It has been a while since I wept a bucket and had a good scare (this will be an emotional one!). Every day I wake up to combat and scratch out list of things to do. Days seem to consist of routines and mundane accomplishments such as bills paid and car washed... It is often so easy to forget that today could be that date on the tombstone. Forgive me for being so blunt, but at 28 I thought I'd be a widow.
Last October 9th, Saturday after my graphic design class, my husband, Dan who usually comes to pick me up didn't show up. The last thing on my mind was him in an accident. Excuses were "traffic," "just running late...", etc. So that fine sunny Saturday outside the school campus I waited and called him on his cellphone. No answer. Thirty minutes passed and I tried calling again, still no answer. It is unlike my husband not to answer! Then I got that one call everybody dreads getting.
"Hi, I'm a nurse from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Dan is here at the ER......" at that moment I was surprised that my heart could beat at such a rate. Naturally, I panicked. I invite you to read more about it here.
It has been a month and a day ago, not too long from the nightmare that we survived. Very much like waking up from a long sleep yet waking up with a new perspective in life. I hate to admit that it would take something this tragic to shake one up to reconsider how fragile we truly are. That our loved ones could be taken from us as abruptly as the hand of time shifting a mere second. That putting off every chance to spend time with somebody we love because of things we "have to do" could turn out to be one of the greatest regrets of this lifetime.
Before the accident happened, I was writing to a friend in The Netherlands about how magical it was meeting my husband and migrating to the US to be with him. I wrote to her how life truly is so full of surprises and how yet again demonstrated it to be true.
The best lesson I learned looking back at all those nights spent at the ICU, hoping and praying that he comes out of it well with his spirits unscathed, was "give all the love that you can give." In the end, the best gift you can ever give to someone is not a new phone, a cute puppy, a diamond ring, a shopping spree...... so often we misinterpret love to be something tangible, perishable, perhaps even edible... but no, it is as simple as you. Love is the gift of you.
Please be warned, these photos are very graphic. Not for the faint hearted!
So, my dear friends, let us not wait to be reminded about the value of life; the difference our time can mean to someone and how love is still the greatest gift you can give.