Throughout life you will learn
that sorrow will not remain.
You will see that it is
like a butterfly emerging
from its cocoon to make way
for greater things.
When a caterpillar spins a chrysalis, does it know its life is going to change and that it’s going to turn into a beautiful butterfly? When a baby is born, does it know the path that it’s going to live and the life-changing moments that may occur? Change happens every day whether it is good or bad. People die, give birth, change jobs, graduate school, etc. Some changes are small while others are life-changing. Like an accident that changes you from an active teen to being paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
Today marks the 13 year anniversary of the accident that changed my life. This day doesn’t frighten or scare me; I don’t get sad or depressed; I don’t think why me or about all the “what ifs”. I just live knowing that I’m still here on this earth able to live my life with this change. The accident did change my life, but it didn’t change me. I’m still the same person I used to be. I still want to love and be loved. I still need friends and family to support me. I want to be an advocate for others with disabilities facing similar changes. I also want to show people not to be afraid of change. It is because of this change I live my life so differently.
My accident has definitely altered my outlook on life. I feel very fortunate to be alive and don’t take anything for granted. I value my life and my things more and try to do good for others. It has had a profound effect on me. I am a better person today because of it and have learned a lot over the years. I’ve also met some wonderful and amazing people with whom I never would’ve met if this hadn’t happened to me.
Every year on this day I choose to celebrate life. I always say happy anniversary to me. It wasn’t a tragedy or a disaster; it didn’t ruin my life or destroy me to pieces; I’m not broken, damaged, or shattered about it; I didn’t have a meltdown or blame anybody else for it. It was simply what I call it: an accident. It was an obstacle in my life that I had to overcome. A challenge I had to prevail over and I do believe I have done so to the best of my ability. It may be hard at times, but I’m happy and that’s all that matters.
I’ve always felt that there was a reason why the accident happened and I survived. Maybe it was to help people in my situation or open someone’s eyes to what it’s like living with a disability. Whatever it may be, I’m glad that it did. Word of advice: don’t take things for granted, you never know what can happen.