The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions


“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I remember reading this quote at a very young age and it made perfect sense to me. Ever since I was the tender age of six, I learned that whatever I could see within my mind, crystal clear…I could draw it onto a piece of paper. At the age of nine in the fourth grade, living in Madrid, Spain I entered my very first art contest and drew an elaborate painting of a Japanese garden w/ two beautiful goddesses adorned in kimonos and following them was this intricate Japanese carriage. Later that week- the art teacher and the principal who questioned me about my drawing called me in. They didn’t believe in my creation and had me sit down with pencil and paper and sketch up the entire painting to prove my father did not assist in my masterpiece. From that day forward I escaped into my mind, my own world, realizing I had the power to visualize mostly anything good or bad and manifest it into reality.

The mind is a very powerful thing. When nourished with faith and belief boosted with determination extraordinary things can come to be. If you allow the mind to be taken over by fear, pain, and all thoughts negative you will definitely recognize that the destructive life you imagine surrounds you. I experienced this throughout my adolescent years until I left home.

I have traveled the world, yet have not seen the seven seas as a child of a career military man. When I entered this realm, I was born in a small town called Clovis, New Mexico. Through my dad’s career I experienced the globe, living overseas in the Philippines to Spain and then the charming island of Guam. I returned back to the United States at 15, attending three different high schools, graduating in Tampa, Florida. I began modeling at the age of 17 my senior year and with two art scholarships under my belt I left home to venture out into the unknown to fulfill my every dream in the Big Apple. By 21, I left the modeling world and later became a fitness instructor, which led me into the world of martial arts in the city of San Francisco. At 22, I relocated to Los Angeles, and within a year was engaged to my best friend. We bought a house and I fell back into the entertainment world by launching an acting career, with small roles in The Fast and the Furious and the syndicated television series V.I.P. with Pamela Anderson.

My life was practically perfect until turmoil struck one week before 9/11 on September 3, 2001. Two of my bridesmaids and myself were driving home from a trip from San Francisco when my girlfriend spun out of control. I was in the backseat and was thrown through the side-rear triangular window suffering a broken neck and severed spinal cord; as a result I was diagnosed as a c4 quadriplegic.

When I awoke from a major blood transfusion, neck surgery, and 3 to 5 % chance of regaining any movement from the neck down, I felt I was living in a surreal, parallel reality and now was transported into the realm of the paralyzed for a reason; that I had a mission to fulfill. Unable to move or feel anything, I instantly knew I had two things left; life and my indomitable spirit. My experience was like De-ja-vu, “I instantly knew I had a huge choice to make: to turn a catastrophic situation into something extraordinary and to be a powerful voice for others in similar devastating situations”.

On my journey of paralysis, I was blessed to meet so many individuals from all walks of life who were dealing with their own life lessons whether it was dealing with weight loss, a difficult relationship, losing a breast to cancer, surviving A.I.D.S, chronic pain, and even or mostly paralysis. I found, especially in women that a “light” would dim from inside and these individuals would “lose” themselves during their “lessons” wanting to give up on hope instead of embracing and harnessing the strength that resides within, allowing them to effortlessly pull through any situation and remembering who they are.

People dealing with paralysis don’t always handle it well and get lost in the past of “what if’s” and “remember when” as oppose to being in the present, the “NOW” and embracing the “gift of life.”

Now, I’m coming to you humbly and transparent to share my life as a quadriplegic during this pandemic has been the biggest struggle of my life due to a shortage of nurses and caretakers. I’ve asked my nursing agency to find me a bath nurse & a catherization nurse since July 2020 and I’m still waiting. There are days I’ll wait in bed until 5 p.m. for my nurse to get me out of the bed and sometimes I’ll go 8 to 11 hours of not emptying my bladder because I don’t have a catherization nurse which eventually causes UTIs. I’ve tried to remedy this situation by reaching out to medi-cal for “in-home support” and was denied over the phone. Yes, it’s absurd! You would think, living in the U.S. the medical system could provide better care for individuals like myself, unfortunately not. These are the days I wish I was a paraplegic so I could get out of the bed by myself and go to work without assistance. My closest friends know I’m resilient and push through no matter what but I’m getting exhausted.

Today, ONE YEAR later my wonderful friend / caretaker is STILL by my side assisting and helping me through this difficult time. He hasn’t slept in his bed for a year. He has worked every single day without one day off! I know I’m blessed and he’s my angel at this very moment. He has worked 54 weeks, a whole year, day and night for $1000 a week which totals to  $54,000. I’m paying him out of pocket since March 2020 and I’ve already paid him $16,000 despite the fact he stated it’s not about the money but it’s only fair because of the love, devotion and care he has given me through the hardest time of my life.To my family and friends who ask me what do I want for my birthday… Well, it’s about giving back! (It always has been for me.) I don’t need anything, because I have everything and that’s each of YOU! On my birthday and the entire month of March it’s my goal to raise $38,000 for this wonderful man who’s been taking care of me until I get this situation taken care of with Medicare and the medical system to provide a better quality of life.

Let’s toast to health, friendship, love and support! This 46-year-old can use a drink, a dessert or even a birthday meal at $5.-$10. I figure if I reach 5000 family and friends, I can reach my goal! I’d be the happiest woman to know that I can pay my caretaker back for what he has done and continues to do! Please help me reach my goal or share this GoFund with friends to make this year a better year than before! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being here for me, especially now.

Stay healthy and blessed!!!

Love and light,
Angela Rockwood

P. S. If you are not comfortable donating here, I have Venmo: @TheRollingEmpire


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