The springtime has always been difficult for me. My father died on March 22, 1983, my grandmother committed suicide shortly after my father’s death the same year. My Auntie Gay died in the spring at the age of 39 of a brain tumor and my crash happened on May 14, 1988. I was so young, just 20 and I remember how beautiful the day was and I remember how much homework I had and how I was procrastinating. I was wearing white shorts, back then I had great legs, my tie-dyed rugby shirt from the Maggotfest and white tennis shoes. I had been applying for summer jobs, trying to figure out what I was going to do for the summer. At that point in my life, I was planning on joining the peace corps and having an international career. I remember being so full of hope and potential like life was just waiting for me and the best was yet to come. It seems like every spring I get nostolgic for what might have been. In the hospital they call it the “What if?” game, but sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like, if certain choices hadn’t been made that day. The hardest part after the crash was rebuilding my dreams. I thought I would never work internationally, but now here I am and then sometimes I think to myself I should have been doing this type of work when I was a lot younger, but then again if I had been doing this when I was younger I wouldn’t have been in the Paralympics. It’s funny how life turns out.
As Garrison Keillor said,“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” Was being disabled what I wanted? No? Is it what I would have wanted had I known? No? But almost everything in my life has worked out for the best or as best as it could. While I was in the situation I couldn’t see the forest through the trees, but looking back on times that I felt really down because of changes in my life, they were for the best. Relationships that didn’t work out, were definately for the best, jobs I didn’t get, hard times that made me re-evaluate where I was going and what I was doing.
For me what is the most fortunate thing, is that I have this incredible group of friends, without whom I would not have made it through those times. I know that I get so caught up in where I’m going that I forget that right here, right now, going what I’m going through is where I’m supposed to be. And that sometimes we get so caught up in what we think our lives should be like, that we forget how much fun and how good they have been just the way they are. I forget all the time about the blessings in my life and the people that I’m fortunate to call my friends and in the end the most important things are the relationships we develop along the way.
In a lot of ways I’m very much that same naive girl with the best yet to come and yet still I’ve experienced some incredbile times, had incredible experiences and been truly blessed in my friends and family. My love to you all.