Every time I think I have an ending to this story I am faced with another “Or…”. Is this real progress or all-consuming hobby? Is my experience divine inspiration or merely wishful thinking? Is time the healer of all things, or an enemy I must confront?
I have included a couple of earlier posts, maybe I’ll find some answers there, though I think I am remiss not to look at bento box entries as that is where this journey began.
I used to rearrange furniture and household objects on a regular basis. It was the only way I could motivate myself to clean up. I needed a fresh perspective, inspiration, a creative twist to liven up the doldrums of everyday household chores. My husband never understood my process and used to complain.
I used to rearrange plants and flowers in my garden designs. First on paper, then again, on site. When I was in the groove I would be all-consumed with color and light and my imagination was boundless. My clients knew their money was well spent. I could ignore the frustration of my laborers as I asked them to start and stop and start over again.
We had to rearrange our lives on April 6, 2016. My husband had to pick Anya up, cancel soccer practice and meet the EMT’s at the hospital. Friends and family had to schedule meals to feed my family and deliver them to house or school. Carpools had to be arranged to accommodate the schedules of three kids with activities. Replacements had to be found to take over my professional obligations. Money had to be borrowed to manage our finances.
The accident has rearranged my perspective. We hand pick our facts to focus on the positive. Any prognosis that denies hope is completely ignored. Our attitude of “family first” and “all for the greater good” is a constant. We pay no heed to poignant reminders and trust that this story is going to have a happy ending. We have rearranged a tragedy and by chance fostered a miracle.
Her transformation was made possible because I am having trouble with 8th grade math. The consequences of my accident are far reaching.
Anya’s symptoms came to light when my injuries prevented me from continuing to play doctor and counselor and tutor to my 13 year old daughter. My efforts had put a band-aid on her troubles and left my husband completely unawares. Anya suffered for it. When I spoke of having failed her, she didn’t disagree.
Anya stated clearly and repeatedly that she couldn’t concentrate at school. We explored various avenues, seeking assistance. My husband and I were adamantly opposed to medication and we weren’t certain of a diagnosis. I couldn’t accept that I wasn’t able to fix this.
We turned a corner when Anya let me off the hook. She gave me permission to fail at tutoring her from home; “You don’t have to be the one to teach me, Mom…” she said. My surrender came in the form of a questionnaire and a new psychiatrist. My husband, Anya and myself each rated Anya’s symptoms and the doctor spent almost two hours listening and asking questions. A diagnosis was made. We filled the prescription.
The change has been overwhelming, the difference night and day. My daughter no longer thinks she is stupid or unteachable. She no longer suffers from low self-esteem. We receive emails from teachers, telling us that Anya is now focused and engaged. She is completing assignments at school and concluding work in advance of due dates.
Anya’s counselor now describes her as a happy child, one who is motivated and energized and excited to learn. Her depression is waning and she makes healthy choices. Her creativity has no limits and she advocates for herself and her siblings. You can tell Anya feels beautiful by the way she carries herself and speaks her mind.
Anya’s transformation was made possible because I am having trouble with 8th grade math. The miracles around my accident are far reaching.
I get an eerie feeling when I open the Progressive statement. The pages of my monthly bill are haunted.
The last time I saw my car, it was perfectly fine, but I have been told by people I trust that it no longer exists. Most of the time, the evidence of my car’s demise is overwhelming: I’ve met the agent who inspected my vehicle and deposited the check for it’s replacement; I’ve sorted through my vehicle’s contents and witnessed my husband’s trauma; My spot in the driveway is empty, even though I am not absent.
I have a ghost car.
My insurance premiums have gone up and I’ve found it expensive to insure nothing, though less perhaps than what a cancelled policy would illicit. For many reasons, a replacement car is now imminent: I’ll be ready to drive any day now and my husband needs help carpooling; We are paying for insurance anyway, so why not insure something tangible; (But maybe we are safer with the spirit of my suburban… what price peace of mind?)
We sit down to eat together as a family and no one mentions the smoke. It simply isn’t a priority. Our new normal takes no notice of hazy dining, but it is proof of lowered expectations. Before the accident, this situation would’ve been unacceptable. Complaints would have been voiced and the situation resolved. Post-accident, we avoid drawing attention to my limitations and quietly trust that one day I will be well enough to remedy the situation. The problem isn’t a new one. The door locking mechanism on the stove hasn’t worked in years, thus preventing use of the self-clean program and a simple solution to the smoke. What is required now, and used to be expected, is oven cleaner and gloves and lots of bending and straining of the neck, which now proves impossible. To passerby, a simple solution might be for my husband to take over the job. What they couldn’t know is that he has taken over everything I used to do, and has no time to take a breath. It just isn’t a priority. Friends ask if we will still be hosting Thanksgiving. Of course, I say, nothing has changed. My husband has always cooked the turkey, so what will be different? Except that the turkey will cook for hours. The house will fill with smoke. I imagine which guests will ignore it and which will pass judgement, this evidence of my failings. Compounded by the shrieking of smoke alarms placed in close proximity to each other. Fear of fire used to keep me awake at night. Now I don’t remember to be afraid. Smoke is no longer indicative of danger in our house, it is a mark by which to measure progress. What is the prognosis for a smoke-free holiday? Is a smoky house conducive to a healing brain? More questions my neurosurgeon can’t answer; Indoor Air Quality As Measure of Post-Concussive Resolution ? As Mark of Mended Fractures?