Monday, June 6, 2011

Life Is Unpredictable & Full Of Irony

Today marked the six year "anniversary" of my accident. It's certainly not an anniversary worth celebrating, but one that is impossible to ever forget, or ignore. This year brought with it a twist of surprise, and added sentimental value. Six years ago, one simple mistake, would change my life forever. If my accident has taught me anything, it is how very unpredictable life can be.

This year, marks the first completion of the weekly cycle. Meaning, this is the first year, since my accident, where the date, and day it falls on, is the same as on my accident. My accident happened in the very early hours, of Sunday, June 5th, 2005. This year, June 5th, also landed on a Sunday. Last night, I couldn't help but feel an added twinge of grief, as I replayed the memories of that "fateful" Saturday night, where my life got flipped upside down. To this day, I'm unsure of the precise time of my accident, but know the first hours of that Sunday, were spent in the Emergency room, terrified of what was happening, and in shock of what I'd done. That weekend, my last hours on my feet, and my first few hours paralyzed, will forever be etched into my mind. It is a day I wish I could scrub from memory.

Ever since the moment my neck snapped, I have been replaying those last few memories, on my feet, in my head, and fantasizing how different my life might be, if I had never gone to that party, never drunk, or never dove. I have reviewed, replayed, relived, analyzed, questioned, and scrutinized every second, of that final day on my feet. I have beat myself up, and find it hard to be forgiving, to myself, for my foolish actions. I have wondered, "What if..." to a million different scenarios, and have searched in vain for reasons, or self explanations, for why I chose to do, what I did. The lists go on, and on: we should've never gone to that party, I should've never drank, I should've had more to eat, I should've waited to go swimming, I should've used the ladder, I should've never dove. Each action, seems more stupid, worse and irresponsible than the one before it. The truth is, there are no reasons, or good explanations, and even if there were, it wouldn't change the outcome.

Although I never intended to do harm to myself, or anyone, my actions that day, have caused me, and my loved ones a tremendous amount of pain and grief. The combination of many common mistakes, resulted in a gigantic disaster. One moment I was happily, enjoying a self sufficient adult life, the next I was crippled beyond saving. I went from having everything I wanted, to my worst nightmare, overnight. While my life has been the most permanently effected, my accident has had a rippling effect, on everyone that was closest to me, at the time of the accident.

My accident created a horrible strain on my relationships, with many of the people I love. The sheer magnitude of loss, the fear of the uncertain, and the reality of the irreversible nature of my injury, effected everyone I love. The Christina I was, died the day of my accident, and it's been a very bumpy rode, living a completely new reality, being a completely new person. My accident has changed the way I can interact with the people I love, and has forced limitations on what I can do, and how much of a role I can play, in the lives of my family and friends. I've had to come to terms with my new life, and they've had to come to terms with the new me.

My family and friends have at times been my biggest obstacle, while at other times my biggest supporters. I have had many fights, falling outs, and disagreements, with the people closest to me. Thankfully, most of my relationships have stood the test of time, and have whethered this storm, called paralysis. Most of my loved ones have stayed right along side me, through laughs and tears, through thick and through thin. Although they might not all get along with one another, or see eye to eye, they have put aside their differences and rallied behind me. I am so grateful for my family and friends. I feel so blessed, to have so many people that love, and support me.

The rode has been especially difficult, these last couple of years, and I know for sure, I'd be long dead, if it were not for the many loving hands and hearts, that prop me up, and give me strength. There are a few people, that I have lost through this all, and for them, all I can say is sorry. I wish I knew a way to fix my mistakes, or how to repay them. It makes me sad, to think I am missing out, on being a part of their lives, and vice versa. All I can do, is try my best, with whatever time I have left.

2,190 days ago, I thought by now I'd be married to Jimmy, we'd have a couple of kids and I'd be a veteran teacher. I never thought for a moment, that life could throw me a curve ball, or that life would not fall into place, like I had planned. I thought I'd be healthy, and able to care for myself, until I was old and grey. The future seemed brighter than ever, and full of a million possibilities. I was the happiest I had ever been.

2,191 days ago, my entire life was crumbling in front of me, and my future was terrifyingly uncertain. I was newly paralyzed. I was vulnerable and scared. I was in and out of consciousness, and on the verge of death. I knew I might lose everything. I was in tremendous pain, and utter shock. I couldn't imagine a worse situation, a worse moment. I prayed with all my being, that somehow things would be ok. My loved ones were fighting, blaming, and fracturing. I didn't know who to turn to, or what to do.

Today, was not how ever imagined it to be; not during my best, or worst days. I spent the day with Jimmy, my exboyfriend. It was bittersweet, and strangely ironic, spending today with him. It was a mix of extreme high, and extreme low emotions, for both of us, as we remembered a day that changed both our lives, forever. Although we are no longer together, we will always love each other, and share a special bond. He is still one of my closest, dearest friends, with whom I feel I can be most open. He is the one that saved my life, that night, and pulled me from the water. Even though we split (romantically) months after my accident, we have been perpetually drawn back to one another, over these past six years. My accident has changed us both in profound ways, but despite everything, we share a bond, unlike any other.

Six years ago, I had bought him a birthday cake, that we had planned to share together, that coming Monday (6/6/2005), in celebration of his twenty third birthday. Those plans, like so many others, were ruined, and never came to fruition, because of my accident. I have always felt like my accident stained his birthday, with such a horrible memory. I have always wished things could've turned out differently for us, and that we would be able to share a happy memory, for his birthday. Today that wish came true.

Although today was not the ideal day, of how I wished to be spending Jimmy's birthday, I was thankful nonetheless. I feel blessed to have him back in my life, even if it's just as friends. Of course, I'll always wish for more; for both of us. However, I've come to accept my reality, for what it is, and know no amount of wishing can make it be, what I want it to be. I tried my best to enjoy our time together, despite my longings, and limitations. I tried to savor what I could, and be glad to have sitting beside me.

I don't know what the future holds for me, for Jimmy, or "us" for that matter. I gave up trying to predict the future a long time ago. All I know is that, despite my cold sweats, and relentless chills, I was able to have a few laughs, and enjoy seeing his smile. It felt good, taking a bite into a piece of his birthday cake, and for as much as it stung, to not be able to do everything I wished we could be doing, I am so glad we spent today together. Today was a day of closure, and an opportunity to create a positive memory. I hope we can make a few more happy memories together, before this life is over.

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