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Monday, May 4, 2009

Today I'm looking back one year ago to see how far I've come and measure where I'd like to be this time tomorrow...

May 4th, a date I'll remember for many reasons. The birth of my first born in 1973. The shootings at Kent State in 1970. The day I (we) survived a horrific car accident one year ago today.

I know whoever tagged this wall had some spelling issues, and maybe that's what you see when you look at this picture. I see a whole different perspective. This was found on one of the cement walls holding up a large bridge on I-68 just outside of Cumberland, MD, near the little community of Flintstone--and where we crashed.

Our family found this prophetic graffiti the next day when they went to recover our belongings from the van before it was towed away to the automobile bone yard. Our crumpled vehicle stopped about 25 yards away from this message after undergoing countless miracles before she lay to rest in peace forevermore--upright no less, at the bottom of the mountainside. No one including the paramedics, state trooper and witnesses could believe we survived after going off the road some 70 plus feet above. There is no reason any of us, the four of us inside that van, should be alive today except for the fact, "it simply was not our time to go".

We were driving home on our way back from Washington, DC, when the accident occurred. Like I said in a post two days ago--we were run off the road suddenly after a young man hit our vehicle. We'd participated in a 5 K earlier that day in the Race For Hope, a fund raising event to raise money for brain tumor research. My best friend, Dylan, lost her husband not quite a year before the race after a valiant 3 year struggle with brain cancer. We were there to rally around her, and her daughters and those we did not know but stood shoulder to shoulder with in the hopes of doing something good.

Earlier that day in Washington, DC before the race

This was and will always be one of the most moving moments of my entire life. Standing in a sea of people who either had brain cancer, lost someone to brain cancer or knew someone who fits one of those categories... The sad reality is that some of the people in this picture may have lost their battles with brain cancer this past year. Money for researching a cure for brain tumors is greatly needed. You can click on the link above to see how you can help. Perhaps you already help with research for another type of cancer. God Bless you! Thank you!

Dylan and Me, right before the race

I have not always held onto this monumentally moving moment during this past year. But today I know I am standing on the other side of a miracle even though I battle the effects of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, daily. I know how blessed I am that this is all I have to deal with. I am alive. Thank God, I am alive.

There is one moment I will never forget during the accident. It was the moment I was the most awake/alive I have ever been in my life. It was the moment I believed I was going to die. It's the moment that inspired me to write this blog. I'd like to share this moment with you.

I never screamed once during the accident--not when I saw the kid about to hit us and knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it... not at the time of the impact traveling at 65-70 MPH when we hit the guard rail, nor when we flipped, not after we landed hard on a pile of rocks--not even when I looked out my side window and thought we were about to go off yet another mountain. No, not once.

In those moments I did not see my life pass before my eyes as they say you do. I felt a sadness that I would not be able to do all the things I still wanted to. I didn't have regrets about not living my life as I should. For the most part I knew I'd already lived many of my dreams--at least far more than most people ever do. But I knew there was so much more I wanted to do. And even though I felt this sadness, I was filled with an extreme peace inside. I resigned, and surrendered peacefully, that my time had come to die.

Our vehicle teetered on the edge of a mountain in reality--and forever in an abyss in my mind, and in my heart. A place of no return. I never want to forget that moment. In the last 12 months I have had a tremendous amount of healing to do physically, mentally and emotionally. I'm still not there yet. But just like the goslings in the picture under my blog title, This Time Tomorrow, I am ready to jump into my life with everything I have inside me and am willing to muster up the courage to at least try. One day at a time, one mile at a time behind the steering wheel, one hug at a time to get me there in one piece safely--physically and mentally.

This time tomorrow will always find me on that mountain side standing with my arms outstretched to the beautiful gift of life. I'm embracing that exact point in time as my mantra for living my best life forward. I see myself in each one of the goslings from right to left...various stages of beginning to live again this past year. I don't want to get stuck somewhere in life like the gosling on the right side of the picture watching everyone else leap toward living, and being afraid to make a move. I want to be the gosling on the left, wings held out like airplane wings ready to soar, and take flight.

101 wonderful things to do with my wonderful life.... This time tomorrow I will be one step closer to fulfilling them all. Is it time you started checking things off that list of things you'd like to do "someday"? It isn't about having things. I never once regretted not having enough money on that mountainside. I regretted not having enough time to do all the things I wanted to do and especially not having another day to say I love you to someone I care about. (I love you, Jake) Make your list, and take a leap of faith it will happen.

This is where I was today celebrating with Dylan. I love you, Dylan.
Here's a toast to us! We made it!
I can't wait to see where we'll be this time next year!


  1. wow.

    what a post. It just blew me away.

  2. What a touching post. I am so thankful you shared your thoughts and feelings. I am inspired by your perspective to do things you have always wanted to do.

  3. Thank you, Silver. Your stopping by and reading such an important "to me" message made me thankful to be a new blogger.

    I wanted to eat every yummy food picture on your blog---yes, every, single one. Rum and Lime Cream Pie... oh my.... Great shots of comfy, beautiful things I wanna add to my "to get list"... errrr I mean "to eat list" Seriously, I meant to type "to-do list"... Can you tell I started a cleansing fast today??? LOL

    Dear Tina,
    I can feel your hug all the way from OK. I am sending you one right back! Hug that little man of yours, too. They grow up way too fast. Don't you just love the smell of little boys when they come back in the house from playing outside? The scent of the wind in their hair and the salt and dust on their skin.

    Thank you, Tina, for the big hug. :-)

  4. I finally took the time to find this post. It filled in a lot of gaps for me. How horrific! I shuddered when I read your description of it. You've done a great deal of healing. I'm glad there was a miracle that day. I'm glad I got to know you!

  5. What a moving and obviously, life changing event. As I read this, I just clung to every word. What a great outlook you have on life. I sincerely hope that your PTSD continues to improve and you continue to conquer!! You are such an inspiration.

  6. Hi Lille Diane,

    Very moving really want to hug you right now.

    What a story thanks for sharing it.
    You have really come a long way in a year.

    Well done girl.

    Hope it is a good day today for you.



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