This past August, as the anniversary of my accident passed for the 22nd time, I was, as always, surprised by how much better I felt when 3:05 passes (the actual time of the crash.) After 3:05, I feel like I can breathe easier. I made it. Another year.
One night recently, I was at a bar with a number of friends and at the opening strains of a particular song, one of my friends and I were like, “Oh yeah!” We clinked beers and nodded meaningfully to each other. I don’t know what his memory was, and it’s probably different from mine, but it was clearly important to both of us.
Today is the 20th anniversary of my car accident.
When I got out of the hospital back then, I wanted to “get so much better” that no one would know anything had happened. I think I meant that I would not know it happened. That I couldn’t tell. That I would forget. I was afraid I was permanently damaged and would never amount to much.
The sure way to miss success is to miss the opportunity. Victor Chasles
Write about the best opportunity you’ve been given and how you made the most of that opportunity.
The best opportunity I have been given was services with Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation. Voc rehab is a program run through the state department of education, and it is one that is meant to help people with disabilities live and work independently.
In the early days after the car accident and coma, when I was in rehab for head injury, I was offered the chance to apply for assistance through that program. At the time, though, I was so scared of being “damaged,” that I didn’t even want to acknowledge what was going on with me. I was fine. It was fine. I could handle it. Just let me get back to school and it’ll be fine. That was my mindset.
Acceptance was hard to come by.
Day 25 – X
X-rays you’ve had
A crap-ton! And those are just the ones I remember! I don’t know how many I had while I was in the coma, but it’s safe to assume it was quite a few – most of my ribs were broken in the accident, both my hips, my femur had gone through my pelvis, my shoulder…
This winter, since I had some time to get “settled,” and I am in Ohio and its cold, I found Wee One some classes and activities. Not too many, because I don’t think its right for her, but some. We really liked The Little Gym in Seattle, but it’s really far from where I live, and I found a tumbling tot class nearby (and much cheaper!)
WO loves going, watching the other kids, climbing on things, and the trampoline. She is working so hard to jump these days and loves the trampoline, especially when I get on with her, hold her hands, and jump with her. To be honest, I like it, too, until I get off and then I feel it: my head injury.
On Tuesday, my 17 month old was putting rocks in my hand. After about 10 or 11, they started falling, so she put new ones into my other hand. I thought about this post as I sat in the sprinkling rain and switched from watching her concentrating little face to watching the top rock in my full hand, barely balanced in place. It tipped to either side easily if I moved my hand, so precarious was its perch.