Over the summer we asked people to tell us who inspires them to focus on the Good. Chad and Shannon unknowingly wrote about each other.
“My best friend, life partner, soulmate, and husband, Chad Robbie. I first met this beautiful soul when we were only 15 years old, and now after 6 years of marriage and 12 years together I don’t know if I’d be where I am without him. When I was 26 illness tore apart my body, I could no longer walk, a rare deep vein thrombosis/blood clot developed in my artery, literally everything fell apart and I almost died. Laying in bed waiting for it to end, Chad inspired me every moment of the day and encouraged me to never EVER give up and to keep fighting. Even when he had to carry me from my bed to my wheelchair and shower me and literally do EVERYTHING for me, he never stopped surrounding me with love and lifting my spirits with his endless optimism. He would give me daily challenges to accomplish, starting with simple tasks like keeping food and water down, building all the way up to taking a step with my walker. He pushed me to never let my doctors determine my future but instead to blow all limits away and keep focusing on the good in this world. He taught me that a ‘gratitude attitude’ truly can save your safe, and that even thought every day may not be good, there is still good in every day. I learned that when everything falls apart, sometimes the only thing you can control is your attitude and I’m forever grateful and blessed to have this amazing human by my side. Years later, thanks to his help, love, support, and endless encouragement, I’m now not only walking again, but even hiking, zip-lining, traveling, kayaking, and living each day to the fullest! Life is hard but when you surround yourself with positivity and wonderful people, life is good.”
“Shannon, my wife, has experienced more hardship than anyone I have ever met. While there is too much to list here, a glimpse of what she has gone through includes numerous health issues that almost cost her her life. We were fortunate enough to be admitted to the Cleveland Clinic where several unsuccessful surgeries were performed over the course of three separate visits. The doctors informed us that the operations are almost always successful but it was unclear as to why they did not help in this case. This was, indeed, very discouraging for me, however, Shannon being the ray of sunshine she always is, assured me that there is always one thing she is in complete control over and that is her thoughts. There isn’t a single person that can make her think the thoughts she doesn’t want to. She explained to me that the results were neither good nor bad but it is our perception that makes it so. While pushing Shannon around in her wheelchair through the clinic, doctor after doctor would stop us and ask her why she was in such a great mood. Her response, every time, was that she didn’t need a reason to be happy except that she wanted to be. This was eye opening to me and the doctors alike because it is often expected that a person must have a really good reason to be happy. Shannon explained that Life is Good and happiness is truly a choice. While the doctors explained that she may not be able to use her right arm or even walk again, she decided that wasn’t going to work for her. Eighteen months after setting her intention that she would get better, she has climbed mountains, kayaked in several countries, zip lined and snowboarded. Shannon expresses gratitude in the smallest things in life and has actually attracted bigger and better opportunities. She is truly an inspiration to everyone she meets and I believe I am the luckiest man on earth. Shannon would rather die on her feet than live on her knees and I believe if everyone acted on their excitement without fear, nothing is impossible.”