“Oh what earrings am I going to wear?” I thought to myself this morning as I quickly got ready to head out for church. I rarely changed my earrings, as I always liked wearing the simple little hoops in all 5 of my ear piercings, but this morning, I felt like changing the routine a little bit. I begin rummaging through my small collection of jewelry, and my fingers came across a pair of stud earrings, a costume square cut dark blue gem ones.
I felt the air around me just become still and my head became heavy with the few haunting memories I had from the days my life was changed dramatically.
They were the only thing left I had from the first time I ever attended a homecoming dance… And that night changed me in more ways than one. Its been eleven years now since drunk driver almost took my life,but it had been a huge “God thing” that I made it through. Doctors were stunned I walked out of the hospital a week after the fact I had been sitting in the point of impact of the car, causing a severe head concussion, lacerations, and a fractured skull. The fractured skull, I was told, miraculously healed while I was in the hospital; another God Thing. I have very vague memories of being in the hospital, and many say it is a blessing I don’t remember. Yet, I feel as if a week of my life had been robbed from me… I’m still learning to accept it, even after all this time.
Back to the earrings… As I touched them, I could remember the feelings of disorientation in the weeks after coming out of the hospital. The feeling of loss and helplessness was also there. I put them back in my jewelry case and chose a pair of larger hoops to wear. “Why do I keep those things?’ I thought to myself. I gave away the beautiful shoes two years ago. The dress was cut off me when I was in the hospital (which happened to be my favorite evening gown ever) I know one day soon I will need to let them go… I have scars enough to remind me anyways.
I went to church heavy hearted… Angry that it still haunted me after all this time. “I should have been over it years ago! Come on! It’s over!” But it was obvious I still have a bit of healing left to do.
Coming home and talking to my mom, who witnessed my injuries and saw me through that whole week, and talking to my husband about it helped me to see that instead of dwelling on it negatively, I began to look at it the other way around.
I am alive. Broken, but alive. Yet, aren’t we all?
October 15th marks the day of the anniversary of the accident, and ironically, that same day, I have a pearl party scheduled. It felt like a bit of an affirmation for me, as I know how a pearl is created. It takes a grain of sand, which irritates the poor oyster to no end, but it has a way of dealing with it. It takes years, but as time goes on, the little grain of sand is coated with a special secretion the Oyster has in its mouth until it’s perfectly round and smooth. It grows and grows, and the bigger it gets, the more valuable it becomes.
I could take this as a reminder… I am an Oyster, and that accident is a very nasty irritating piece of sand. It’s been over ten years, but slowly, its going to turn into a pearl. I don’t know what kind of pearl it is, as I haven’t been “opened” yet. Perhaps I’ll get the one I really want – a black pearl! 😉
I am at peace now, though I still feel the sorrow and the grief of having had to deal with after-effects of the ordeal: scars all over my right shoulder and hand, a piece of glass still remains inside in my wrist and probably will be until God takes me home, and the occasional, though gradually becoming less frequent, headaches. I just remind myself that it could have been worse. I have a tattoo on my right shoulder as a memorial to God’s intervention to that moment – a celtic cross I drew up a year after the accident. I still debate on if I should keep the cross or cover it with something more along the lines of resurrection and hope. An eagle comes to mine in reference to my favorite, and very well known Bible verse, in Isaiah.
“but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. “
Yeah… It’s a popular verse. I know…. But it is a good one. There are many more in that fantastic book, the Bible. I know I will find more as I journey towards healing and to hopefully be able to end the hauntings… Or at least defuse the impact they have on me as they still do today.