I felt so responsible. I was talking to the sky every day, I was going down, I was taking them to a psychologist, because I couldn’t take him to a psychiatrist. Because if he was on medication and sticking psychiatry, he wouldn’t be able to have unsupervised rotation. And I’m saying to myself, so it’s the law telling us that it’s better to stay broken and to get fixed. Stay broke, and you can see your kids get the help that you need.
You’re not allowed to spend time alone with your kids. Is that is that what happens. And at the same time, I had a very well known litigator that wanted to present against my physician in the drug company that they suspect caused my my deafness. And he said, and I said to him, but mark, I met with him and I said, That’s not going to work. Because first of all, I don’t want to sue these people, these people saved my life. I had a very, you know, I’m still here. And granted, I’m going to the dermatologist every 45 days, and I’m having biopsies and I’m this and I’m taking shots, and I’m on chemotherapy and everything. But I’m still here. Yeah.
So. And if they said to me, maybe they said it. Maybe I didn’t hear because I couldn’t hear. But if they said to me, yeah, one of the side effects is that you could lose your hearing. I would had I not maybe a year. But that doesn’t mean that insane. I said, and if they didn’t, if they did, didn’t say it, they didn’t know because I believe that they were dealing with the best knowledge that they had at the time. And more importantly, if I heard them say it, I would have said you can’t hear from six feet under in a wooden box.
So I would I would have waived, I would have gone down this road anyway. And it was very hard to be here for 28 for almost 30 years and have him say to me, that doesn’t matter, Mike, we can work around this. We’ll settle the case. And I was like, there is no case nobody didn’t think wanted me. Everybody did the best that they could and I’m still here and I’m proof of that. And you want to do to vote. Yeah, absolutely. So I had that and I had the death of my friend Sam, saying it’s better to stay that broken where you’re suicidal, you cause for deaths rather than move forward. And that’s okay. Because he, and then I lost the second friend to suicide was like a real wake up call for me. So I tried retirement and that didn’t work out that worked out fine for the summer. I hear that a lot. Yeah. And then it got close. And this is a true story. I was watching daytime TV, because I was going out later. And later in time, I was watching I was watching Kelly Ripa in the morning. So at night, I’m reading books about the Supreme Court in the morning. I’m reading Kelly Ripa watching Kelly. And one day, I turned on the remote to see who our guest was the next day.
So I could plan my day. And I was like, What have you if you can’t add to your mind? You’re planning your day around around TV? This is your spy camera cancer for Are you not? And I had no plan. I had nothing. I mean, it was one day at a time. Nobody. We didn’t plan for retirement, Mike will work and we didn’t plan for retirement, no plays home watching daytime TV. So I started volunteering at the hospital. And there I was just an amazing, amazing journey. But more importantly, I got myself a job. And because of the thing that affected me the most, which was which was, um, you know, I’m suicide of two friends. Right? And that I got a job working for a young adult mental health awareness organism and I started to volunteer. And now I’m the office man. You know, it’s like your passion. Yeah, no, it turned out to be my passion that and obviously, I still go to the dermatologist every 45 days, I still have my biopsies I have, you know, an experiment. And, you know, I have medication that I have to take and everything, but from my diabetes. You know, that was the other thing that made it very difficult, you know, that you died using the chemotherapy or on a collision course? Yes. But you know, it was sort of interesting for me to suddenly realize I watched daytime TV that there was no for this either. It was just life was happening.
And, you know, in many ways, it’s still happening, because now I’m old, I’m working here. Mike is now 70. He has gotten me through every, every day, every single day. I one of the habits that I developed as I was going through all this was at night when I go to bed, I take off my slippers, and I purposely get down on my knees, I wish them all the way under the bed.
Because then I get down on my knees and I realize how much I have to be grateful for. And in the morning, when I get out of bed. First thing I’ve got to do is get down on my knees to get my slippers out from under the bed. And the first thing that I see is my sleeping on the other side of the bed. And I realized how much I have to be grateful for. That’s awesome. But I say to myself, would it have been better? If we had thought about these things? Two reasons, it would have made the journey that much easier, that much less chaotic, that must less frightening. Nobody’s going to plan to get cancer. Nobody’s going to plan to go death. But you can plan for a catastrophe.
So what if the what if what if I can’t work, it doesn’t matter if I can’t work because I have diabetes, and I’m losing my eyesight or I have cancer or I’m losing my hearing? Or I’m just old or you get arthritis? Or who knows or if you have a car accident, right? COVID Yeah, right, exactly. But we never plan that. And you know, But through it all. Michael stayed focused on the need to control the circumstances, to organize, to keep to organize it to figure out what we were doing and how to move us forward. So when I say there was no plan, Michael always had a focus on the end, Ron. So Mike might not have. So Michael had planned Michael knew what he had to do. Michael had to manage. Michael had a plan for our retirement, Michael had to give thought, Michael Murali on and encouraged both of us to get long term care insurance and disability insurance.
All of these other things. So he had the plan, but I lived, I’m 65 years old, I lived without a plan. I lived reactionary, the two things that I believed, because I had been told Young was that actions have consequences, good, bad, or indifferent. And you have to control those. And you have to figure out how you play the cards that you dealt. But I never gave any thought to how to play the cards when I got dealt a crappy hand.
Now is that kind of like the same same as you made your bed, you can lie in it now. It’s similar. It’s similar, you know, you played the card, you’re dealt, you know, so you make good choices, you make bad decision, I tell the dealer hecha, whatever it is you got, you got to play them, you’ve got to figure your way out. And you know, and the other thing was, you know, when when things go wrong, you go look in the mirror, things go, go look in the mirror.
So it wasn’t a matter of not having any sense of responsibility or anything. It was a matter of always reacting, always reacting, never being proactive when it hit the fan. And But Michael, on the other hand, was always focused on the end run. And that’s about a stroke. That’s what got us through, if he just saw and if he didn’t look forward if he didn’t take stock of the situation, and have a plan for moving through it. We I don’t know. I don’t know if we were to stay together. I don’t know what our retirement is, you know, for all I know, you could be eating cat food right now. You know? Yeah. Yeah. And that’s expensive, too. Yeah, that’s better than a GP, especially.
