Today is such a special day to me~ more important to me than my birthday. Today 4 years ago I was given another chance at life. 4 years ago at around this exact time, I decided to make a choice to get on the back of a motorcycle that I shouldn’t have been on in the first place. I figured we were only going down the street, I assumed I would make it there whole and in one piece. I had been on motorcycles before (not regularly but I did enjoy a nice little putt putt on a beautiful day..) but I wasn’t privy to- nor did I really care about the dangers they potentially held. I barely even cared about myself at the time— it would never happen to me.
We (the driver) and I had hit the gas station down the street, and from there we’d head to a restaurant less than 5 min away. It was warm out, summer was around the corner, life was in the palm of my hands so I thought..
we pulled out of the gas station, we were on a neighborhood street going straight at 30mph which was the speed limit,when a Jeep SUV was coming in our direction. The Jeep was going to make a turn and failed to yield to us (we had the right of way). The driver of the motorcycle saw this & sped up a little bit to try and avoid the collision and all I heard was “oh FUCK” and then SMASH. The car and motorcycle collided & I went flying. I didn’t see it coming because ima shorty & i was on the back so I was just holding on. I ended up landing on the curb and rolled around multiple times before landing on my stomach. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling I had when I landed splat on the ground. I had no idea what i was about to see.
I tried to get up & when I realized I couldn’t, I turned around to see why… all I saw was every bone in my left leg out and on the ground, sliced at each joint. The biggest pool of blood I’ve ever seen in my life and it just kept getting bigger. The pain was unimaginable and the only way I can truly describe it is “like cold air blowing on your tooth”. Your bones aren’t ever supposed to meet air. I then realized we had been hit, I was injured badly & that I was bleeding out at a rate so fast I couldn’t even tell you. I remember thinking “I can’t believe I am going to lose my leg.”
This was it. No one in my family knew what was happening at the time, & as I lay there bleeding out more and more I started fading away. I remember thinking about my life, my family, & how I couldn’t believe that this was it. I was laying down on the ground fading away, DYING & no one knew about it. I didn’t get to say goodbye or ANYTHING to those I needed to. My worst fear had come true. All these thoughts ran through my mind and I started asking the officers to please tell my mom this, please tell my dad this, tell my sisters I love them. I could feel my time was running out. I am in tears as I write this because it truly was the scariest feeling I’ve ever encountered in my life.
Let me tell you something. The worst feeling in the world is to be dying– to see yourself lying on the ground outside of your own body, to be fading away & realizing that you aren’t ready to die. Realizing that you haven’t even lived. That all those years of suicide I felt, was really me just wanting to be saved. Because here death came to my front door step, and I fought it away.
I remember telling my self over and over “breathe. Just breathe.” But it was so hard. I have always been a firm believer in affirmations so I also remember saying “I’m alive. I’m alive. I’m alive” over and over again. I stayed conscious the whole time but I went in and out of my body back and forth. I would be screaming bloody murder one second and the next I’d be dead silent looking at myself from above my actual self. Each time I was silent I was outside of my body. Then I’d come back to and start wailing again, the pain… sheesh. When shit got real, when I realized I was starting to fade away from the mortal world, I looked over at an officer and asked that he do nothing more than just sit with me and hold my hand. To this day I give this officer credit because if it wasn’t for him holding my hand, being my only solid connection to the mortal world, keeping me here, I would have let go fully. This officer saved my life. The poor guy just sat with me squeezing my hand while staring at the blood and bones. I’m telling you it was a MESS.
Eventually (felt like an hour) I was taken to a hospital nearby where I begged to be put under because the pain was unbearable. I didn’t even know at this time that my toes were ripped off and on the ground too because I was so overwhelmed with the pain from my leg. Obviously I had been skinned by the road but the priority was trying to keep my leg together. I had accepted the fact that it was going to be gone and I was going to be an amputee for the rest of my life.
I remember getting to the hospital begging them to please put me out and that’s when they did, and I remember waking up 3 days later. I have absolutely no recollection of those 3 days, but I remember waking up with my family around me. I was out of it, I was absolutely miserable, and from there on I was going to be facing some of the hardest lessons I’d ever have to. My life was changed forever whether I liked it or not.
You know, it’s silly when I find myself saying “we’re just going around the corner” even now, because who the fuck am I to be guaranteed that I will make it anywhere? Who are any of us to think that we know what life is going to throw at us? I was a fool then. I am much wiser now. I will never make that same mistake again.
