If you met me at the park you would know one thing. I am an open book. I share my life with others in a hope to find myself and make myself a better person. This can sometimes be a fault, but most often it is a blessing. Sharing my story with others has healed me in many ways. I wrote this original post over two years ago, but I thought it was important enough to keep on my blog forever. Now with the addition of Ellie's birth there is a new chapter in this story. Ellie was born one day before this happened exactly eight years later.
You know those moments in your life that change it forever? They define you. They crush you. They make you stronger. This is my moment...
I didn't know how much there would be to say about the whole thing really, eight years later. But, it seems that although the years seem to pass and life goes on memories of this day permeate me. Without going into extreme detail, I was the driver in a pedestrian accident. He walked out in between two parked cars, not in a crosswalk at 9 at night. He was walking with a friend who saw me and stopped, and he didn't. He lived for 5 days, and then passed away. Even writing this here feels like another persons life, another persons tragedy. But, its not, it is mine. I spent many years dealing with this and working through the range of grief and emotions that comes with experiencing a trauma such as this. It doesn't matter how many police officers, parents, or friends tell you that it was an accident. You are still alive and they aren't. It's that complicated and really that simple. For a very long time I lived in a state of being paralyzed. But, a counselor told me that I had a choice. I could live and move on with my life, or I could die that day too and give up. I know that part of my heart didn't survive that day. I was never quite the same afterward, friends found me difficult and different. Who wouldn't be? There were the ones that have stuck with me through all of this. They have seen my tremendous growth in the past few years.
Meeting Chris and having Bradley has healed a huge hole that might not have ever been filled. But, even though I have gotten stronger and moved on. Today is a day that can bring me to my knees. I guess this is a difficult day just to get out of bed, still this many years later. I don't have a lot of people talk to me or ask me about it anymore. I think they all want to believe that I am healed and I have moved on with my life. That's fine, but I haven't. This is a part of me, and I think of him and his family all of the time, especially today and on Monday. Well, I can't believe that I am going to publish this, but I am. I will send it out there for everyone to pick apart. But, this blog is about me and my family.
I never posted about the connection between Ellie's birth and my accident. It just seemed that there was too much other stuff going on at the time to really analyze it all. Six months later I am in awe of the timing of both of these life changing events. Eight years later Ellie was born. Almost to the day. No coincidence I believe. She was in the NICU for the same amount of time that his family was rallied around his bed eight years before. She came home. He didn't. I feel in some ways that she is the period on this long journey called forgiveness. I was given the ultimate gift, a baby, and his family said goodbye to their baby eight years before. As a mother, we can truly relate to any mother's pain and grief in a way that other's cannot. I hope in some way that I have done the right thing. I have been strong and moved on. I have survived. Bradley and Ellie have taught me the power of forgiveness and along with my husband given me the strength to move past this moment. I have let it define me and change me, but I have also come through it a new person. We cannot go through a moment like that without it changing our path forever.