FINAL NOTES FOR LISTENERS
But what what kind of final note would you have for our listeners, that’s brought you to this point in your life, you’ve helped so many people in mental health, in cancer and raising money in in being trying to find your passion. I think you have many passions. But yeah, what kind of message do you think you would have? You know, maybe just another LGBTQ partner? Like, what would you have? I mean, what you’ve gone through is different than what others especially in that era, because we didn’t look at it in the 70s, or 80s. But I think the thing is, is thing is, is to take stock of who you surround yourself with, whether it’s a same sex partner, or opposite sex partner, or whatever, you build your life together.
Understand that there it’s not, it’s not all candlelight dinners. And you need to you need to plan for those nights. That’s not a candlelight dinner. And getting old is not for the faint of heart. So we can all you know, it we were living, what do they call it? spontaneously? Yes, the badge of honor. And I did that I did that for I just reacted to everything that happened. And thank God, it has a happy ending. But it has a happy ending, because I’ve made good because of the person that I was fortunate enough to be making choices. So I think that we can all spontaneously for the day. But think that we all have to recognize that life is not a spectator sport, and that we do have to plan that we are going to have good days and bad days, and how do we get through the bad days? And how do we capitalize on the good days? How do we know? We don’t know what’s next? So how do we make sure that we give ourselves as much insurance and by insurance, I don’t necessarily mean health insurance or life insurance or anything else. But just insurance that that the people that we care about and the people that care about us get what they need from us in good times. And
oh, that’s so beautiful. If this wasn’t recorded, I would have recorded that. Oh, that’s so awesome. Thank you. Did you have any other final message that you’d like to get the listeners?
I mean, what the story? Yeah, I you know, I want to thank people for listening. You know, I mean, I hope that, you know, they certainly if anybody had a question they could get in touch with me through you or anything. You know, I just, I just hope that when you go through this by yourself or alone, it’s a waste in many ways, not a waste. Because we come out strong, he come out differently. But if I can avoid if I can help one person do it better than me. Because they plan and they thought about it and they’re a little bit more introspective. And they recognize that it could happen, then yes, it gives what I went through, meaning purpose.
And so I just hope that one person that nobody gets cancer and that nobody needs a plan. But they can all say at the end of the run, Mike told us to plan. And isn’t he adult because we didn’t need to plan? Yeah. Oh, the the situation is that’s not going to happen. Because we all need a plan. We all need to know what it is that we’re doing. And we all need to know how it is that we’re going to weather the good days and the bad, bad. Yes. That’s perfect. That’s perfect. Absolutely. Perfect. Thank you so very much for your, your passion and helping others. I know, I really, really appreciate that. My Kim, of course, your other Mike has a big point in all of this as well. Getting to you to where you’re at right now as well. So thanks, Tom, your other half? Maybe your better half? I’m not really sure. But absolutely my better half. Sometimes I do have better halves. Yeah. And yeah. And what he shows is that, you know, it takes patience, both with yourself and with so I guess the other thing that people should always remember is, is they go through these good times and bad times to have patience.
Patience. Yeah. And we all hate patients. I know I do. Yeah, it’s it’s tough. We we have to wonder why we need patience. But when you’re in it, you sure You sure do. So well. Thank you. It’s that time again, listeners, I can’t believe it’s already, you know, we could talk to Mike here for forever, I’m sure you’re full of knowledge, you are full of experiences. And I may just have you come back on again, at some point in time again, because, you know, it’s it’s really beautiful. Unfortunately, you’ve had to go through what you’ve had to go through. But at the same time, wow, your experiences can help so many people. So thank you, thank you for that. Thank you look back at your convenience. And you know, yeah, yeah, and update us and give us some more highlights. So thank you. Thank you everyone, for watching and listening to our show. And take a moment and make sure you click on the subscribe button, share this with others. And click on that bell. And I know one of our other guests makes me want to sing. to click on the bell, there’s a bell right before beside the subscribe button down here somewhere right down there, right there. So make sure you click on the subscribe like this, this show as well, it helps to make sure that we’re getting more of the shows out to other people. And click on that bell because that really means that you get notified when we come up with more great guests like Mike, and you don’t want to miss it. So if you don’t click on the bell, you might miss a show. So um, I want to thank everyone for coming. As you can see, Mike is perfect for expect the unexpected. No one is Superman, and why not look at what we can do today to be better protected for tomorrow. And I coach each and every one. Because there’s nobody that gets out of this life alive, so to speak. And I just want everyone to feel that, that they don’t have to live in stress. They don’t have to live and not knowing what to do next. Because you’ve already consider the what if especially with your friends and family, parents, brothers, sisters, that type of thing, because that’s a tough situation to be in after the fact after the storm has hit. So thank you everyone for listening and watching. And if you were thinking of someone today, that’s in your mind that you haven’t spoken to, please reach out to them. Tell them how much you love and care about them. Because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Thanks Mike!
MIKE DALY AT : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014065901310 firstname.lastname@example.org
Life after a car accident makes you realize how precious life is and will bring you to your knees, in full of recovery, grief and depression. Don’t ever think it’s easy!
“Decisions can be like car accidents, sudden and full of consequences.” Allison Glock
So our wonderful guest is of course from Greece. I’d love to go there. But she’s actually in Thunder Bay, Ontario. What a switch from Greece to Thunder Bay. You couldn’t be any further north.
I know. I know. hates it. But it’s lovely here where I am. It’s a beautiful area. And I’m very fortunate to be here. It’s beautiful. Just beautiful. Different different. But yes, beautiful.
Our wonderful guests, Anastasia. I’m not sure if I said that. Right. When you said the other name. Yes. Yes. Canadian problem. It’s everywhere. Don’t worry. panacea is a podcaster. And of course, the beautiful artists with her photos. I don’t know how to there. There we go right there. It’s so funny. When I put my hand up in the screen. It looks like this fake arm. It’s like this magnifying huge arm that goes across the screen. She has a beautiful artist, as you can see a road safety advocator. Of course, for all of this and a pastry chef from from Greece.
Life after a car accident makes you realize how precious life is to make that impact, that euphony moment, changes your life forever
Wow. I can’t wait to hear hear your story. our listeners are going to be blown away from the story. And I really want you to listen with both your ears today. Because it’s quite an incredible story of how she has been able to take something so negative into something so positive and, and the courage and the bravery that you have taken to come on these shows is unbelievable. And I have to give you credit, where credit is due. It’s It’s really beautiful, how you’re trying to help other people. So thank you very, very much. And yeah, where did it all start for you?
