CH. 1 | Maria’s Story

On February 25th of 2018, my world changed forever. I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke that left me partially paralyzed on my left side.  

My world turned completely upside down.

In the last 5 years I’ve had a very scary, humbling journey. Hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and learning a whole new way to live and function. I’ve lost some close friends and I’ve gained some new ones. I’ve been surprised about people’s willingness to help more than I’ve been disappointed, and along the way – like millions of other disabled people in this world – I’ve struggled mightily to accept this new normal.

One of the primary struggles of this acceptance is what to do with myself? I’ve worked since I was 15 years old. My mom taught all of us to have a very strong work ethic and all the Odenkirk’s are programmed to chop wood. While my former career in textiles is a thing of the past, I wanted to be able to contribute. That passion to contribute transpired on a bleak, rainy day into The Mobility Queen! My mother passed away in November of 2021. We had one of those amazing relationships and a closeness that is impossible to describe. She was amazing, selfless, and generous to a fault.  (Also, very funny!) About 6 months after her death, I found myself going between my boyfriend’s home and my beloved townhome. It was built in the late eighties and I guess it was cool to have a sunken family room, dining room, and to top it off – 14 steep, challenging stairs to the second floor! I loved living there and the neighbors were all great, but it wasn’t a place I could continue to live.

So, the decision was made that I would move in with my boyfriend who had a ranch, one-level style home. I finally decided it was time. I made my way to the car, and swiftly got in- as swiftly as I can these days! When I turned on the car, the radio was playing the song, “Memories” from Maroon 5.  (See video) The tears started flowing and I thought, that’s strange, I never have the radio on because I have to concentrate, and then today that song, at this moment, really?

audio clip of Memories by Maroon 5

I didn’t get too far and decided to stop to see mom’s grave, one more time before my hour drive to my new home. I prayed to know what to do next. By the time I got home, I had my vision! I had decided on the logo and a rough product line for my future business! Of course at the center of it is the heart, my heart. The whole thing literally fell out of the sky and into my lap. As soon as I got home, I immediately got busy in my office working on my idea. As sad as those moments were, with that song, it made me think of the positives (cheers) in my situation and what I could do with it. Just like my mom would do – I would make lemonade out of lemons, and caring for others, I will use my voice to do just that. 

Over time it has evolved by the goodness and guidance of some tech savvy friends, my beloved boyfriend Dave, and my brother Bob, who has been nothing but supportive and full of valuable advice.  So, here I am, a writer! With my accomplished brother Bill, who wrote for the Simpsons, and that “Nobody” of a brother Bob, I’ll give it a shot!

Welcome to the pages of the Mobility Queen. I hope to inspire you and share my experiences. Nothing is off the table. Products I use every day that make my life easier, recipes, stories about my little chihuahua, Bella, and everything else in between.

I hope you buy a ticket and take the ride with me, and together we can do this – Maria

Make Life Easier For All!