Another year come and gone. Crazy, isn’t it?
Today marks the second anniversary of the accident that changed my life. Looking back on the first year, a lot has changed since then. What hasn’t changed is my appreciation for those around me. My gratitude is as deep today as it was then. I doubt that will ever change.
This past year has provided more learning opportunities and “firsts” for me. It has had many ups and its fair share of downs, too. As I did in Year One, I take it all one day at a time. And I’ve leaned on others who have faced their fair share of adversity, because I know I’m not the only one who has had trials and tribulations. We’re all doing the best we can, and I appreciate the many who have given me strength through their own.
This past year was a major year of growth for me personally. I faced the man who hit me in that accident and changed my life in court. As a witness in his criminal trial, I had to come face-to-face with the person who made a decision that could have killed me and two people I care about immensely. I recounted that night with no makeup on my face, allowing the pink scars to be seen for the first time in public. The lack of makeup may feel minimal, but it was very significant for me personally.
Through all of this, I learned about forgiveness.
“One day I hope to forgive you. I’ll never forget, but I do hope to forgive. I hope through all of this you become a better person. I hope for you that you take the experience and make the world a better place from it.”
I read those words at his sentencing. I meant every word. It wasn’t the fairy tale ending, where forgiveness triumphs right in that moment but I hope someday it will. As someone who isn’t a perfect person themselves, I hope someone would do the same for me. All in time.
This past year has also taught me a great deal of patience. The choice to undergo procedures and operations that will hopefully make me feel more like “me” again was entirely personal. No one told me I had to do what I am but with the help of my amazing doctor and nurses, we’re pushing forward. However, all good things take time. That’s been both challenging and a perfect reminder when I needed it most.
But as I said last year, none of this would be possible without my friends and my family. It wouldn’t be possible without the doctors and nurses who have continued to care for me. It wouldn’t be possible without every single person reading this. Your support has gotten me through some of the darkest days these past two years. For that, I’m so grateful.
I’m not sure what this next year holds for me yet. With the past two in the books, I imagine there will be more lessons and probably a few hard days here and there. But there will also be many days filled with joy and laughter.
Two years later, I’m just grateful to be alive. To be here. To be moving forward.
Here’s to the next one.