So the other night I was talking with a friend about accidents that happen to us. She had fallen on the ice on her driveway and we were talking about how certain things tend to hurt a whole lot more and for a whole lot longer now that we are adults. I remember being a kid and falling on the ice at school, rolling down the hill at the park, or even flying off the monkey bars while hanging upside down and landing flat on my back resulting in the wind being knocked right out of me. All of those falls or accidents hurt at the time...but I just got back up, caught my breath, and got right back up there to try again. As adults, we now tip toe precariously balanced on the edges of our winter boots inching along and holding our arms out for balance...hoping that we don't slip and fall. As kids, it was always full speed run as fast as you could and see how long you could manage to stay standing upright while your arms were flailing about...all the while laughing like a loon. It's funny how things change.
During the conversation with my friend, I brought up a severe car accident I had gotten in when I was 19. A couple of friends and I were out driving through the mountains way out far away from any other people. We drove down this gravel road...the only car in sight...away from the city...just looking for a particular swimming hole hidden away in the beautiful mountains of Oregon. Well, the driver of the vehicle was speeding and sliding all over the place...which began to scare me actually...but I was still naive...I still thought that I was invincible and nothing would happen to me....however I did decide to put my seatbelt on just then. We approached a bend in the road and sure enough...the driver didn't slow down and we went sliding right off the edge of the cliff. The car was rolling...and rolling...and rolling. I remember thinking how strange it was to be in a car that was upside down...it just felt wrong. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, but I didn't really have any time to think of what could be happening...that those moments could very well be my last on this Earth. I didn't have a single thought other than holding on...holding on to the seat and the roof and knowing that the car would eventually have to stop. Well, at the bottom of this cliff there was a stream of water flowing with jagged rocks all along it's edge...and there was one small tree oddly growing out of the side of the cliff. The car amazingly rolled straight for the tree...and hit it with a thud that made my teeth chatter. That one small tree saved my life, I am quite sure. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and when the car finally stopped (landing upright thankfully), my door was facing parellel to the road. In my shocked daze, I tried to open the car door and get out...but I found that I couldn't move my arm...I thought that I must have broken it. So, I sat there for a minute trying to get my bearings and decided to climb out of the open window. I was able to move my arm finally and it appeared in tact...so I pulled myself out and raced up the gravel edge of the cliff and sprinted to the road at the top. I have no idea how I made it up...I remember thinking that I couldn't even feel my feet touching the ground below me. At the top of the road, I stood there and looked down at the wreckage below...and then out to the horizon. It felt like I could hear birds chirping miles away...squirrels running through the trees, and the sun was more bright than I had ever seen it before. Everything seemed so clear...so vivid. Moments later a car happened to drive up the road towards us...which was very surprising seeing as how we were out in a pretty remote location that was definitely not well-travelled. They stopped the car and asked us what happened. What happened next is what caused me to believe in miracles for the first time in my life up to that point. There were three people in the vehicle......and all three of them were emergency room doctors....they were out driving around enjoying the scenery on their day off. They looked us over and drove us back to town and we went to the hospital to get checked out. I managed to walk away from that accident virtually unscathed...I had whiplash and injured the base of my skull because when the car rolled over, even though I was wearing my seatbelt...I hit my head on the roof of the car. I had severe bruising all across my chest and abdomen from the seatbelt....but I was alive...still breathing...still here. I went home and had to sleep that night on the living room floor because my neck was so sore that a pillow was killing it. No sooner had I fallen asleep when the phone rings. It was my Mom who lived across the country from me. It was way past the time that she is usually awake when she called. I answered the phone and the first thing she said to me was, "Amy, are you ok?" She knew something was wrong...she had a gut feeling...Mother's intuition....from across the country.
I guess I don't really have a point to sharing this story other than to share a little piece of myself with you all. I learned two things that day...one being that the bond and the connection between a Mom and her child is stronger than most people realize....distance, circumstance, or situation do not matter...a Mom knows..she feels it. The second thing I learned was that it was not my time to go that day. I was not meant to leave this world at the young age of 19...I had bigger things to do with this life...this precious second chance I was given. Now that 16 years have passed since that day occured, I truly believe that one of the reasons I was spared that day...was Emma. I was meant to live so I could have her....so I could bring her into this world and share the love with her. So, I could be made to deal with the heart wrenching diagnosis of diabetes...so I could learn to live with that heartache and choose to make it a good thing...choose to make it a positive...choose to help others living this life...choose to be there for them and to educate the world and advocate for my daughter and all of the other diabetics. I was spared that day and I am beyond greatful.