Friday, December 14, 2007
Where are your kids right now??
Had a day of rememberance on December 12th. Eighteen years ago (! Its been that long?!) I was in a car accident that really f*cked me up. And sometimes I feel like I should get over it and not think about it anymore. In fact, one year, with my sister, I declared I would not "celebrate" the anniversary anymore. It has been too long. But I can't not think about it. Granted, I'm not obsessed about it and blame all my shortcomings and problems on it. However, everyday, when I step out of the shower and catch a glimpse of my body in the mirror, I think about it. When I buy new clothes I think about it. When I wear a bikini in public, I think about it. When my back aches for no good reason, I think about it. It is a part of my life, who I am, who I've become. It shaped how my life turned out. It is why I became a nurse. It is why I can't help but cry when a patient is upset over an injury or a diagnosis. I feel blessed (not a big fan of that word but for now it fits) that it did happen to me because I like who I have become, regardless of certain quirks and behaviors I know have stemmed from it. What would I have become if not for it?
And I must give props to my poor family who endured this horrible time with me. My little sister, who was 8 years old, and no one really explained to her, properly, what was happening. My parents, who must have blamed themselves for it happening. And then to have to care for me, for almost a year, doing the job of nurses, while I recuperated. My big brother, who perhaps thought that he, as well, could have prevented it from happening. My older sister, who flew away from her newfound life, to sleep on the floor in my hospital room. I ask myself, what is worse? The physical injury or the emotional one?
The wonderful thing is that I can walk (and snowboard and exercise and dance and give my nieces broken-down-bronco-bruce-rides), I can eat (anything I want, is it surprising I married a chef?), and I can shit like a normal person (may seem like a trivial thing but it is not). I learned compassion and empathy. I learned pain and hunger. I learned disability and perseverance.
So I think I will continue to celebrate my anniversary, year after year, no matter how many years have passed. Because it reminds me of what I have overcome, what I have gained, and what I have to be thankful for.