I have been packing and packing and packing. I’m throwing out, cleaning up and I can’t sit still. I’m opening up old boxes – boxes I haven’t looked at in ages and I’m in memory lane caught up with scraps of scribbled on paper, earnest poetry, bad high school photos, and mementos from a lifetime ago.
I opened a box to ten years ago. My mom kept letters, cards and notes that were given to me while I was in the hospital. They’re all there – my seven month stay organized into two piles with a lid on it. I read and read and read. So many well wishes, offers of prayer, we love yous. An entire box dedicated to love.
I didn’t feel sad once to return to that time – that life will never be the same as you know it time. I felt good, whole, and grateful. Where it was once so excruciatingly painful it just isn’t anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time now. Yes my skin breaks down easily. Yes prosthetic legs and a whole lot of scarring can be a pain in the ass sometimes. I get tired. But I have no residual anger or grief or anything that resembles it. It is a part of me. It always will be. And I am free to live and feel and get bothered by other things. I am not weighed down by something that was out of my hands in a split second.
In this box I found letters that were written to me tucked away in Scott’s favorite childhood book, The Magical Drawings of Moonie B Finch. He began writing them late into the night the night after the car crash took place. Scott and I had been dating a very short time when time was divided into before and after. These are the final two paragraphs he wrote to me the day I came out of my coma.
I know we’re going to have some tough times adjusting to all of this, but I know we’re going to get through it all. I love you Heidi and I don’t care what you can or can’t do. I don’t care what you used to be like or how you are now. I just love you and I want to be with you. I need you. And I need to hear that you love me too.
Today you opened your eyes and for the first time you were in them. Your spirit was in your eyes. It was like hearing from a friend that had gone away for a long time and for a long time you hear nothing. Then one night you get a phone call and they just say, “Hi”, but it’s the best “Hi” you’ve ever heard. You were more beautiful in this moment than any other.
I just discovered these letters four days ago.