Thank you, first of all for having me over. And when you say about strength, I think the message that I want to bring out through sharing my experience is what gives me the drive to you know, be strong and share what actually happened on that day. So what happened and we’ll drive right in instead of diving. It was a summer it was a beautiful, beautiful summer day in Greece. And for those people that have been to Greece, they know how hot and warm and beautiful it is during summer so it was called goose Agus five.
And I was working. I was running two businesses when I was one business with juice two shops when I was 23 years old. At the time, and I went to work, and that Sunday morning, I did some cake decoration, the decorating that I had to do for weddings and I finished everything because I was so excited. I wanted to go to the beach was so warm, so hot. And me and my husband, I was married at the time, we had the we made plans with another couple very close friend, friends of ours to go to the beach.
So we made all those plans on Wednesday, actually, they were at my place at Wednesday hadn’t dinner, and then we said, Oh yeah, why not spend Sunday at the beach, it’s gonna be warm. We can take some time off. We deserve. We’re working all day. So that’s what we planned to go to the beach, relax, have fun, enjoy yourselves and then return home. I was 23 years old at the time, my husband was 26 and the couple my friends. So theory NFV. They were 26 and 29. And they also had two children, young, very young children at the time. So Sunday came as I said, I went to work I did all my work. I was happy excited. When to my place. God changed my swimming stuff on and everything ready.
So there we were four people, four young people, two couples. Yeah. We got in the car. He was three door vehicle. I don’t know how you call them here in Canada. That’s how we call them in Greece anyway. So there were no there were no doors in the in the for the passengers. The back. My husband was driving. I was sitting beside him as a co driver and the passenger’s seats were my friends behind me was my friend. So theory and next to him his wife, fa he was around noon, we started about 1130 I think so we headed to to the beach. And it’s a lovely place. It’s called halkidiki. And it’s very popular. During summer, everyone from my hometown, and my hometown is the Salonika and it’s over a million people. And everyone is going to help give a kid during the weekend. So you can imagine how how busy the roads were very heavy traffic. So at some point, my husband decided to change his road and go through a country road, which was more narrow, and he was full of turns, you know.
And that’s what we did. But he was speeding. And he wasn’t beautiful day, like we were so happy. we’re chatting the car and I can remember every single moment and we’re just so excited. And the thing is that they were supposed to have their children with them that day. So that was that was our original plan. They will drive with their car with children, and we will drive our car. And we’re both go to the same destination of cash. And then they decided no, let’s let’s have one totally free day of children of work just to enjoy ourselves. And then they decided not to take the children. And that’s that’s how the decision came. So we can we drove all four of us one vehicle. So as we’re driving in that country road, and he was speeding my husband, he was speeding through the time. And you know about age 23 years old. You don’t you don’t see what’s coming?
Well, you don’t have the same fear. Right? Don’t you? Don’t you find that? Yes. Yeah, like, a lot more. I don’t know if you gain the wisdom or what it is. But you have more fear and you’re not so risky. That you will you actually are risky without knowing that you’re taking this. Right. Yeah, yeah, realize, and that’s how I feel today, going back to that day. I’m thinking that I, I could see that he was speeding, why wasn’t my saints saying something before?
What because I, I couldn’t foresee the future with you know, with his driving habits if I can say that. So I remember that he was speeding, and I did get scared at some point. And I knew that my friend Effie, she was scared of speeding and I asked him to slow down. I did ask him wants to slow down. And he did for a while but he didn’t really like just hitting the brakes. When I told him it’s not enough. You need to actually stop, slow down completely. And just, if you have to stop your car, just stop your car and give yourself some, you know, a few minutes to get out of that situation that you are. You know, you just take that route of speeding and you don’t stop. It’s like, I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it, really. But I asked when you’re in the moment, it’s it’s, you know, of course you do it differently now, right. If what when you know, but the lessons? Yeah.
So as we’re going as we’re driving, I asked him to slow down he did for a while, but then he picked up the same speed started overtaking every vehicle that was in front of him. Just wanted to reach this destination faster. I don’t know. And I remember. I remember we’re laughing. Because all four of us we were basically not thinking. Yeah, so you’re just having fun. Yeah, yeah. So remember, at some point, I turn around I was laughing with my with Effie was were chatting and laughing. And as I was looking at her, I felt I felt the tension I felt the car because he hit the brakes. But you know, you can you can sense that something is not right. And I did. And what proved it even more was a face to face, because she could see what was coming. I had my head turned. By the time I turned my head. I saw that we were there was another vehicle coming to our direction. And then he turned his wheel, the steering wheel and because he was speeding so much, and he panicked and didn’t know how to react. He lost control of the car, and we ended up falling into a ditch. That was about six, seven meters high. And the car flipped. He did some turns, did you go down the passenger side or the driver’s side out of the passenger? The passenger side.
So we didn’t, we didn’t crash with any other vehicle. He turned the wheel to avoid the car because he was in the middle of overtaking another vehicle. So he was halfway overtaking another vehicle. And then he saw another car coming from the opposite side because there was turns so he didn’t have he was speeding. He wasn’t supposed to overtake the car because it wasn’t. There were rules that you were not supposed to overtake in a vehicle at that particular section. Exactly. And the visibility was not good at all. So he did three things that he shouldn’t do that day. And that moment. On that day he did more. But on that moment there are these two things that he shouldn’t speeding and overtaking that vehicle because the visibility was not good. We saw the other car coming. He turned the steering wheel we fell into the beach.
And I remember having the you know the seatbelt because I was wearing my seatbelt. Literally crashing on my on my chest. I could feel the tension on my chest. I didn’t realize that the car flipped because everything happened so fast. I didn’t even know that the car flipped. But were you upside down at the time? No, you landed we landed right? up right? Yes. But the doors we couldn’t open the doors because they were jammed from the car flipping. And with the moment the car hit the ground. It caught fire. And it was a warm day as I said the windows were closed because we had the air conditioner on and once the car hit ground, it caught fire in the gap cabin of the vehicle. He wasn’t around the vehicle. He was in the cabin of the vehicle the doors running open everywhere. It’s like he was surrounding us. I can I can. I can feel I can still remember the feelings that I had.
