A memory came across my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, an accident that totaled my brand new Dodge mini van, but spared my life. Recalling it like it was yesterday is not hard for me, but it was TEN years ago! WOW how my life has changed in that time. An old man driving a half ton truck bolting out in front of me from an intersection on a busy highway. It was impossible to avoid hitting him and it changed my life forever. In those few seconds which seemed much longer, I knew I was going to die. It was that simple and I thought to myself “so this is how it all ends” something totally out of my control. There was no panic or remorse or my life passing before me just a sureness that my life was over another thought enters briefly, being severely crippled or worse, if I don’t die.
A calm came over me, the actual impact is blocked out, time stood still. Then, looking through my windshield with airbag particles hanging in the air almost like smoke, to the highway in front, parts of my vehicle littering the road. My radio playing in the background against an eerie silence. My first thought as I sat there wedged into my seat was, “oh my god, I am alive” I was in awe of this fact and didn’t seem to be hurt at all. The seatbelt and airbags in this new van had saved my life. This was so surreal to me. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, we all know only the good die young. I am making light of this only because I can, it was ten years ago and I’m still here.
My blog today is to reminisce about how my life changed that day, but I didn’t know it at the time. This experience actually put me into a tailspin that I never could have foreseen. I want to try and explain it here, maybe others have had this experience or are going through it right now. At first I was so grateful to be alive. Then came a deeper gut wrenching, soul searching fact, that I couldn’t seem to shake. WHY was I spared? I felt with my whole being that my time was up but there I was, not only alive BUT unhurt, I have written about this before but now ten years have passed, and I want to look at it again.
I had finally found the courage to seek a divorce from my husband of 40 years and felt a huge weight had been lifted from my being. Making a decision to commit myself to my work, I knew where I was going with my life, or so I thought. How many of us get a second chance at life, not many I think. It took me almost a year and counselling to come to grips with the depression and the soul searching caused by that accident. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful to be alive, it was actually an age old question that most of us experience at one point in our life or another. “What is my purpose here?” Well.. WHAT IS MY PURPOSE.. ? I needed to get some help and with counselling, I eventually did find my way back. Emerging from a fog of not being able to make any decisions, I couldn’t read a book or watch tv, I only did what was needed of me. With that help I found my way and became an active participant in my life once more. There was some physical therapy involved as well, but it was my mental state that took much longer to heal. This took almost a year to play out.
The one takeaway from this accident is my awareness that my time here is not guaranteed. Maybe that’s why I am so open and not afraid to speak out about anything? Letting my loved ones know my feelings for them, is part of my life now. I try my best to live it each day and not in a future that I may never see. Living with my heart is also my priority. The conflicts between my head and my heart never cease, but I always allow my heart to over-rule my head. This is something that has caused me grief at times but has also brought me the most joy. Why is it we all lead such guarded lives? Afraid to show our emotions and our fears and most of all our love? I know I can die tomorrow so I don’t put off much .. well housework is definitely the exception here.
What are you putting off and why? Mundane shit doesn’t count, living in the present does. If you died tomorrow, have you put off telling your loved ones how much you love them? My family and my friends know this. They also know that if I die tomorrow, I have no regrets nor should they mourn me (well maybe a little wouldn’t hurt). Ten years later and I am content with how I’m living my life, it is an amazing journey.. still. The changes I’ve made flow daily onto these pages and to those I love.
I am grateful.