26 years ago today I was laying, in the early morning hours, on a freshly frozen road.
The chill rattled me to my core, shock gripped me and the cold road felt like a morgue slab beneath me as I felt life leaving my body.
26 years ago, the day I almost lost my life, I had been Christmas shopping with my parents and wrapping gifts.
While I do not pretend I had the perfect childhood, all I’ve ever thought was those gifts I wrapped for my little brother who had just turned 9 the week before, may have been the last gifts I ever wrapped?, the year before, the last Christmas I ever lived to see?
What if all those gifts remained under the tree unopened as my family planned and attended my funeral,less then 2 weeks from Christmas.
Unfortunately Christmas Day does mark 26 years of having my leg amputated,my last Christmas as a child spent on an operating table having part of my body removed,taking with it a part of my soul.
What landed me on that frozen December road 26 years ago was my immature 17 year old mind, making the poor choice of being in the car with a drunk driver, who while speeding spun out on black ice at a turn and slammed into a barrier, my body ejected halfway through the opened door as the car was still in revolutions, dragging and tossing me about like a rag doll.
The situation is in the past, I don’t talk about the circumstances much, but wanted to include them here and say, especially with the upcoming holidays
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE AND NEVER GET IN THE CAR WITH ANYONE WHO IS IMPAIRED!
Crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are a leading criminal cause of death in Canada. Every day, on average, up to 4 Canadians are killed and many more are injured in alcohol and/or drug-related motor vehicle crashes on public roads involving at least one “principal highway vehicle” (i.e. passenger cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles).
If you are Canadian you will know this song, even so it can’t be felt as intended unless you go through it, but the band did an amazing job, DRINKING AND DRIVING RUINS LIVES, the driver and passenger,others on the road, loved ones left behind.
At 2.27 in the video, as the car crash happens, loved ones are seen being smashed about, photos shattered, the perfect metaphors for what a DRUNK DRIVING incident does beyond just those in the cars.
I can not state it enough as young people we make choices that have consequences PLEASE THINK TWICE WHEN MAKING THIS CHOICE, THEN THINK AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!
IF YOU ARE AN ADULT AND HAVE TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, SHAME ON YOU!
I get chills to this day when I hear this song, and have a hard time watching the video without crying.
Unless you have gone through a moment in life so horrific that it imprints and flips in your mind like a slide show, you probably can never understand, no matter how colourful my words are.
WARNING STORY CONTAINS SOME COLOURFUL DESCRIPTIONS
Another thing most will never understand is the unexplained.
While I am not “religious” I was raised Catholic and I do still believe in higher powers and universes!
Back a month or so OUR LITTLE RED HOUSE did a post on some haunted places in her town, as I commented, it led me to sharing this very story.
I remember the moments after the impact
or at least to me it was moments, but there was suspicion I had been knocked unconscious for I don’t know how long, “coming to my senses was and is foggy to this day
Pulling myself out of the car , the horn being jammed and the piercing sound from it, then trying to stand,only to realize my right leg and arm had no recognizable shape anymore.
I knew I was bleeding profusely from my leg so I took the drivers t shirt and tied my leg off at the thigh, how I do not know, as my right arm looked like a deflated horror prop, adrenaline is a fascinating thing, I felt no pain until days later, and unfortunately suffer to this day with horrible phantom pain.
I was told later in the hospital both my leg and arm would be amputated , and even though my arm was not, I am reminded everyday how it’s never going to be normal.
I also did not know until I looked in a mirror a few days later that I had hit the windshield head/face first, I would come to know from the police report that my long hair had become embedded in the cracks of the windshield.
The nurse quickly took the mirror away when she saw me break down at the sight of the healing wound on my face, she asked if I didn’t know, and I shook my head as I hung it low, I remember thinking to myself in that moment OH MY GOD! how am I still alive? how stupid could I have been!
As if the shattered leg and arm was not enough to shake me, like screaming over spilled milk, we humans have breaking points, that was mine.
That moment was the start of a spiral of depression, anger, and suicidal thoughts that never really left to this day.
It’s hard to explain how you are grateful to be alive yet can not accept the choices and circumstances that landed you here in the first place.
As I laid back onto the black ice, feeling the blood still trickling from what use to be my leg, the driver ran to find a phone for 911.
In the few moments I was alone I remember the horn trying to remind me of what was happening but my mind and body slowly fading.
Then it happened a passersby on her way to or from work, I think to myself, a nurse or waitress.
She knelt beside me, her kindness generating a light that brightened the dark skies and warmed my quivering body.
She wore an all white outfit, a dress with white shoes, and a white sweater she wore over her outfit was placed over me to keep me warm, it wasn’t knit, more jersey type of fabric.
I remember up until then crying and telling her I am scared I am going to die and she assuring me help was on the way.
As she placed the sweater on me I protested in fear it would become stained with my blood,she replied it’s alright, as long as I get it back for work.
That is the last thing I remember, emergency personnel arrived, but I think I had passed out because as they began treating me, amoung the chaos that was, all I kept saying was make sure she gets her sweater back, as if the time that passed had been as frozen as the asphalt I was laying on, the last thing I remembered prior, was that comment from her.
They did not know what sweater I was talking about, and there was no lady in sight, not any that anyone could see anyway.
You may not believe and I can’t make you, it goes back to the same thing, unless it happens to you, you can never understand.
My story has never skipped a beat, I think I will be 100 and it will be told the same, it comes from those little mini photos stored in my mind from that night.
That kind lady approached from my right side, almost behind me, over my head, she looked,sounded, and felt real! It was the early 90s, but even for a mom look, in hindsight she had a different era look to her.
Her shorter brown hair as if she had just left a hair salon in Plesantville.
The purpose of the post is to acknowledge another year passing since the accident and me becoming an amputee, as well to thank that angel, I realized I never have.
To this day I don’t know who she was/is, a ghost? A guardian angel? A past relative who came to my aide?
The only thing that makes me go hmmm is my accident was in front of a 1800s building which to this day sits empty,boarded up, and said to be haunted.
It was once a medical type of building and a grand hotel, perhaps she was a nurse? or hotel staff?, or perhaps all angels dress in white?
Whoever you were, LADY IN WHITE…THANK YOU!
While there is not much doubt the health issues I suffer today stem from this trauma so many years ago, I can not thank the universe and the lady in white enough for saving me that day, for a second chance at life.
Thank you for keeping my sweet baby boy that was growing inside of me alive
I was told in the ER that along with having my arm and leg amputated I would what they called, spontaneously abort ( miscarry), 100% the doctor said, he cruelly pointed to a lady in a hospital bed who had been flown in from Texas, and lost her baby in the helicopter.
I honestly can not make this stuff up, zero bedside manners from my team of TOP DOCTORS, I remember telling the doctor your wrong, you don’t know me, I am strong, and his reply was I see “you” a dozen times a year in my ER.
I can say he truly believed his words,when I had a follow up and had my son by then, he looked at my baby boy as if he himself was an angel, commenting how he was a true miracle.
Thank you for allowing me motherhood then and 3 more times, thank you for not cutting my life short, for allowing me a future, mistakes, heartaches and all.
I hope your life, sweet lady in white, was once all you wanted it to be.
Thanks for reading
Hubz told me when I shared this story with him many moons ago how my father in law as a young adult rolled his car down into a field,a man in all white carried him up to the road where he was found,the man in white nowhere in sight…….