It’s been heavy here, right? Sad story after sad story. I’ll give away the ending. I come through the other side and I’m not climbing Everest, but my life is not too shabby.
I’m writing this post to take a step back for a minute, breathe, and I’ll jump in again with a post from Scott to answer Intense Guy’s question. He wanted to know what it was like for my parents when they signed off on the surgery to my right leg. Scott was present and conscious for that while I wasn’t, so he’s the perfect voice for that leg of the journey…get it? ‘Leg’. Ha.
I would like to bring some clarity to you and, hopefully, to me. It has been eleven years since the car crash and I haven’t entirely figured out my reasons for writing this now. I know some of you have wondered if it’s about my emotional journey, if my writing this is part of the path to healing. I can say with some certainty that it isn’t. I don’t believe I could write this if I was still devastated or had any traumatic loose ends to tie up. It was a long road to recovery and I recovered. So, why write the story?
I share my story with many people. My family and friends, Betty’s family and her friends are knit into this story wound around and around it until there isn’t a beginning or an end. It just is. It’s shared with the driver who hit my car. I have spoken on behalf of the BC Professional Fire Fighters burn fund and I have told thousands of people how you couldn’t meet a more amazing group of people who, selflessly, do a lot of good for many. I continue to be in awe of them. My story is their story too and I’m honored to be connected to them in any way.
After reading your comments and processing in my head, then out loud to Scott I have reached a semi-conclusion (meaning its an-on-its-way-don’t-quote-me-on-this conclusion, of course). I think I’m taking ownership of my story. I have created speeches that are from my heart, but guarded. They’re sure and confident. I have responded to questions such as, how did you get through this? What have you learned? Could you shed light on this community project? I’ve been happy to respond to those questions, to hook speeches on making good, solid decisions and choosing survivor over victim. I stand by everything I have said in a speech, but something shifted this past year. Like I said a few posts ago change was in the air.
Instead of thinking about what I could pull from being in a hospital room for seven months to share in a speech I was pondering what words to use to describe the photographs on the wall in my room and the smell of hospital which, really, smell is too tame a word. The hospital should have its own word for smell. I could turn over every emotion, every detail and not have to pat it down. I wanted to face the story head on.
I have been reluctant in the past to write a book wanting to keep some of the details private. I might be outgoing and talk at breakneck speed, but there are some things I don’t divulge. While I write this story of mine I’m putting myself, a very large part of myself out there. It may be ancient history, but I’m all wide open, guts spilling, here I am.
I’m not weeping while I write. If I was I wouldn’t be ready. I’m not searching to make sense of it all although some sense may come. I want to unfurl the story; stretch it out to pour over every word and each sigh. To the best of my ability I want to tell the story.