It was a year ago today that I nearly lost it all.
It was a year ago today that started what would be a tremendous road full of trials, heartache and grieving.
On Dec. 2, 2011, I was traveling north in Utah to a book signing with another fellow author and dear friend, Tristi Pinkston. I hit a patch of black ice and the world literally spun out of control. My car whipped into oncoming rush hour traffic at 5:30pm. We were struck by a semi truck and began a series of spins and bangs waltzing with the truck, that eventually landed us in the median between the two roads.
We were both taken by ambulance and allowed to go home later that evening, though it was just the beginning of months and months of recovery. But thank goodness we both lived!
I faced my claustrophobia head on when I would have to have my ribs bandaged. You would not think this is scary--but when you have difficulties breathing because of your injuries, to put even more pressure in that area is excruciatingly terrorizing when you feel as though you are slowly suffocating. At first I could only go a few minutes before ripping the tapes off and then beginning again. Eventually I worked up to an hour and then a few hours every day. We won't even talk about the pain!
Nights were the worst! Waking up soaked in sweat and terrified because of the bandages. I'd rip them off and then just sob and sob, trying to talk myself into putting the tapes back on.
My conditioned had worsened so bad by the end of January my whole ribcage was dislocated front and back as well as the joints. My neck and spine could not support the dangling ligaments trying to hold it all together. I definitely wasn't healing the way the doctor had hoped. I needed surgery.
Just before I went in to have surgery in February, I miscarried my second trimester baby due to complications caused by the accident and the x-rays needed. That destroyed me mentally. I felt I had killed my baby.
After surgery things began to heal, but by then, my marriage had fallen completely apart.
By June, me and the kids moved to Farmington, NM where the divorce happened quickly. After that, it has been an uphill battle to survive some days. Dealing with the aftermath, gossip, loss of family and friends... And accepting the fact that my world will never be the same again.
However, today I hold my kids tighter. This year has been painful, yes--in every sense of the word--but it has had bright moments too. The days my little ones come and wrap their arms around me and thank me for being their mom and tell me how happy they are--those are incredible days!
I have had 6 books published through two separate publishers, that has been fun as well as a happy, distracting stress. I have written two of those novels this year--which in itself was an amazing feat! For a while there I wasn't sure I would ever write again, but I did! I found my written voice again.
I am a bit smaller in spirit, but larger in wisdom. I am a bit more cautious, but more carefree as well. I am learning independence. I love to watch movies alone now. I can stay days in a hotel room all by myself while on book tours. I even love to go out to eat by myself. And driving for hours? Wow! Driving has been my new found freedom. My way to center myself, cry and heal from all the trauma.
I am grateful for my trials. I am grateful to say I am a survivor. Until this past year, I'm not sure I really knew what it meant to live. I am alive. I am bruised, broken... and heart-sore. But my heart still beats and life will continue on as it was meant to--with me in it.
Thank you God for never giving up.
Thank you for loving me.
And thank you for believing in me when I never thought I could believe in myself again.
I love you.