Almost 3 years ago, on a rainy Friday evening, coming home from work, my life got flipped upside down…
Life was on a great trajectory; we had recently moved back to our hometown, I was just back to work after being on maternity leave for the second time and was excelling in my position at a new company. My family was happy and healthy! What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
God has surely handed me my fair share of struggles in life (see part 1 and part 2 of my story), it should be smooth sailing from here, right?! Wrong!!
Apparently, I had more growing to do and more life lessons to learn yet. That is where all growth is done, through our trials, tribulations, struggles, and heartbreaks. We do not grow when times are easy; growth only happens during the difficult seasons of life where we truly learn the lessons we need to.
Let’s get back to 3 years ago, on that fateful Friday evening… when I would be involved in a car accident.
What seemed like a minor accident at first would turn out to be the single most traumatic event to date in my life. I had no idea how this day was forever going to impact my life, especially over the next few years.
Not only was my car a write-off, but I was pretty much a write-off too. I sustained whiplash injuries that have left my body in a state that will never be the same, needing weekly massages and adjustments just to keep my neck and back mobilized and symptoms at bay. Then there was the diagnosis of a concussion. This would prove to be my toughest battle to date.
It is not easy to be a “boy mom”, on any given day, with all of the loudness and craziness that goes along with raising them, but imagine trying to recover from a brain injury where you require rest to heal your brain… nearly impossible!
If you know me personally or have read part 1 and part 2 of my story, then you know just how filled with gratitude I am to be able to be a Mom. That title is the biggest gift and blessing I have ever received! All of that loudness and craziness that goes along with my little blessings is completely embraced! I have always been confident in my abilities as a mom, knowing that I love them more than anything and that I’m trying the very best I can, to be the best mother for them (even though I have no clue what I’m actually doing).
When you physically can’t help your child due to the crippling pain in your body or head, the smallest of noises are piercing through your entire mind and all you want to do is rest but you can’t because you’re a mom… yeah, that’s extremely tough! That is the space where doubt, guilt and all other sorts of emotions live and start to surface. I really did start to doubt my skills as a mother.
On the most difficult of days, they would fill me with joy, laughter, and so much love! It was quite an anomaly to feel all of those amazing feelings that motherhood brings and yet feeling as though I didn’t want to be around my kids, I can’t stand the noise they make and continually feeling like a horrible mother.
It was a blessing in disguise to be able to watch Lukas, my youngest, grow as he was only 1.5 years old at the time of the accident. I remember vividly one day when I was laying on the couch, eyes closed and hand over my forehead (a common scene during the worst months throughout my journey), Lukas came up to me and asked, “You ok Mommy?”.
Of course, I would reply with “Yes, Mommy’s ok baby.”. The truth was, I was far from ok. I was hurting so badly and this was the hardest to admit to my children (mom guilt!!), even though they knew I wasn’t. I could not bare the thought of being weak in their eyes or letting them down, even though I totally was, or seemingly felt I was.
I was suffering, in the trenches with very little support. I remember begging and crying on the phone to the insurance companies to have childcare covered. I needed it, we needed it so badly, but they refused to cover it. So there I was, with a baby and a preschooler (1.5 and 4 years old) trying to heal from a brain injury that requires a lot of rest to heal the brain and I can’t. During this phase I was in survival mode – just trying to make it from minute-to-minute, or hour-to-hour getting through the day. Eventually, I would make it to a day-to-day basis but I am still not even week-to-week, almost 3 years later.
Right now you are probably wondering why I am still battling almost 3 years later… well, I am saving the second part of this story for another post but one of the reasons I’m still in this space today is because, like mentioned above, I needed rest which was hard to come by. Having two little ones at home, while trying to recover from a brain injury, is next to impossible. Having to care for them instead of resting my brain, definitely held me back from being able to recover quicker. As much as my boys made my healing journey a bit harder and longer, they were the exact sparks I needed to keep going and to fight until I’m healed!
My husband was and still is the biggest supporter and champion for me. He was doing soooo much, more than most men could bear to handle. With me being off work and minimal income coming in, he had to step up not only inside of the home taking on more than his fair share of duties but also outside of the home trying to work more to supplement my income. Our life was turned completely upside down by my accident. This would prove to be the ultimate test of our relationship and love for each other.
My silver lining has always been the extra time I have been able to spend with my boys, especially Lukas, even though it was tough. Let me tell you, what doesn’t kill you definitely makes you stronger! Today I am stronger in my faith with God, stronger in my relationship with my husband and one tough mama!
Nothing like a car accident to give you perspective on what really matters most in life ~ things, like a car, can be replaced but people and loved ones can’t! Each day is a true gift and there is no greater wealth than our health!
Enjoy the gift of today and your health while you have it! Life is precious!