Alice: “How long is forever?
The White Rabbit: “Sometimes just a split second.”
‘Alice in Wonderland’
You are probably wondering why there is a picture of a sidewalk next to a stone fence as any pictures I post are usually of people or include quotes that resonate with me. I drive by this fence and sidewalk quite often as it is on a main road in our area and just a few towns over. Every time I look at this stone fence I am reminded of the second my life changed forever. This is it: this is exactly where I fell off of my pink cruiser and went sideways head first into this stone. I remember every tiny detail that happened once I opened my eyes. I remember the taste of the “diner’s mint” I was eating when I fell (I have yet to eat one of those since this accident.) I remember the few cars that pulled over, drivers asking if I needed any help. I remember being afraid because I was unable to move my right arm and I remember being extremely confused. The one thing I honestly do not remember is the pain I must have felt and not just from broken bones but my head had to have been throbbing: hours later I would be in an ambulance speeding away to the nearest trauma unit for brain surgery as my brain was bleeding inside. I have no recollection of physical pain, just fear. Maybe this is why so many say and I agree with: “the fear of pain is often times worse than the pain itself.” One added reason I chose to manage pain naturally; each time I would take something for pain, I was reminded of the pain.
Life can suddenly change at any moment and in the blink of an eye we can lose something: a person, our health, our life. I think that is a very difficult concept for anyone to grasp if they have not gone through something as huge as brain surgery or a battle with Cancer, or the loss of a loved one. I am a “different” person than the “norm” as a lot of people will tell you. I do not see the world as other’s do and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I do know what it is like to come close to dying but more than that I know what it feels like to live in pain twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I have written this before but if I had to pick brain surgery once a year or chronic pain for life, I would pick brain surgery every time: that was the easiest part of this journey that began on this sidewalk. This sidewalk and wall changed me forever: for better and at many times for worse. One split second and one split decision just like the movie entitled: “Sliding Doors” with Gwyneth Paltrow. I could have taken a different route home from the video store that day, I could have been wearing a helmet, I could have stopped at the light just before this sidewalk and stone wall: so many could haves but this is my reality. Shel Silverstone wrote the children’s book: “Where the Sidewalk Ends” a book that my dad and I read a million times as I was growing up. He remains one of my favorite poets and authors and I believe adults should also be reading children’s books such as his as the lessons are incredible. Where does the sidewalk end? It does not end for me. The bag that hit my front tire that in turn caused me to fall into this wall on this brick sidewalk has made my life very difficult and yet has taught me more lessons than I could have ever imagined. My sidewalk in my journey with chronic pain may never end and that is just a fact. Hence the title of my twitter account: happy despite pain.
So yes, I am a character and I am the girl a lot of people do not understand and I beat to my own drum but that is not always a bad thing. The saying: “life is short” is not entirely true. Life for some is long and tedious, or long and amazing while for others life is short and awful, or short and a dream. As The White Rabbit answers the very poignant question Alice asks: “Sometimes just a split second.” My split second happened right here at this exact place in this picture. For some reason I survived, there were many times in my life since then I wish it hadn’t because of the resulting factor: chronic pain. However, I am quite grateful I survived despite chronic pain. Try and love the people in your life and appreciate the little things because anyone of us could hit the wall above and we all have so many things to be grateful for. Count your blessings because you do not know when or how your sidewalk will end.