Everything went silent and he wasn’t because I couldn’t hear anything. But you know when the fire is, you know that sound that the fire has and he was sucking up the air. So it was like it was like I was diving deep into the cedar. Yeah. I wish I was but it wasn’t, you know, no one was and so there were four, four young people burning alive in that vehicle because they’re trapped and I tried to open my door my door wouldn’t open And we were lucky. If you can call that luck. I guess we were the drivers that were opened. Finally. I don’t know how much time it took probably a few minutes not even mean it seemed like forever. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Because you can feel the heat. You can. It was just, I was just panicking. I was screaming, screaming, I remember that. And I couldn’t even hear my voice. You know, I couldn’t even hear my voice from, from what I was experiencing that moment was on my house, screaming Do you remember? I couldn’t hear anything. Now. I couldn’t hear anything. And I don’t know if it was the flames and the sound of the flames or if it was my panic, or I don’t know.
But I remember. I remember screaming. I remember screaming. And I just couldn’t hear anything. So the driver got out of the car. And then my friend Effie that was sitting behind him, she got out after him. And then I crawled over to his side. And I got out too. But as I was crawling, I tried to reach my friend that was behind me. Her husband, her husband. Yeah, he wasn’t moving. So I got out of the car. And that’s that was it. He never made it out. Realizing that, even to this day, it’s Yes, yes. And because you want to try and get them out. But did anyone else stop? Did anyone see anything to help or anything?
Well, vehicles that were on the same, you know, on the same road with us, they did stop and where we fell where we actually crashed. There was a restaurant type of restaurant there with a pool and it was busy people were there. So they people run to our direction very, very quick. And I remember then, when I got out of the car, I was still inflamed. So I rolled on the grass and was like, I didn’t even know that I had to do that. I was just respond reaction response. Yeah, yeah. So I rolled on the grass. And then someone came and picked me up. I remember I was picked up. And they took me away from the car from fear of having the vehicle explore. Yeah. Which doesn’t happen. It’s not like the movies. It doesn’t happen. Like the movies. Yeah, it doesn’t happen. Like the movies. And I say that to schools when I go and deliver a speech because to raise Road Safety Awareness. You see in the movies, the vehicles are blowing into 1000 pieces, and then the driver will just get out of the car and walk. Yeah. It doesn’t happen this way. What it does, it blows your life into 1000 pieces that it does.
So your your husband at the moment at the time he got out. But was he on the ground as well? Do you remember?
No, he was he was running around the vehicle. And even when I was still in the vehicle, he was outside trying to get my daughter to open that I have that memory. And it was at that moment that he was trying to get my daughter to open he was outside from my side tried to get my daughter to open. And I was taking off my seatbelt. I was kicking the door and I couldn’t open it. It was then that Effie got out after him. And then I just figured out like it was a response. I just crawled over and tried to get out and myself.
And how was she? Was she just laying on the ground? Or did she crawl out and I didn’t see her first moments out of the vehicle when they picked me up to take me away the people that picked me up. They placed me just a few feet away from her. So she was already taken by people I guess. And you know, they were trying to get us away from the car. It was a horrific moment, because I remember we’re both sitting on the ground. My husband was running around the car trying to get to my friend that was still in there. People were trying to keep him away. It’s a it’s graphic. And I think but I think like I’m explaining them every detail. But I think it’s very important for people to listen. The first one is because they hear there’s a crash and people are injured, and they see them with their injuries and it’s very heartbreaking Of course, but those first moments when reality hits, that’s the worst moments.
That’s the worst moments and I think if people listen to those first moments may Maybe they can put themselves in our position and understand how severe it can be a car accident. Yeah. So he was running around. We’re both sitting. Me and my friend were sitting about 10 meters away from the car and I was a few feet away from her and I turned around and I, I looked at her. And I still remember how she looked. She was gray, no color. It was like white, gray. You know, when you get burnt? That’s how you look. I didn’t know that the moment. Yeah. And she was looking directly at the car. She knew her husband was in there. totally shocked. And she was she was like, white paper, white piece of paper with no words on just blank, blank stare. And I asked I told her, will you ever forgive him? That was the words that I said her? Will you ever forgive him? And of course, there was no response. She wouldn’t. She was totally shocked. And yeah, it was a very difficult, but horrific not difficult. It just, I don’t wish anyone to go through what, what she went through what she went through, and then what we went through as well.
Yes, yes. Because it’s not necessarily your husband sitting in that car. But it was hers. But it’s also your friend. So
the pain is that you can’t even describe with words the pain that we that I felt, then. And I can’t even describe what she felt. And it’s very sad. He passed away right away with that impact, because he had the head injuries from what we were told. From the Friday from later date. He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. Oh, so he had his injuries were fatal from the moment we crossed. That’s why he wasn’t moving on work on train or tried to get right. And my friend Effie she passed away to a few weeks later.
Oh, a few weeks of of her burns or of other things of her burns. Oh, I’m so sorry. That’s horrible. Because you wouldn’t think the fire would be in the back that quickly with you. But it happens like you said it just swarmed you
like the the cabin of the vehicle any vehicles just small fire will surround you. There’s no way Yeah, away from it. Yeah.
That that’s quite an amazing. And you know, when I when I had mine, it wasn’t so much what I saw like you, but it was more of the smell. You know, the smell of the engine of the gas and the engine and it’s and the powder from the airbags. It it’s very eerie. It’s a very eerie feeling and sent well I don’t even remember how their backs popping. You know it did they did but I don’t remember because everything happened so fast. And then you didn’t even have one second in the vehicle not reacting because we had to go out to get out. We’re burning alive teen I was like, yeah, we just had to get out. Yeah, yeah, so smells. I remember just the sound. I remember that. I remember that. I was screaming and I couldn’t hear my voice voice that’s what it’s very to me to these days. How How is it possible not to listen to my voice?
Yeah. Yeah, that’s amazing. Did you get all your burns when you rolled on the ground? Did that all get under fire while
I was out the fire was out when? Yes, but the the injuries were so so so severe. I ended up with 74% burns all over my body hands face, arms, legs, feet. Everything was burned. And your husband my hair? Yeah, like I guess they were burned as well like the next time the the the yeah after my injuries. The next time I saw myself in the mirror. I didn’t have any hair. So but they shaved my head to get the The skin of my head to use it in other parts of my body. Oh, yeah, for skin grafts. So what they do is you get burned and they need skin grafts to cover the, the picture of the body that was injured. To get that skin. They try to get the skin, the healthy skin that’s left on your body. And well, my head wasn’t burned. That’s why they use the they used my head the skin of my head twice from my back once from for my tummy three times my thigh I don’t remember even how many times overtime I think any any part of my body that wasn’t burned, they were taking they’re scraping the skin off. So they can use it on the on the parts that were injured.
