For as long as I can remember, I have been a dreamer. At any given phase of my life I have had a dream and a plan. When I was in the third grade I was going to be an oceanographer and I could tell you where I was going to college, and what species of Shark I planned to study. When I was in the Fifth grade I was going to be a journalist and I could tell you what college I was applying to. By High School I was going to major in History, English and Minor in Museum Studies, again I had my college all picked out. What I haven’t always had, the drive to follow through on those dreams. The first obstacle or better dream that came along and my attention diverted and didn’t turn back. I also couldn’t see this fault in myself.
In August 2011 I was still in this cycle. I was 29, I worked full-time in an office, I rented a house with my husband, 3 step daughters and my 3-year-old son. I had also started and stopped writing the same novel multiple times. I had lots of dreams. I dreamed of a second child, a better career (as a writer) and I dreamed of buying a house. I kept saying someday I’ll get to it. I needed a turning point, a catalyst if you will, to force me out of my “there’s always tomorrow” excuses and into action.
On August 12, 2011 I was given that catalyst in the form of a white pickup truck and a tree. I was on my way to drop my son off at the sitter before work, just a normal Friday morning. The streets had recently been rerouted from a one-way to a two-way to make way for a new medical complex. I was used to the way the streets had been rerouted. I drove this way every day. But the man in the white pickup didn’t and ran the stop sign. He hit the right rear door of my SUV which sent me into a tree head on at almost 30 MPH.
I remember seeing the truck at the stop sign as I went through and I remember him hitting me. Then I remember the pain and screaming, over and over again. A small voice started wailing in the backseat. His little voice pulled me out of my pain and into the moment. I unbuckled my seat and tried to see him but I couldn’t. I opened my car door and someone told me to get out of the car. I turned to get out but when the kind woman saw my ankle, she told me not to move anymore and not to look. I didn’t care about me. I told the woman, “Please, I can’t get to my son.” This angel pulled him out of the car for me and calmed him down, turns out she was a nurse. She helped me call my husband. He later told me that the calm in my voice when I told him I had been in an accident and I was not ok, did not prepare him for his wife and son being loaded into an ambulance as he pulled up. But I had a child to be strong for.
I held his little hand the whole way to the hospital. I laughed and cried as he tried to negotiate his way off that stretcher. He told the EMT “I have to go potty and Mommy says I can’t go in my pull up anymore, so you better let me up so I don’t get in trouble.” I was so relieved when they said he was okay and that it was a lucky thing I strapped him in behind me instead of on the passenger side. I will never forget my son’s concern for me. He snuck past his Daddy and the nurse to hold my hand and tell me it would be alright. “Daddy is going to buy you a new red car Mommy, I promise.” He was the focus that got me through.
That day they screwed my right ankle back together and reattached severed muscles in my ankle. That day I learned to be grateful for my life and for every single thing God gave me, especially my husband and children. That day was my turning point. In that one day I realized that, “there’s always tomorrow” will not be true forever. It made me take a hard look at my life and by the next day I had a plan and I was going to stop making excuses. I started dabbling in my daydreams and working, really working, towards making my dreams come true.
In fact on the 1st anniversary of the accident, I was 2 weeks into maternity leave for that second baby, a daughter, that I had been dreaming about. We found out we were pregnant when I gave up my walker for a cane and started physical therapy. This year on the 2nd anniversary of the accident, my husband and I were about to fulfill our dream of homeownership. We closed on our home the next day. I’m looking forward to our 3rd anniversary AC (after crash) and seeing what dream we make happen.
If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.
(P.S. I thought I’d be ahead of the game and post this after midnight for my day 2 post on October 2nd. Joke is on me. It still came up October 1st!)