Today, 12 months ago, I rolled my car right over on a wet road, and wrote about it here. Somehow, I came away with only concussion, whiplash, and a frozen shoulder (which is now thankfully almost fully ‘thawed’).
The ambulance workers couldn’t believe I wasn’t more badly injured; neither could the 2 doctors on duty, and the smash repairs guy who towed away my car looked at me incredulously:
“There’s not a straight panel on it! How are you not dead?”
Obviously, I’m so glad I’m not dead. As are my son, my beloved, and my family and friends.
It absolutely rocked my world, for in 37 years of driving, I’d never even had a car park prang. It shocked me to feel so vulnerable in my concussion and whiplash, then had to accept my shoulder was in fact ‘freezing’ in April [they are often triggered by a traumatic event, and occur more often in women over 50 FYI].
The shoulder was agony– if I knocked it, it felt like I’d been hit by lightning, and lasted for at least 20 secs, as I clutched my arm and staggered around trying not to faint. Have you ever had one? They are a little mysterious, and can spontaneously heal themselves, but also respond to daily physio exercises (about which I was diligent).
I’m a dancer, mover, gardener, Pilates teacher, blogger, cook … for all of which I NEED TWO ARMS.
It’s been a tough 6 months, feeling so limited, frail, and [quite frankly], OLD.
Yet also the bittersweet delight at not being dead saturating every day since Dec 3 2020.
This year has been such a gift: my son moved back home after 2 years of independence, and we live together now better than ever.
My love with V has blossomed, even while I’ve had to struggle with asking for help/not carry heavy things/only being able to sleep or hug on one side of my body.
But this year has been terribly sad too: my beloved Uncle died in May, my Mum in Wales in July, and my poor son’s other grandmother a month after that.
The world has continued to struggle with inequality, COVID, climate change, and of course the damn patriarchy.
Yet spring flowers are blooming, critters are making baby critters, and all around my home the rainforest is verdant and thriving.
I’m utterly grateful and happy to be alive– to have had another 12 months of life with my son, and more unfolding intimacy with V. To have eaten fresh cherry tomatoes with homemade pesto, or that orange almond cake we love. To have made a zesty tofu laksa, or rich vegetarian nachos to share for dinner, with books read/films watched/spoons carved/bushwalks done too.
But I’m sad because I don’t know if I’ve got another year? People around us all have been diagnosed with cancer, and died within 6 months. People have killed themselves, or had breakdowns, or died by misadventure. A house fire at my neighbour’s place recently killed twin girls who were only 4; their parents lives forever ruined by this tragedy.
My gratitude and appreciation for life has been amplified since the car crash, which of course has tripled my attachment to it, and thus my fear of losing it.
How do you balance the pleasure of being alive, yet every day moving closer to being dead?
I’ve got to lighten up don’t I? Or I will be winning that Miserable Blogger award 🙂
Today I’ve remembered being between the two worlds though– tumbled upside down on a wet road, hearing the screech of metal on tar, bracing for impact. I’ve remembered the eternal split second of waiting for blood to rush down my face, bringing agony or death.
But that didn’t happen, and I jumped out of the window like a barefoot ninja.
Live well my friends. Love, eat, create, share, support, and thank.
There’s no guarantees, and we each have a massive clock ticking above our heads…
In complete gratitude for seatbelts and each new dawn, G xO