Three years ago, I was leading a blissfully happy life. It had been a great year: work was going well, my personal life was fabulous. I'd been on a couple great vacations---I spent a week in luxury hotels and spas in Arizona; spent a few days relaxing in the mountains of PA; went to Key West for a long weekend. I was going to the gym almost every weekday, and getting healthy. I was looking forward to actually going away for the first time ever for Christmas, I was going to spend it in Key West with my best friend. Then in January, a group of us were planning an Jamaican vacation. I was driving an '04 Jeep Liberty, it was less than a year old. I loved that little truck! For relaxation, I gardened extensively in the spring and summer, enjoyed going to the beach in the summer, I loved the ocean. Living 1/2 mile from the beach has it's merits. In the fall and winter, I'd walk the beach and collect seaglass. Yes, to me, I was living a very good life.
Three years ago, I had spent the weekend at my friends' house in PA, and left for home about 10:30 pm on Sunday night. Little did I know, but a bit more than an hour later, at 1/4 to midnight, my life as I knew it would change forever. It would be a very long road home. Because, at that time, a delivery truck crossed the median on Rt 287 and smashed head on into my vehicle. I know my route home, I made that trip often. I was traveling in the center lane, and going no more than 65mph. But, I don't remember anything about the accident. I have vague recollection of EMTs and Firemen, and begging them to get me out, from what I didn't know...being wheeled into a hospital asking what happened? over and over. This...this is what happened. This is what happened when a 3 ton box truck smashed into me. The witness said, upon impact, my Liberty rolled, the truck rolled over me , he didn't think I was alive when he saw it happen. They had to pull the truck off of my vehicle with a fire truck, and cut me out with the jaws of life.
It is a miracle, indeed, that I am here today to write about this. I nearly died that night. I know, it wasn't my time. You see, this date...Dec 12, is my mother's birthday. She was my guardian angel, and kept me safe. I was critical, and was sent to a trauma hospital. Most of my injuries were my lower body, especially my right ankle and knee. They were destroyed. I'd broken my left arm and collar bone and a couple ribs. I had a collapsed lung. I'd lost a lot of blood...I had a number of surgeries. I guess morphine is to be thanked, I really had no pain. After 10 days, I was sent to a sub-acute rehab (in reality a nursing home) to learn how to walk again, hop, really, when I had to, got around in a wheelchair mostly, because I wasn't allowed to put weight on the right. It was immobilized by that crazy contraption. It sure scared some of those oldsters in the home! Especially the huge scars on my legs. I was waiting for a talus bone transplant, which would allow me some mobility in my ankle if that was done. A donor bone became available a month later; I was transported to Baltimore for the surgery. Then, back to rehab, and finally...finally home in March. To learn to adjust to a knew way of living. Getting around was not easy, but every day, a little better.
So...here I am today...3 years later. Now, it's hard to remember the "before" because the present is so much more...evident? Does that make sense? I'm having a hard time this year, with this 'anniversary' of sorts, more so than the last two. I don't know why, but I am. Maybe because the reality has set in..."this" is what I get, "this" is only what I can do. I know dwelling on what I can't do any longer won't bring it back...so I must focus on what I can do, not "only" what I can do. I can't garden like I used to. I can't swim in the ocean, walk on the beach and collect seaglass. But...I can knit. And maybe...just maybe, from that, I will find peace.