Crash. The impact changed more bits and pieces than I can count. Crash. The tiny car I drove collided with an eighteen wheeler big rig, or so I’m told; I have no memory of it.
Crash. Waking in the ICU, only flickers and images of those three days remain. Crash. A week in acute care and a few realities set in. People only kissing me on my upper left forehead – something was wrong with my face. A cast had made a home on my leg. Every part of my upper body cried out, if I tried to move. A phone call from the CHP officer asking me if I remembered what happened – I didn’t. Filling out his report, he told me I was not at fault. Visitors, lots of visitors came in and out – family, friends, coworkers from my new job, and my new boss popping wheelies in my wheelchair at my bedside. It hurt to laugh, but I smiled.
Crash. Two weeks on the rehabilitation floor. The mini gym on the lower level found me twice a day for Physical Therapy. Once a day, I navigated through Occupational Therapy for simple tasks that weren’t quite as simple anymore. While washing my thick curly hair without getting that cast wet was a necessity to learn, I argued with my therapist that burning my lacerated face to bake chocolate chip cookies to prove I could feed myself upon release was rather ridiculous as there was such a concept as a sandwich – simple and without the need for a hot oven scorching my face. Crash.
Released from the hospital, still in a wheel chair and using crutches for stairs. Crash. Feeling years older than my young friends in college, even though we had celebrated the same number of birthdays, I took advantage of every physical therapy appointment over the next four months.
Crash. I was twenty-one years old and almost every aspect of my life changed. People always told me that I was lucky to be alive. I always responded that I was lucky it wasn’t worse.
From a single crash came a completely new world. While there’s some stuff I’d hand back in a heartbeat if I could, I’ve learned quite a hefty volume about myself and the world I live in. I was looking forward to the future then and fifteen years later, I still am.
This week's RemembeRED prompt from Write on Edge is a tad different. They gave us the word "Crash" to write on for ten minutes, polish, and publish. It's flash memoir!
Do you have ten minutes? Come write with us!