Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RemembeRED: Crash

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.

Write on Edge: RemembeREDThis 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!


  1. Congratulations on meeting the challenge. I thought that you did a very nice job explaining what happened. I also like how you interspersed the word "crash" throughout. I am glad that you survived the crash. Scary. You have a great attitude about it - nice ending.

  2. Wow. Just, wow. So glad you survived and that you have such a positive outlook.

  3. Like the bullet point style. That kept me on the edge of my seat. Great job.

  4. Oh my days, what an experience and I'm so glad you made it through. It really would change your perspective. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Geez!!!
    Love how this written and
    wow what an experience to have!
    Did I say wow.

  6. Hugs my BFF. So glad I did not loose you. My selfish self needs you too much.

  7. This took my breath away. The repetition of Crash kept me reading and holding my breath. No joke, actually holding my breath. Your writing, as always, amazes me.

  8. Wow. What a story... and what a way to tell it! You're such a great writer Karen! I'm always impressed with the way you paint pictures of emotions with words. It's a real gift.
    I'm thankful that it wasn't worse. I'm thankful that you're with us now! Blessings sweet friend!

  9. The Crash you scattered throughout the piece was a really nice touch. It kept my heart racing with each impact. Great writing! I'm so glad you survived too!

  10. Wow! I love the way you wrote it, with the repetition of the word Crash. And I love that I can see your spirit and stubbornness throughout the piece, like the baking cookies. I am sorry you had to deal with that, but it sounds like you have handled it with grace and strength.

  11. Man, that sounds bad.
    The feelings I get from this are more frustrated than anything. Not sure why.
    But it does sound like it was more of a metaphorical crash than a physical one, considering you were so young at the time. Being similar is so important (back) then. It must feel big.
    I hope you're fully healed now.
    Came from the linky.

  12. Wow.... you're right. It could have been a lot worse than what it was. But you pulled through!

    I like how you added the word Crash throughout.. it kept it right there in front of me as I read.

  13. You had me holding my breath there ... poor you ... what an experience!

  14. What an awful thing, and then such an amazing outcome. It takes a special strength to see the positive in a situation like that, and then to write about it with that kind of clarity... wow.

  15. Your spirit dazzles in the wake of that life changing day. You inspire me on SO many levels. This is a wonderful piece - and it's so great knowing that you ARE a survivor! I adore YOU!


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