That’s really amazing work that they can do for that, isn’t it?
It is it is like medicine. It’s some It’s amazing. Amazing just amazing how they can save lives but they can save every life and they can save my friend’s life. She She was so severely injured on her chest because of the clothes that she was wearing. And the thing with burn sees people might not know it’s not actually the the burns that will put in danger. Put your life in danger. It’s getting infected, first of all the infections. And what the infections do is they make your body overwork. And eventually the organs they can handle. Fight extreme fighting to stay to keep you alive. And that’s how you end up losing your life.
Did she have her seatbelt on them? Is that why she got I was able to get out? Do you know?
I think she had Yeah, she had her seatbelt on? Yes. So that’s why only my friend that was sitting behind me didn’t have his seatbelt law syndrome. Yeah.
So that’s something to tell people?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Always, always wear your seatbelt always. You never know you just never know what can happen in one split second. And that’s, that’s all it takes. That’s all it takes them. You’re the title of your book. Actually, it’s an expression that I use often to, in a blink of an eye. That’s all it takes.
Yeah, it literally looks like when you look behind and then look forward. It’s a blink like the blink of your eye. It just changed. So what about your your husband, who is your now ex husband, but he was injured as well, but not as severe as myself and Effie, he had the burns. But if we if we mentioned numbers that might help our listeners understand I had 74% of burns, f we had 68% and my husband had 44. But out of this 44% 22 was third degree and 22 was second and first degree which is like my face from from my left side it says second, second burns second degree burns and there’s not much scarring there. But my right side third degree and you can see the scars more. So it’s different.
Was that the part where it was more from the car side?
Yeah, because the flames were around us basically in the center of the vehicle. There were no flames. It was all around us. Yeah. That’s quite amazing, isn’t it? How if you could reenact something how something actually happens? You know when you can’t see it.
Exactly. And we have to be what what I’m trying to get out there with my own podcast is that these accidents are preventable. If we drive safe if we try to be safe, we can prevent all these accidents. Or this accident sometimes sometimes Of course we can prevent everything because we are not responsible and we don’t know what the other person is doing. But the main point is that we are all safe drivers to reduce the accidents. But even when we are taking the right precautions and we are more aware we can protect ourselves more.
Well you can do right for for yourself and and hopefully eliminate limit a few of those accidents. Anyways, like you said and and be a better safe driver.
Yes because we are responsible for ourselves. We are responsible for everyone that moves around us as well. Yes, we don’t keep in mind. Yeah, we don’t we don’t we shoot.
Well, will you share them? I, I always thought to you know, you see it a lot with people in the left hand turn lanes, and they turn in front of a car coming straight down. And I don’t understand that because the person coming straight down sees that in the intersection. Usually, I mean, sometimes you wouldn’t. But I just don’t understand why people take chances. And everyone, Senator rush.
Because we think that he won’t happen to us. Yeah. We just think that it’s not going to happen to us. Simple as that.
I say that all the time. You know, everybody, you know, are you Superman? No, but we think we are.
Yeah, and I say that we think that it’s not going to happen to us. And I’m guilty of that, because I thought the same. That’s what I thought, yeah, never crossed my mind that something this horrific can happen to me in one split second with one wrong move. I guess. I never thought.
And especially with your friends around as well, you just realize how precious life truly is. So after you know, their kids are at home, obviously with what happens next after that, I’m sorry to have to bring that part up.
Um, so we were taken to were taken to emergency burns unit in my hometown. And from then on the difficult road to recovery started for me to recover, I recovered, as he tried to recover. Unfortunately, she couldn’t make it. And the doctors did whatever they could, but her and her injuries were so severe.
And were you able to talk to her in the hospital at all intensive care like he was. We’re all in intensive care.
I my I was in the hospital for three months after my accident, having surgeries after surgeries. And on the eighth day, I made a stayed in my hometown for eight days in the ICU. And then my mother, she found out that they had The Undertaker’s on hope for myself and for Effie. And once you realize that, because one of them that was informed, to be close by in case a family needed to the families needed something happened to be my cousin. So they met in the hospital. And when they were discussing why wanting here why they were, you know, at the hospital, and they realized that he was there for me, because they were waiting for me to pass away, to not make it then she just said, Okay, I have to do something. And on her own responsibility. She She made all the arrangements. And then I was moved in UK in the UK for my therapy. So that basically saved my life because they had the knowledge and they had the the tools and all the equipment that they needed. And Greek doctors, they’re good, they have the knowledge but they don’t have the right equipment. And that was a new word. That was a new word that we were taken into. It was like open only for 10 days. So we’re very, very severe injuries that they couldn’t handle. So I was airlifted and taken to the UK and that’s where I had my my therapy and my whole recovery and surgeries and I was named induced coma for some days and I didn’t I couldn’t speak to anyone. I had to try Qian there was no communication. I was just trying to survive. Yeah, it took seven weeks, seven weeks to have the doctor say to my mom that she’s going to make it seven. Wow.
And you’re just basically praying every week to every day, every hour every day. Well. Yeah. Yeah, that’s amazing. Have to give your mom credit for staying beside your Yes, she’s a superhero, Superman. Yeah.
And my dad, both of them, my whole family, they they were so supportive and they were you know, just knowing that they were there waiting for me and they gave me the strength that I needed the resources. It was a tough decision for my mom and dad to take that day to on their, you know, the doctors. They didn’t give the green light to my mom to take me away. They told her if you take her away it’s a it’s a Whatever happened to you. It’s on you. But she knew when she met my cousin that was the undertaker that was there waiting. She knew that she had to take
it’s that choice or or take a risk? Yeah, yeah. This shows tough decisions. So your friend Alfie stayed there. And that’s where she stayed in the Greek hospital. She stayed there, she was more severely injured. Although the numbers are different of the injuries. She had more burns on her torso. So her organs were more affected. And that’s maybe this is a good opportunity to say how important clothes are because I was wearing coat on a coat and dress. And she was wearing synthetic clothes. And that makes a difference that made that made a lot of difference when it comes to heating.
