Monday, February 15, 2010


I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday evening with my mom, my younger sister Channie and our friend Nate who was over hanging out with us. I enjoyed watching the opening ceremony, but I felt really sad for the luger from Georgia who'd died earlier that day when he was practicing for his event. I heard on the news that he was traveling approximately 88 mph when his body struck the metal post. I truly hope that he "didn't know what hit him."

What does the term "blindsided" mean? I'm sure it can actually mean a lot of things, but when I hear the term I think that somebody was just hit with something they were remotely expecting.

I think most people are aware of different things that could potentially happen to them, but most of the time people seem to think that those sorts of things only happen to other people, but not themselves since the chances of being involved in some sort of accident or disaster are highly unlikely. I know I never expected to be involved in the sort of accident that left me so severely disabled at such a young age. It was a blindside, both literally and figuratively. The car that ran the red light and hit me was driving around 50 or 55 mph, and I never saw anything coming. (Or at least, I don't think I did because I don't remember my accident at all.)

What I'm trying to say by talking about the luger from Georgia and about my own accident is that things happen when we least expect them. A person's life can change (or even end) in a split-second with absolutely no notice. Since I've experienced this firsthand, I've learned that each day is truly something special. This sentiment can sound quite cliché, but if you account for the fact that unexpected things occasionally happen, then it takes on a more important meaning. I really feel lucky to be alive since I almost died and probably should've died in my car accident, so I try really hard to not take things for granted. I'm not perfect at doing this since it's so easy to take things and people for granted, but I feel like I might be a little better at it than the "average Joe" since I've been through an unexpected accident.

I'm thankful for my accident in the fact that it was a reminder to stop and smell the roses and to not wish my life away. Life is a gift, so make it count!


Loretta Valenta said...

I agree with you Heather. Life changing events such as your accident, the luger's last run, your dad's pancreatic cancer, Tim's cancer, and the like are things we often think happen to someone else. I remember that for me that was my main thought from the first time they said "cancer" to us -- this can't be happening to US. We are young (relatively speaking!), have family with three dependent kids still at home ages 15, 12 and 10, etc. So yes, blindsided was just what it felt like. I often thought during that time "what a difference a day makes". I know you understand that first hand with your accident. Through it all -- even on days I was just not sure I could or even wanted do it anymore -- I learn what I was/am made of. That is a valuable lesson in life! You have had so many valuable lessons in your young life -- it may seem odd to some to view that as a blessing but I truly believe that is what it is -- a very rich blessing.

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