This I Believe

Diane - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 18, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I Believe

I believe in the power of second chances. Two years ago my son and I were in a horrible car accident thru no fault of our own. My son was 5 at the time and was strapped in his car seat in the back singing away to the radio, oblivious to the accident that was about to take place. His oblivion was what kept him from getting hurt, I on the other hand saw the accident coming tensed up and tried to prepare for the impact. My son escaped with a few bumps and bruises and a headache, as for myself, I had broken my neck, dislocated my left shoulder and ended up with severe nerve damage from my neck down to my left hand. I had to have surgery to try to put my neck back together, my C-3 thru C6 were shattered. I was very lucky in the sense that I did not end up paralyzed and that my break ended at C6, one more disk down and I wouldn’t have been able to breathe on my own. After my surgery I found my self in a world of pain like I have never known and in a position where I had to rely on others to help me. I spent the next 6 weeks in a steel halo, hoping that my neck would heal and fuse properly and then for weeks after that I spent time in a steel neck collar. I had to go to physical and occupational therapy everyday for months just to relearn simple things like getting out of bed by myself, getting dressed, how to make the most of my lack of range of motion. During this trying time in my life I realized who my real friends were, who my family was and exactly how important I am to my son and how important he is to me. Before my accident I was a very busy person, always on the go. I used to think that there would always be a tomorrow and that I would always have time. A lot has changed since then, I realize now that we all are on borrowed time. One minuet you can be on top of the world and the next you can find yourself in a situation that you never would have imagined. What happened to me was horrible; I thank God everyday for helping me recover, even on the days when I have a lot of pain. I am no longer the same person that I was before my accident and in a twisted way I am glad. I think that before I took a lot of things and people for granted, I was a me person. What pleased me? What did I want to do? What do I like? I can see things so clearly now, I appreciate things and find joy and beauty in things that I might have passed up before. I now make time to tell my Mother how much I love her, I make time even when I am tired to read my son a story, I make time to play with my son and take him to the park. I make time to lay on the grass and look at the clouds. I am now such a better friend, listener, Daughter, Sister and Mother. My car accident was my wake up call, a call to open my eyes and live a fuller more meaningful life. My experience was humbling, it now defines me, it makes me who I am today, and I am a firm believer in second chances. I have to be, if it weren’t for a second chance I wouldn’t be here today