Yes, and I understand and a house fires and things like that. It’s important what kind of pajamas you have on or, or the sheets on your bed and how all of that burns. less or more depending on what you’re around. Very interesting.
Everything matters. Everything from clothing from every single moment. All the decisions that we make, we don’t know. But they might make a difference when the time comes. All the layers all the little decisions.
Yes, absolutely. And after that you survived and beautifully. Amazingly.
And you It took me it took a very it took me a while pain a few years to stating I stayed in the UK away from my family away from my husband, my own my business. My dad, my mom was there 24 seven next to me, she was actually my caregiver, she had to have someone next to me. I had to relearn everything from started, I had to relearn how to how to hold the fork and the spoon to eat, how to walk. I was in a wheelchair for four months before I was able to stand up doctors were saying that they were going to amputate my hand, my right hand, they were going to amputate my right foot. They were going to amputate my nose. There was an amazing team behind my recovery that they are. They are responsible for my recovery. Actually, I want to thank them it’s a Broomfield Hospital in the St. Andrew’s Hospital in Broomfield in the UK. And I just want to take this moment to big thank you to all the medical staff that were by my side and gave me this second chance in life.
But it’s really amazing when you get a wonderful team like that.
Yes. And I have to say also that I had the one of my guests on my podcast was one of the nurses that looked after me the ICU 20 years old. Yeah. Oh, wow. It was amazing to have her there on my on my podcast. It was amazing.
Oh, wow. I’ll have to listen to that one. I will have your podcast links down below. So no worries there people for forever. All of our listeners know, don’t worry, she we will make sure your podcast is there to listen to other stories. Yeah, and then you went back home to Greece eventually
went eventually, two years later, I went when I returned home. And it was as I said a long, long long process their recovery and I was still having surgeries to this day, I still need the surgeries. But last year I had one booked for March but because of the pandemic, we cancelled it but I still need to do another surgery. And so big surgery actually will take me about two months to recover from that. And then after the two months, I’ll probably need another six months of precise things that I need to follow every day to fully recover. So it’s a it’s a process of two years and then I was going back and forth to the UK having more operations and they’re trying to repair my hands because they’re very injured and I don’t have full movement anymore. I can still use Use them like I did a lot of work on my own to recover as best as I could. So I can win back my life knowing I had to leave. Life is precious. And we have to enjoy it as much as we can. The way more Yes, yes, I am unfortunate I consider myself although I went through this very fortunate because I can see, I can see how it could end up like my friends. And to this day, I still I see it. It’s very difficult to accept what happened to them.
Yes, absolutely. It’s like a mother, you know, you don’t care so much about what happened to yourself. It’s what happened to your kids, or your friends, for that matter. So it’s the same kind of feeling. So what happened with them? You know, what happened? Do you still have any relationship with the kids?
Unfortunately, no, it’s, you know, when you when you lose someone, and it’s unfair, it’s unfair. So obviously, the family doesn’t want to have anything to do with us, our course. And I can totally understand that. So we went through a very difficult five years, five years, maybe six years period with court cases, and because he was responsible, my husband, and like all the court cases, it takes forever to end. Yeah. So I think it was about six or seven years after the accident that finally the cold cases came to an end. And my husband had to go to jail because of this accident. And it’s another story. It doesn’t, it doesn’t end he doesn’t end and having going through a cold case for an accident that you didn’t, you didn’t cause it on purpose. Although you were responsible people, they don’t go to jail, at least not in Greece. They don’t go to jail. But in our case, he didn’t show any remorse.
So he continued to overspeed all those driving, and they were proof about that. So that’s why he ended up in jail. And I don’t know if he’s still our marriage just collapsed. And it wasn’t because of the accident itself. But what the accident brought in our life later, yes, that caused our marriage to collapse. And I’m very well with that. At the beginning, it was very difficult because of all my insecurity and all my all these different feelings that I had. And I didn’t know I lost my identity. I didn’t know where I was going. Yeah, life just wasn’t the same. It had nothing. It was nothing like I used to know it before the accident. No, absolutely. The people around you well as yourself.
We made we we went through I went through an emotional roller coaster. Yeah, trying to comprehend how, how to how this happened and how I can continue living. He was he was very difficult, very difficult in so many levels, emotionally, physically, mentally. I felt, I’m still feeling kind of responsible for what happened because he was my my husband that was driving was our vehicle. And I didn’t say anything. And so it’s very, very difficult to to accept everything that happened. So we don’t have any I don’t have any contact with a family. I wish I could. But the children are now grownups and I hope they’re well, as much as they can be after leaving without their parents. They were left orphans and they were only four and eight years old. Two boys so horrific, just horrific. And I don’t want anyone anyone to go through what they went through. Yes, they shouldn’t. Because these, these accidents can be prevented. So they shouldn’t go through what they went through.
Yes, absolutely. Did. What did you find afterwards then when you started your rehabilitation, look at you now. You know, you’re out talking about it. You’re you’re living your best life. I think you know, you’re remarried.
Am I remarried? Yes. Now in Canada? Well, I tried. I tried to go back to work after my, my, I recovered, kind of from the injuries but going back and forth to the hospital, having operation after a surgery after surgery and going through the process of recovering again from the new surgery that took another three, four months to recover.
It wasn’t easy to get back to work. Yeah. And then I was diagnosed with cancer as well. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. It’s like a domino effect, right? If something goes wrong, everything goes wrong. So I was diagnosed with cancer about four years after my accident, four years and a few months after my accident, and I had to have four surgeries in less than a year for that. I am good. I’m healthy. I’m very fortunate again. Cuz I had no symptoms. We I was just lucky that I found out that I had a tumor. I wait. I’m good. But that was like a wake up call for me. And it was when I was going through that process that I decided I can’t be with that man anymore, because I saw more bells ringing that what have you Yeah. Just I talked, I talked about that yesterday’s and yesterday’s live show, about how you have these different people on your shoulder. And sometimes this one will say, yeah, Tina, it’s all fine. You can do it. And this one says, Don’t Don’t try. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
I don’t know about little people. But my inner voice was saying meal. You can you can make it on your own. You need to be where you are now you and then just one day, I just flip the switch. And I said no Enough is enough. That’s it. That’s it. And I found happiness again. Just it was magical. burden lifted off my shoulders when I when I made that decision. And I didn’t even know that, that I would feel that way.
