Today is the fourth anniversary...

Today is the fourth anniversary...

... of the accident. It still saddens me, I miss my old life. But enough time has gone by that some of it seems to belong to another person, another lifetime. Even reading the second anniversary post feels odd, like it is now buried under layers of survival and acceptance and moving on. I saw my old house on Halloween, I parked across the street from it, as I do every Halloween. This year, I noticed the new owner changed the garage door, and instead of being really sad, I thought, the door looks so much better than the old one.

I thought by now this would be a distant memory, but the anniversary holds importance to me. I couldn't put my finger on why, exactly, until recently.  It was, for a number of reasons, a life changing event. I'm not the same person I was before the accident, and it's becoming clear that I won't return to that person. That's been a hard thing for me to deal with. I've always been a risk-taker, an aggressive fighter, a person who loved and thrived on change.  And now, I crave stability. I don't want to move, even if the new place has a lower rent and a second bedroom. I don't want another person living in my house with me. I don't want to look for a new job.

What really bothers me is the fragility of our lives.  It can all change, in a moment.  And we don't know when that moment will come. So you just have to be ready, at any time, for your world to be turned upside down. I went to my friends house last month; she's just over an hour drive from my house. Before I left, I cleaned my house, so that if I didn't make it home again, at least my dishes were done, the laundry was put away, and the bathroom was clean. If something happened, someone else wouldn't have to come clean up, to catch that point of my life in what, a stage of living? I walked around my home, and looked at things in case I wouldn't make it back  to see them. Hopefully this, like the stages before it, will pass.

I look at the pictures of the accident now and then; until last night, I haven't looked at them in a long while. And last night, it occurred to me that I am lucky to have survived. I am lucky to have walked away from it, relatively unscathed. I've spent so much time feeling guilty for being uninjured, feeling guilty for not being the one with the TBI, feeling guilty because that which makes me me hasn't changed. And now, there's no going back, things are what they are.  And maybe that's the biggest lesson of all for me; I can't control the situation, I can't control the outcome. I can only control my reaction. And every day, I think, "give me grace." I'm not religious, but I love the serenity prayer. Because sometimes I need a reminder that there are some things we just can't change, and that's okay.

God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

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