|Flowers from my friend Holly|
FriendsFriends are beautiful people. They gather up your kids amidst confusion and anxiety, and they shelter them, feed them, distract them, and comfort them. They surround your kids with love and make them feel safe after a traumatic event. They babysit on last minute's notice.
And they throw an evening pizza party with your kids and the friends they've grown up with like cousins; everyone gets ice cream and plenty of play time outside and your kids get an excuse to be free from worry and gloom.
|Flowers from my friend Ignacia|
They listen to your heartache, and you are grateful beyond words that they accept your tears and offer their strength.
First Responders, particularly firefightersMy little girl Ella and my boy Danny were hysterical those first several minutes in our battered vehicle. When the firemen showed up my children became instantly calm. The firemen were so cheerful, so cool. They had my children speaking about their seat belts and teddy bear. I listened, comforted myself, and to me the abrupt switch was miraculous, incredible. I know the firemen helped in managing my injuries, but it's how they took care of my kids when I could not that amazes me and makes me truly, deeply thankful.
Big BirdWhy I'm grateful for Big Bird you can find HERE, a small part to play but an important one at a fearful and lonely moment.
|My brother Nate and sister Natalie's flowers|
Trauma SurgeonsIt's like first responders. You really don't understand what they can do, what they do in terrible circumstances, until you need them. Then you are astounded you didn't ask for an autograph while lying on that damned backboard. These people save lives. My collapsed lung was easily dealt with, but I am not fooled about what they face on any given day - trauma far worse than my own.
These skilled doctors have invested years of their lives to gain the education and experience in order to preserve health in a crucial hour. They are the Lab-coat Crusaders - the ones who get too little sleep.
And my doctors were kind, too, God bless 'em.
Bruce SpringsteenI have listened to Disc Two (saving Born to Run, I don't care for Disc One) of The Essential Bruce Springsteen several times in the past two months. For a reason I don't understand, Dancin' in The Dark especially captured my emotional turmoil post-accident...or how I wanted to feel about it. The repeat track of that song carried me through depression, and the rest of that album is great, too, for lifting you out of low spirits. Thanks, Boss.
|From my Man's co-workers|
While You Were SleepingWhile You Were Sleeping is a romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. It has always probably been my favorite, but it holds a special place now. I watched it twice in that first week after I got home. Sweet, feel-good cinema...it let me relax and not think. Plus, I kinda relate to Bullock's hapless character and to the guy who got attacked at the subway and ended up in a coma. Kind of. I guess a coma is worse than my accident experience. Still, it's a movie very lean on violence and negativity and heavy on lessons in love, family and friendship. And you can't help but love Bullock in this role. Just what the doctor ordered.
My ManWhen I first got home from the hospital, I was crabby. That's putting it mildly; unbalanced is probably more accurate. It got so bad one day that as I was saying grace over my afternoon meal, I added a plea that God would help me to be kind to my husband whom I was treating pretty badly. The thought had barely escaped my mind when a picture came into it. I saw my husband bending over me with softened face and red, swollen eyes as he clutched my hand, the way he looked when I first woke up from my chest tube surgery in the hospital.
|Roses from my Man|
FamilyMy children could have been injured in our accident, and they weren't. Ella and Danny, who were in the van with me, processed everything much better than I thought they would. I am so thankful. And all of my kids helped take care of each other and of emotionally-fragile Mama when she came home.
My siblings and parents and my extended family, all far from me geographically, kept their thoughts and prayers with me. My dad and mom talked me through some things, and I am very grateful for all of the love that came my way.
And My Father was at my side in the hospital. I will always have the memory of what that felt like.