April Showers Us with Hope

Posted by Heather Krill in Life After Paralysis on April 02, 2021 # Lifestyle

We have never made a big deal out of the Easter Bunny, nor have we returned to church since COVID. To be honest, our participation in religion has been sporadic, but we both felt it was important to raise our children with a faith connection. And here it is, Easter weekend, and I feel such relief that we’ve made it through winter without great illness or loss. Every time I hear about a friend or family member having access and taking the opportunity to be vaccinated, my “hope-ometer” rises.

Geoff just started traveling again for work after a yearlong hiatus, and he has spent the last two weeks in Ft. Lauderdale. Kiddingly, I tell our friends that he is off to spring break like it was 1992 again. However, given recent arrests of Miami Beach spring breakers, it really isn’t a funny joke. Now, I would have no problems filling my day if left to my own devices as a single (meaning married but traveling solo) woman hanging out in Fort Lauderdale. I’ve done it before, an awesome fortieth birthday celebration with dear friends, and I pray one day to be able to travel again as a fully vaccinated human.

I would be lying if there wasn’t a little resentment on my end as Geoff is a little bored on his own and only has to devote part of his day to be a resiliency specialist for O2X Human Performance. A resiliency specialist, you ask? Yes, it’s a job title, and one Geoff reveres while working as a consultant for O2X, a human performance company who “partners with hundreds of departments, agencies, and organizations around the globe to provide critical resources to those with the toughest jobs.”

This gig in Ft. Lauderdale has Geoff speaking with groups of firefighters, one of his favorite populations of humans. We love people who do good in the world-- people who are helpers-- people who make the world safer, better, more accessible. He speaks about overcoming adversity and sharing stories about maintaining the balance of stress and challenge to reduce burnout. However, he didn’t have enough words in his wheelhouse last night to “consult” me, his loving wife, on overflowing the fish tanks accidentally because I was also trying to help the kids dye the damn Easter eggs, or the night before when the daughter ratted out the brother for breaking a window in our newly built treehouse while trying to drop a can of soda out of the said window to see what happens, or the morning before when he wanted to know how our weeks were going. All he could hear was me yelling loudly at the children to get in the damn car.

But somewhere in the middle of one of those crazy conversations, when he just wanted to hear a little bit from home while I wanted to be anywhere but home, he shared a story about a firefighter he met.“Heather, this guy was amazing. He made me think about disability in a way I hadn’t before.” And for those who know my husband, he thinks about disability every day and often in really cool ways, so I can’t even imagine what made Dean Ferrerio of the Ft. Lauderdale Fire Department such a positive powerhouse. Rarely do I meet humans more optimistic than my husband. But then again, every community deserves their own version of the resiliency model, Geoff Krill. Dean Ferrerio, a firefighter for over 20 years, a family man, an athlete, as well as the owner of Advanced Hardscape Management, was born with achondroplasia. I don’t know much about him except what Geoff shared, but he sounds like someone I would like to meet too if he filled Geoff with that much hope, shared energy and empowerment.

So, I can’t wait for our own resiliency specialist to return home again. Spring has sprung, even here in the White Mountains, even if snow is falling at this moment and potentially can until Memorial Day Weekend. Our spring flowers are the very image of resiliency as they often grow up through the snow, yet they keep on growing. April is Easter, hope, rain showers, bright sunshine, crocuses, and friends around fire pits still; April is also the dog rolling in fox poop, children playing in mud puddles, and families looking ahead at vacations they will take one day again. May your “hope-ometer” continue to rise...

Heather Ehrman Krill is a writer- wife- teacher-mom who lives in the White Mountains of NH with her husband, Geoff, a paraplegic and professional skier, and their two children, Carver and Greta, who are 11 and 9, respectively. Please check out her novel True North, website www.heatherkrill.com, author FB page Heather Krill, and @heatherkrill1 on Twitter.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.