Friday 7 February 2014

Every Day is a Gift

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I've been in a bad car accident.  My leg was broken rather severely.  My femur was split in two - I have a big metal rod inside it now that knit it back together.  My knee cap was broken into five different pieces.  The surgeons strung it back together with wire.  I broke my fibula (that little bone at the back of your calf).  A piece of my foot sheered off and lodged in the tendons of my foot.

Lesser people would have been completely crippled by such an accident.  I know a woman who slipped on snow in a bank parking lot, broke her ankle, was in a cast for five weeks and never worked again.  She retreated into her house, rarely goes out, has very few friends and in general became a shell of her former self.  

And I understand it.  It's very easy to give up.  To realize that there's things that you will never do again, and just give up.

I couldn't do that.  I had two young children at home.  They needed a mother.  And I needed to get her back.

I was in a fairly new relationship with a man, who despite the mess I was stuck around.  I owed him something.  For taking care of me.  For being there for me.

Because despite everything - I was lucky.  

If I'd had a similar accident while with DH, I have absolutely no doubt I would have ended up like the lady I described above.  Instead of lifting me up, he would have pushed me down.  And kicked me while I was there.  

After three years of physical therapy, I walk with a noticeable limp now.
I can't run.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to again.
I had fantastic legs prior to the accident.  It was one of my best features.  I'd wear high heels to make my 5'8" frame look even longer.
I can't wear heels any more.  I miss then.  Even though if I wore them now they would show off my scarred and deformed leg.  
I wasn't able to teach my son how to ride a bike.  I was able to help teach my daughter though.  And I'll teach my little one when his turn comes.
Walking in the snow terrifies me.

And yet, I feel lucky.

I can write.  Well (I hope).  And because of my experiences, I have more to write about.
I went back to work as soon as I was able.
I work every day to actively engage with my children and my husband.  I take them to the park.  I take them swimming.  We ride bikes together - one of the activities we enjoyed before the accident.  We read.  We sing.  We dance.
Yes - I still dance.  Not like before, but I still dance.
When they have a school trip, I volunteer.  
I can still do yoga.

And most importantly, I can still breathe.  And I try to be thankful and mindful of that every single day.

Because that accident could have turned out so much differently.  The children were in the car with me and they came out without a scratch.  My head was cushioned by the air bag.  I had no concussion.  The blood clot that travelled from my injured legs into my lungs was caught because I was in the hospital.

I'm not disabled.  Thanks to the accident - I have been EN-abled.  

Every day since that day is a gift.  And I cherish it as only I can.  

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