I ended up having 3 long surgeries, miserably staying in the hospital for a month, enduring ruthless nights of sobbing and endless days of screaming. I lost over 12 pints of blood, I lost 2 of my precious toes which I miss and love so much, and I lost a part of me that day. Why didn’t god just take me then? Why did I have to survive this if I was going to suffer so greatly? I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t stand, even after I got out of the hospital I was bed bound for almost 5 months. All i wanted to do was die but my accident proved I didn’t really want to so then what the fuck!?
I felt like I was living in hell. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t control my emotions. I couldn’t figure out why this happened to me, and that was my problem. I was going insane trying to justify me being the victim of this accident. I was convinced it was punishment for my past, for being a bad girl, for putting my family through hell. I was searching for an answer that I couldn’t find and felt like I was never going to. I was so broken.
I began physical therapy once I was released from the hospital the second time… believe it or not from my bones coming out and rolling around in dirt & debris, my leg got a horrible staph infection where I had to come BACK after being out for 7 days and into surgery I would go again. In my mind I would have been better off dead– I never would have seen coming the woman I am evolving into oday.
I was in physical therapy for 2 years straight, where I had to relearn how to do everything~ stand, walk, bend my knee, get around, etc. I worked my ass off. I fought hard, while in torturous pain. I remember seeing my surgeons after some follow ups and being told I may never be able to walk again, or wear heels, or jump, or run. I’ve even been told that I may possibly need amputation in my future and at first I was so devastated about this because I felt doomed, until I realized that IM THE ONE who gets to decide how this particular story will end. Maybe I didn’t get to choose the beginning, but I’ll be damned if I don’t choose the fucking ending. I refused to listen to that surgeon and I constantly said “I’m gonna do it, watch.” Really on the inside though I was terrified. and although to this day I cannot run, jump, or bend my leg past 120° degrees, there is a list of things I CAN do and that’s because I made it happen.
I get to freakin’ WALK. Anywhere. Maybe not for as long as I used to but who’s comparing anymore? I am not the same lost girl who was hit on that bike. That girl died that day. I have evolved so incredibly much from this entire experience. I have learned about fate, and having blind faith which means trusting that there is a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it may seem. I have learned about life’s quality and how fragile it really is. Everyone always talks about cliche quotes about life’s fragility and how to live in the moment, but there ain’t no harsh slap in the face like running out of time on earth. The fact that I am even here after losing so much blood, is an absolute miracle, and I owe it to my creator and to the police officer who saved my life that day.
The bones in my leg were all reinforced back together with big metal rods, and because of this I do struggle with chronic pain which has been a rough ride for me. I’m so young to feel like my body hurts so bad and is falling apart. But all I have to do is look over my shoulder to see how far I’ve come. To see how many odds I’ve beaten. To know that I am absolutely beautiful no matter how scarred up I am, no matter what body parts I’m missing, no matter WHAT. I am not what happened to me. I am what came out of it. I am a fucking savage woman who can walk in heels (not often, and I’m a lil wobbly, but I’ll fuckin take it). I get to wake up each day and get out of bed. I get to feel my feet touch the ground. I get to smell and touch flowers and anything in nature that I want– when I was in the hospital after a while I would have killed to just be outside in a garden of flowers and birds chirping. I get to exercise. I get to hike. I get to be the best version of myself for my baby nephews. I get to share my story, and be a light of hope for anyone going through any type of situation that they don’t want to accept.
I never understood at the time, why it was me who was chosen here, and maybe it was just dumb luck, but now I get it. I was given this struggle because I am strong enough to beat it. I don’t even bother comparing anymore to who I used to be because there is no point. I am grateful for the time in my childhood that I was able to do dance and cheerleading, and be as active as I ever was. I took it for granted and if I could go back I’d slap myself for not appreciating it enough. But I’m not looking back anymore. I will only look back in times of desperation when I struggle to remember who I am and how far I’ve come.
I’ve got a life to live, I’ve got people to help, children to love & save, and I’m going to do it right this time. I go into the world each day now radiating love & kindness, holding doors open for people, smiling or nodding hello at others so they know that I see and appreciate their existence. I stay present in the moment as much as I can. I am mindful. I see life in a whole different light, and I am so fucking grateful for it.
To my family who jumped to my bedside the second they were notified of my accident, to my nephews who kept me going, to my Creator who gave me a second chance + this situation & the strength to overcome it, to everyone who helped pray for me and sent me their love & support & continue to, and to my leg for undergoing hell and still standing strong.. all I can say is thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am forever grateful.