And then he kept on hitting you with more and more and saying, Are you going to wake up yet? Are you going to wake up?
I finally did. It took me a while. And again, I lost a lot of things. But I did.
Yes. I don’t know where we have to lose things to get its lessons. It’s what happens. It’s life. Actually, this is life. And the main thing is to learn from our lessons and our mistakes from the mistakes that I’ve made. We made so we don’t repeat them. Yes, that’s what I want with the podcast, my podcast to share my message. So people learn from my mistakes from other people mistakes that they made, because we’re showing a lot of real stories. Yes. And maybe maybe motivate them to not make our story their story. So this these mistakes are not repeated.
Yeah, cuz you wouldn’t want to have to do that one over again with you. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Now even I don’t wish even on my worst enemy and I don’t have any new enemies anyway. But yeah, no one should experience what my family what my friends families experienced. And then what I experience. Yes, no one no one. No strength of your mom. Yeah. Yeah, she’s the real hero on this, isn’t she? She’s She’s a survivor, as well. Looking. like watching your child in the situation that I was. I don’t know how she did it. Thank you. Yes. Thank you. I love you. Yes. Imagine how hard that would be. Yeah. I can only imagine. I don’t want to feel it anyway. Ever, ever?
Yes, absolutely. Nobody does. That’s for sure. So you have your podcast and now you’re doing some art with your kind of weird. Well, the thing is that when we were still in the hospital for my recovery, the doctors were saying to my mom, you have to make her use her hands because I was through I was going through denial process. I didn’t want to do anything at some point. And she they kept on saying she needs to use her hands. She needs to use her hand. So my mom she’s an artist herself. amazing artist who makes lovely paintings. She took me one day and she see got me to a hobby shop. I’m trying to find something, something that would keep me occupied.
Just to remind us Life after a car accident makes you realize how precious life is to make that impact, that euphony moment, changes your life forever
So I can fix stuff with my hands and use them. And we I ended up with canvases and paint brushes and colors acrylics and stuff. And that’s how I started painting. And what I found was that it wasn’t only helping me physically because I was using my hands, but it did help me mentally and emotionally because it was soothing me. Although it was painful, it was hurting, using my hands. It did help me with my emotions, with your inner your inner soul. It kind of like a it took everything out of my mind. And I could leave the moment without thinking and thinking and, you know, it seemed It was a lot a lot to take in what I was dealing with. Yeah, that moment. So it reached out. He was my therapy. It was my therapy after my physiotherapy at the hospital. So that’s why I continued, I just love love creating. And what really helped me most was you know, I couldn’t use my hands.
So I felt worthless. If I felt like my life ended. What can I do? I can’t even get dressed on my own. I can’t even feed myself, I can’t even do my the basics. I needed help for everything. And then with the struggle, but I did from nothing, I created something. And that gave me the strength to continue day by day, day by day. And that’s how I want back my life. Because art did help me to beautiful to accept that it happened but you can still you can still create stuff. So move on and create beautiful things. What do you like to specialize drawing? Trees, I love trees. I love trees. And I have also collection though it’s my story through art that I have painted the few pieces that they represent my story size. Interesting. Nice. Oh, people can go on my web page and check it out.
Absolutely. That’s beautiful. And trees. Uh, do you like flowers too? Do you like doing flowers? Or are there anything?
Oh, I love I love doing landscape. I yeah, I love I love everything. I do portraits. I do animals. I do. landscapes, trees. Anything, anything that inspires me, you could be a rock, anything that I can find that it’s something that gives me the drive to pick up my pencils or my brushes that inspires me. Yes, banana trees is a very close to my heart. But I do all sort of soften. People can see different stuff on my web page.
Oh, cool. I think some of those wonderful Greek architecture that they have there would be awesome, too.
Yep. Yep. That would be fine. Yes, Greece, it’s he has some pretty pretty nice designs that you can use for art. And colors. Lots of blue and white. Like our flag. Yeah. it’ll fall. It’s very beautiful. What would you like to? It’s quite the story, everybody. I just feel like I just fall right into the story. Like, like you’re reading it. It’s very beautiful. Well, the story’s beautiful. But your your life was not so beautiful for a while, but it is now and you have a new husband. Yeah. And I’m so happy for you.
Yes, he’s also a burn survivor. And he’s workplace safety speaker. So he he also got his burns from an accident that happened in his while he was working. So he’s trying to raise awareness on that, like, we need to be cautious. We need to be aware of the dangerous we need to put our safety and the safety of others first. Yes. So avoid all these accidents that can be prevented because most of the accidents can be prevented. So that’s the main thing. That’s what I want the listeners to take away from our conversation. Those accidents that we can plan so don’t happen and take all the safety measures that we need. Don’t speed. Don’t text while you’re drive. Don’t drink when you’re going to drive. Just be aware of what you have to do. Drive to get from A to B safe not from life to The Yes, is not the truth, because you can help others people around you, but you can help yourself.
Yes, definitely. I just seen that. If we are taking the consideration our safety, we will be, we will, you know, be aware of the safety of all the other people that are moving around us, whether it’s on the road, whether it’s in the workplace, just safety has to be our main focus. Right?
Did you have any final messages that you’d like to give the listeners, I just want them to enjoy life, enjoy life, predict, predict what the future can match as much as they can for those of those little things that we can predict. and be prepared. Be prepared to, for all the unexpected things that might happen, and just try to be safe. Things can happen in one split second, if they can remember that, I think, yeah, we can also predict and be prepared, especially when you’re younger. And I guess even when you’re older, that doesn’t seem to matter. Sometimes everyone’s just in a hurry, and in a rush. And that’s so true, do weird things. And it’s like when you come home and you put your keys in a different place that you don’t normally put them, you lose them. And it’s all of these little things that remind you maybe if something isn’t working out, maybe you shouldn’t be going or maybe you know, strange things are kind of telling us all the time.
And yeah, that is true what you say. Just I think it’s difficult for the young young people to plan and be aware. But I also believe that listening to real stories from people, and maybe maybe just plan the idea that, okay, I am not, I am not Superman, as you said before, and there has to be more cautious when I’m doing some stuff because we hear all day, every day. Because I follow road safety, of course, and I’m a member of many groups. Every day I hear about accidents. And the sad thing is that people from their early 20s are the most people affected by destructive driving and speeding and you know, all that stuff that we do when we never thought that it would anything would happen.
