More Than a Teacher, My Latest Role

My dad got out of a nursing home last week (people don’t typically leave those places), and given his age and condition, he could use around the clock help and supervision. So I am wearing the hat of full time caregiver along with my mother and his aide, and I am thankful I can handle all of this!

This new position has required me to practically move back in with my parents (I have not given up my home, though :-), but this is after being on my own since I was 23 years old! My mom doesn’t have the frequent memory lapses, or ask repetitive questions or make repetitive statements like my dad does, but I do administer her medication because she has had more than one slip up, but I will save that for another article.

I am not only an extra set of hands and feet, but an extra pair of eyes, also. I distribute all their medicine, as I already mentioned. I don’t know if this will be a long term thing, but I know I am where I need to be now. One thing I have learned, is that whenever the universe has called you to do something that requires MORE of yourself, do it because if you don’t, you are passing up a chance to make a difference. When you don’t take the opportunity to help, you are the one losing.95CC7B90-376C-48E7-A3AD-7B36DD1AF0F6.png

My dad has general weakness (due to his heart disease) and he’s on oxygen. Interestingly enough, when I watch him and my mom socialize (more like, hear them from my bedroom where I spend most of my time there), it seems like he never left! You can tell they are happy he is finally home, and I am also!

Sometimes in life we have to make sacrifices, and it may not seem right or even comfortable to make the choice to give up so much of our free time, or to change our regular pattern and lifestyle, but keep in mind that Jesus did not come to teach us to be independent, but to depend and rely on one another! 

I have been on my own for so long and have always had an adventurous spirit. I have sought out to get what I can out of life and have tired myself just to make my dreams come alive! I am all about opportunity and freedom. I believe that all too often we put ourselves first, though, and not attend to others. We live in what seems to be a “me me me” culture.

Living with my parents takes me back to my past, and it was imperfect, I didn’t have the best of childhoods. I searched for God a lot before my accident, meaning, I knew he was there, and I strongly felt his presence. But I wanted to understand him better. I knew he was greater than what I was experiencing.

Through my accident, I got to know him, and really saw his love through others. The people who were fighting for my life (my doctors and nurses), family, and friends (who visited) were the ones that helped me during those difficult times! You see, we need each other.

And now is the greatest time to reach out, take yourself outside of your comfort zone, and attend to someone even through a simple phone call or visit. Make a difference!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and 200+ of her very own articles. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area and has been an educator for twenty years. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. She’s worked with numerous children and accumulated many jobs. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

 

Not Without God – an Excerpt

Today I’d like to share a passage from my book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. As you may already know my life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk after an accident that left me paralyzed as a teen. In the hospital I kept a journal, and each night at midnight—under my covers, with my flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other, with 10,000 Maniacs playing “These Are The Days” and “Garden of Eden” in the background—I would write.

Here is a journal entry I wrote.

“Dear God, I believe You are with me—listening to me and answering my prayers. I feel lucky. I have You here. That’s because I’ve opened my heart, and I’m trying to more and more every day. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Because before this accident I didn’t know exactly how You worked. I was insecure because I didn’t know who I was.”

I would ask God to make me a better person. I was confused. I knew there was a God and that He was mighty, but I couldn’t grasp everything. I believed my prayers were answered through my tragedy. I was thankful, and I felt lucky that God saved me from the accident. The outpouring of love and support made me feel even more fortunate.

The passage continues.

“But now it’s like I have found myself, I know who I am, what I want, where I am going. And I’m sure of myself. I don’t know. But no matter what, I’m thankful. How did I get so lucky for you to help me and save me from the accident? And help me see clearly. I know it came from You.”

Every time I feel upset or down I try to revisit this place. A place where I was simply thankful (for breath and life). It makes all the other stuff seem not so important. I return to thankfulness and gratitude. This was a turning point, and it is from Chapter 2 of my book.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.