The complications from surgery eventually forced her to move her writing/drawing hand from right to left. This was a huge setback until she realized her new-handed handwriting was still neater and more literate than that of most of her classmates in college. Her drawings took on a unique and desirable life and style of their own, even if that was very different from what she once knew. She won several art awards and maintained a 3.0 throughout college.
It took hours of a morning for the stiffness and swelling of her condition to abate so she could move, much less drive, work, and study. She had to keep her limits in mind when signing up for classes and scheduling clients. She would later die of liver cancer, but not before founding her own real estate brokerage. She refused treatment and thus avoided the sicknesses associated with it. This allowed her to work and attend college up until a month before she died.
Because she let go of how limited she was, she felt unlimited with what she could do. The irony was beautiful.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of this story is not, “If you’re not as bad off as my mother was, you can be anything you want to be” and it is not, “If you’re worse off than my mother was, you’re justified in doing nothing.” There is no moral. Do what you can do with what you have, make sure you know just what that is — for better or worse — and do the best you can at that.