Does it seem like a year to you? I haven’t decided if it feels like it has been a whole lot shorter, or a lot longer! There are times when I sincerely forget it is the year 2013, I feel like
Liana- age 4
I missed an entire year! There are other times when I look back on this year and it seems like it went by so quick. There is never a good time for an accident, but there is something universally beguiling about the renewal of our lives in the New Year.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not, that the accident fell on the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice has been an important time throughout history. It marks the shortest day of the year as well as the longest night. The sun is at its lowest and weakest point, and from this point forward, the light will grow brighter and stronger. It is the turning point of the year. The Winter Solstice marks a central part of nature’s cycle. It is a time of new growth, rebirth and renewal. It is a reminder that in order to begin anew, the old must end. It is the time of year when we pay homage to the darkness of life’s mysteries, while still keeping our faith. Spring will come again.
Let’s just take a moment and reflect on where my family was last year at this time. My parents were gone; the presents that they so carefully bought for us were still under the tree.
Dec. 22 – Jessie
My little brother Jeremy bravely stood and reassured our community that we were going to be okay. He had an injured shoulder, and very much felt the weight and the responsibility to take care of his sisters. Jaime and Steven were both medically asleep in the ICU with broken legs, ribs, arms, and pelvises. I was at a hazy point,
Jaime – Femur, pelvis
medicated, and learning that I was paralyzed from the neck down. I had a severe laceration that had cut my mouth, lips, and chin all the way through, a compound fracture in my femur, missing more than 50% of my knees, and some hardware in my neck where it had broken. My friends and family never left our side. 24 hours a day. For three straight months I had one of my loved ones by my side. They took shifts, a few hours at a time, and overnight. I think this speaks volumes as to the kind of people that they are, and the inner strength and
selflessness that they were willing to give to Jaime, Steven, Jeremy, and me.
There is no way that I can put into words the wonderful gifts that you all gave us. I’m going to try to name a few, but I want you to know that there is so much more! As Jeremy went back to school he had many of his friend’s parents call and check up on him, he got so many cookies sent to him that he didn’t know what to do with them! He said that they were literally on every counter of the kitchen! You called him and helped tutor him and check in with school! And I’m so incredibly proud to say that Jeremy got the best grades of his college career this semester! You visited Jaime and Steven and helped scratch their backs and anywhere that they couldn’t reach! You sent videos, letters, and notes of well wishes. As for me, I can elaborate so much more because I was there! I had people itching my nose, helping me wash my face and brush my teeth, for a long time I couldn’t feed myself so my wonderful neighbor boys that I grew up spoon fed me! And Lord knows that I was not about to eat the hospital food, so I constantly had helpers bring me tasty
sustenance :-) My friends brushed my hair, let me yell at them in frustration,
and then were not afraid to kick my butt when I got too out of line! I can assure it really didn’t happen that often… But I wouldn’t ask anyone about it, they might lie :-)
While we’re on this topic, I need to give a shout out to my Aunt Terry. I don’t know how anyone gets through a tragedy like this without someone so smart and so strong. Without hesitation she took us in, has taken us to every medical appointment, has helped us figure out the financial part of this accident, and has willingly given up so many parts of her life for us. Other than my mother and father, I have never had anyone love me so deeply before.
Here’s the thing, take a look at us now! Look at what all of you have done for us. Anyone that has sent a note, said a prayer, or just thought of us during your day has helped us in our recovery. Jeremy is wildly successful in school, and he would want you to know that his intermural football team won the championship :-) Jaime is the healing champion! Her bones are basically all healed, she only needs to walk with a cane for long distances, and she is back in law school. Steven is the cutest thing! He is back at Microsoft and is up and walking around all of the time. They bought an adorable house in Issaquah, and have three precious cats! I am trucking along. I am a little behind in my healing compared to them, but I’m so fiercely competitive that I have every intention of catching up! I go to exercise therapy four times a week for two hours a day; I have physical therapy, occupational therapy, and a slight addiction to online shopping :-) Every Monday I go over to my friend’s house for dinner and we eat and play with all their little one-year-olds. On Wednesdays, we do girls night and drink wine and catch up about our week – and talk smack about boys :-). And of course there are always fun things to do on the weekends. I love men, so I’m always putting out the vibe :-) and really, I am a happy person.
I did not intend for this post to be so long, actually I wanted it to be more about my parents. But they would want you to know, and I do want you to know that we are okay! We are happy, and we have you all to thank for that.
So, in the spirit of Tim and Cheryl li ght a candle tonight and let it burn bright and give your loved ones a kiss knowing that nothing quite lasts forever. Mom and dad loved the holidays; they had a way of inviting everyone into the folds of our family. You don’t get to pick your family, but you only get one. Treasure the good things in each other can have a very Merry Christmas!!!
Keep on, keeping on!