Yeah, the risk. Yeah, no, the risk is well, that’s. Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, thank you so much. I don’t want to end it. I don’t want to end our show. Because your your story is, it’s just so heartfelt that it is truly a raw conversation today. Because thank you for being courageous and brave and coming out and telling others it’s it’s truly beautiful and very healing for people.
I just hope that people that are listening, learn something and that that will keep them safe in the future.
Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you. Thank you for coming on the show today. It’s that time again, guys. I can’t believe that. Where’s the time gone? Wow, um, expect the unexpected. Because you never know what tomorrow my brain I hope that we’ve inspired you and motivated you and, and giving you some thought words of wisdom from our guest. I she has so many stories to tell. You’re gonna have to write a book. It’s eating. It’s one of my plants. I’m working on it.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s beautiful. So thank you. Thank you so very much. You know, I I coach each and every one all the time and the risk of emergency preparedness. And because we don’t get out of this life alive, everybody. We don’t and it’s how we manage those storms that hit us. It’s It’s how we manage those and how we can move on to the next storm. Because sometimes we have one storm sometimes we have many. And it’s how we look after that and deal with the stresses and try to eliminate the unpreparedness because believe me, it sure helps when you’re a better person. Paired for things to occur. So thank you for coming out to our show today. It was beautiful. And thank you for your honesty and, and your storytelling. Thank you for having me and giving me this opportunity to share my story.
Absolutely. And I’ll have all I’ll make sure all her links are down below for our listeners. And thank you from Thunder Bay, Ontario. What changed from Greece? I can’t I still can’t fathom what that must feel like going from one hot to cold area. But yeah, I hear it is beautiful area. It’s very. I feel like the forest and the green and what you do is beautiful. It is beautiful. And it’s not that hard. And it is warm. Well, we did have 30 Celsius last week.
Yes, it gets hot and humid in the summertime. Yes. And so thank you, listeners. Thank you for all coming out to our show today. Thank you for watching. And I always end our podcast and our show with Carol Burnett. Because she’s such a beautiful comedian. I’m so glad that we had this time together just to have a laugh or sing a song seems we just get started. And before you know it comes a time we have to say so long. So long, everyone stay safe, be kind. And if you are listening to the show right now, and you have someone in your mind that you could reach out to today and tell them how much you love them and how much you care. Please do that. Because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring. So thank you for everyone. Lots of love.
Crash Victim Life survivor podcast
Dating after a loss is difficult to say the least. To be positive and upbeat with the new person, or just not sure how much to open up with a new love in your life. How do you start the process of staying positive, mysterious and at the same time open up to your past??
“Never let a fool kiss you, or a kiss fool you.” Joey Adams
This journey of this path to love is our interview with Jonathan Aslay, America’s leading Mid-Life Dating and Relationship Coach. His tips and tricks to understanding the sacredness of your sorrow, to expressing yourself in a manner that will be positive and uplifting to a new relationship.
His first secret tip, is to have and practice Self Love.
“The very process of dating reveals the most common emotional health issue faced by many singles seeking a partner: a distressing lack of self-worth, self-regard, and self-love.” https://www.jonathonaslay.com/midlifelove/
“In fact, once I realized how widespread and vitally important this issue is, I began incorporating that focus into my individual coaching practice, then wrote an entire book on the topic—“What the Heck is Self-Love Anyway?”—a #1 Amazon best-seller packed with fun, engaging spiritual and personal growth practices.” https://www.jonathonaslay.com/midlifelove/
Self-Love the Book: http://www.selflovethebook.com
What is Self Love?
According to Wikipedia, Self-love, defined as “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage”, has been conceptualized both as a basic human necessity and as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness, synonymous with amour propre, conceitedness, egotism, narcissism, et al. However, throughout the centuries self-love has adopted a more positive connotation through pride parades, Self Respect Movement, self-love protests, the hippie era, the New Age feminist movement as well as the increase in mental health awareness that promotes self-love as intrinsic to self-help and support groups working to prevent substance abuse and suicide. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-love
“Before a person is able to practice it, first we need to understand what it means.” https://www.bbrfoundation.org/blog/self-love-and-what-it-means
“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.
Self-love can mean something different for each person because we all have many different ways to take care of ourselves. Figuring out what self-love looks like for you as an individual is an important part of your mental health.” https://www.bbrfoundation.org/blog/self-love-and-what-it-means
According to BBRF Foundation:
What does self-love mean to you?
“For starters, it can mean:
- Talking to and about yourself with love
- Prioritizing yourself
- Giving yourself a break from self-judgement
- Trusting yourself
- Being true to yourself
- Being nice to yourself
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Forgiving yourself when you aren’t being true or nice to yourself
For many people, self-love is another way to say self-care. To practice self-care, we often need to go back to the basics and
- Listen to our bodies
- Take breaks from work and move/stretch.
- Put the phone down and connect to yourself or others, or do something creative.
- Eating healthily, but sometimes indulge in your favorite foods.
Self-love means accepting yourself as you are in this very moment for everything that you are. It means accepting your emotions for what they are and putting your physical, emotional and mental well-being first.
How and Why to Practice Self Love
“So now we know that self-love motivates you to make healthy choices in life. When you hold yourself in high esteem, you’re more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. These things may be in the form of eating healthy, exercising or having healthy relationships.
Ways to practice self-love include:
- Becoming mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want.
- Taking actions based on need rather than want. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
- Practicing good self-care. You will love yourself more when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
- Making room for healthy habits. Start truly caring for yourself by mirroring that in what you eat, how you exercise, and what you spend time doing. Do stuff, not to “get it done” or because you “have to,” but because you care about you.” https://www.bbrfoundation.org/blog/self-love-and-what-it-means
Thank you Jonathan Aslay for your wisdom, bravery and courage to discussing a very difficult topic but at the same time making it understandable for both Women and Men looking for Love.
FREE Discovery Call with Jonathon► https://jonathonaslay.com/coaching
Join My VIP Group for $7– https://jonathonaslay.com/midlifelove
How Men Choose Their SoulMate (FREE Gift) https://www.jonathonaslay.com/gift/
Self-Love the Book: http://www.selflovethebook.com
The “What Would Love Do?” Podcast https://www.jonathonaslay.com/categor…
Recommended Books https://www.jonathonaslay.com/jonatho…