Perhaps this post is overdue based on the calendar. My heart says otherwise.
A good ten percent of the people I am friends with on Facebook have been playing the Thankful Game. You know the one, where every day throughout November you post something different you are thankful for. I love the game, I’ve played it every year. Not this year.
I was in a car accident on October 17th. I rear-ended a log truck. I totaled my car. It was a wet, rainy, foggy morning and the Escalade in the fast lane wouldn’t let me over. I saw it coming, I knew it was coming. As I put my foot on the brake and the car didn’t even hesitate I weighed which would hurt less – hitting the truck, or hitting the guard rail and possibly going over the side of the mountain. Subconsciously, I picked the truck. I hit hard. I remember screaming just before. I remember the air bags exploding in my face. I remember waking up a second or two later, my nose burning, my car still running, driving over to the side of the road. I remember deciding to sit there and just collect myself a minute, rolling the windows down because the smoke from the air bags was overpowering. I remember hearing the hiss from my radiator and panicking, even though I knew it was only my radiator. I squeezed myself out of the door, it was almost wedged shut. My elbows hurt, scraped and bruised, my neck was scraped and bruised from my seat belt. But I was standing right there beside my car. Standing.
Everything else kind of blurred. I talked to the driver of the other truck. I talked to the police. I called my daddy. I hugged my momma. I cried a little bit. I hurt. Oh, how I hurt. I went to work with a concussion the next day, three days later I finally managed to stay all day long. I slept, a lot. I cried. I was emotional, irrational, illogical. When I stood I was dizzy and disoriented. But I was standing.
Apparently that very kind of accident has killed so many people. It didn’t kill me. It scared me, it hurt me, but I’m still alive. I’m not sure what I haven’t finished on this earth, but I am so glad that I get to finish it.
I tried to sell my car less than a week after the wreck and very nearly did, but managed to dodge that bullet. It was towed home. It’s out there by my driveway right now. I’ve almost sold it twice since then, still waiting to hear back from one guy before I call the other.
I bought a new car. It’s out there in the driveway right now. It sat there for two weeks while I refused to drive it, but I finally did for the first time last Saturday. And it was good.
I went to job interviews, two of them. I start a new job on Wednesday. I quit my current job. My last day is Tuesday with the understanding that any time I want to come back, I just need to let them know.
And I have never in my entire life been as thankful as I have been in the past month and a half, for everything. I’m thankful for breathing, for sighing, for tears and heartaches and just being able to feel. For the aches and the pains, for the headache I’ve had to put up with every day ever since. I’m thankful for people who love me so much they’re willing to overlook that I fall asleep a lot, and I don’t remember the best anymore, and my math skills still haven’t come back to me. I’m thankful for people who won’t let me push them away when I’m hurting, but pull me closer. I’m so thankful. I’m thankful for a job where I could ask if it was okay if I left early, and the response was always, “yes, ma’am”. I’m thankful for people who stood there beside me because they knew I didn’t remember things. I’m thankful for the hugs, the prayers, I’m thankful for everything.
And there is no way I could have even begun to play the Thankful Game.