Five years

Each year in mid-June, I spend some time celebrating my second birthday – the day that my life changed.  The day that became my first “before” and “after”.  You know, like before marriage/after marriage, before kids/after kids.  Except this is before accident, after accident.  When you hear about the details of the accident, you wonder how I saw June 19, 2007.  But I did.  And here I am, and it’s June 18, 2012.

Before accident, I had no problems with driving.  I was more wreckless (still within the legal limits, even though I may have sped some), and carefree… hearing the stories of horrible car wrecks and thinking it’ll never happen to me.

But then it did.  A minor downed at least a 6 pack of beers, got in his car, decided to try to kill himself, and I got in the way.  And by getting in his way, I was on my side of the highway, in the far right lane.  He had to cross 6 lanes of highway plus a median for me to be in his way.

After the accident, I get nervous on roads where there’s no barrier between the two sides of traffic.  I now have a constant reminder in the form of a scar that runs the length of my kneecap.  I see Saturns and smile, knowing the people driving those cars are safe if they run into a situation like mine.  I also have to add broken bones and surgeries to all paperwork when I see a new doctor.

But things have gotten infinitely better than I ever thought they could.  I have a wonderful husband, a job I love, a house to call my own, and a gorgeous, happy daughter.

Without that experience, I would take for granted many things.  Like the ability to get pregnant.  I wasn’t sure I would.  And when I did, I wondered if my pelvic fractures were too much to have a vaginal birth.  So even through the problems, the fact that this accident didn’t take my dream of motherhood away was the second biggest blessing – the first being my life.

Friends from college passing through on their cross-country trip a few weeks after the accident.  Even though I look normal, I didn’t have the ability to walk.

“No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.” – Haruki Murakami

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