ten years later

Sep 13, 2014

Ten years ago today I took Blythe and Keziah to their Kindermusik class. It was a lovely September afternoon, just like this one. My very round, 40 week pregnant belly was barely able to fit behind the wheel of our 1989 Suburban, a metal tank we loved dearly.

On the way home, an 80 year old man ran a stop sign and T-boned into me going about 50 mph. The hood of his car was smashed into the backseat of his little Honda Civic. My suburban was dented, but still drivable. It’s size and strength totally made the difference that day. Our girls were fine. The car hit right into me and I didn’t fare so well.

My already extremely loose pelvis was injured. We didn’t know what was wrong yet, but we knew I was in horrific pain. I couldn’t walk.

An OB visit revealed that the uterine ligaments were torn, my pelvis was a hot mess of shifted bones, and my baby was in good condition.

A few days later I gave birth to Fisher. I cannot describe the pain of that week. It is beyond words.

The pain of the next two years took my breath away and broke me down to tears over and over again. Slowly but surely, through chiropractic care, lots of patience, supplements, and exercise, I was able to get my life back. Eventually I could vacuum, sweep, walk up and down stairs, and ride my recumbent. Thinking I was doing pretty well, I closed the claim with the man’s insurance company and moved on with life.

But my pelvis never recovered. It has never been the same. Scar tissue. Pain. Dislocations. All of it became a normal part of life for me. But I could still function well. Do back handsprings. Ride my bike. Swim. Run. Jump on the trampoline. Play volleyball. Richard got really good at putting my hips back into place and it seemed like the pesky little things were totally livable.

But the damage to my pelvis came back to haunt me when my labrum tore in February 2012. As the months wore on and more and more injuries occurred and we started dealing with the adhesions from the car accident, I could feel my anger from the accident growing. “Why did that man run that stop sign?” “Why did he lie about it?” “Doesn’t he have any idea how he has changed my life forever?” “Why, oh why, did I close the case? I should have settled for piles of pennies to pay for all these medical bills that I should have known were coming!”

God has blessed me with a lot of emotional and spiritual healing during this whole journey. The anger is gone…at least mostly, there are days it still flares up, but my heart has stopped asking “why” and has accepted what is.

But today on this 10th anniversary of the car accident, I am filled with tears. I can’t stop crying. Parts of me are so, so grateful for the past ten years of learning, of pain, of blessings and parts of me are simply devastated for the path my life has taken. Devastated that my little children can’t even remember a mother who was capable of running with them in the yard or going on a bike ride with them. Devastated that so much of the past ten years has been spent taking care of me. Devastated that “I” cost so much to take care of. Devastated that that beautiful, beautiful sunshiny September day ended in an accident that has had such far-reaching consequences.

So, today I reached out to my friend Rachel whose son Aidan is dying. His spirit will leave this life today or tomorrow. I took her some food and went and held her in my arms as we both cried. I held Aidan’s hand for the last time and did my best to surround her with my love and the love of her Father.

I stopped at some little ones’ lemonade stand and gave them my nickels for a tinsy cup of lemonade and a bucketful of joy.

I stared out the window at the blue, blue sky and marveled at the gift of peace my trees give to me.

And I cried.

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  1. Melinda

    And I cried reading this. Hugs and love to you, Tracy.

    • tracy

      Thank you for “hearing” me Mindy. You knew me before I was broken, when we would ride our bikes to violin lessons. Such fun memories. Love you!

  2. Tami

    I’ve been crying with you today, Trac. Love you.

    • tracy

      Thanks Tam…love you so, so much.

  3. I can’t believe you have been through so much and are still smiling. You are amazing Tracy.

    • tracy

      Sally, I am not always smiling. I am really, really blessed with a positive outlook on life, but trust me, I am often not smiling, and these injuries have brought out my grumpiness more than I ever thought possible. Love you!

  4. Annette

    Hi! Tracy This is your cousin Annette. I have been silently stalking your blog for the past 2 months ever since I figured out it was you, my cousin, who wrote this blog. I am sorry that this date is such a tragic memory for you. Through reading your blog I feel like I am getting to know you better. I have known little snippets, I knew about the car accident but I did not know how much it has affected your life. I knew you needed Physical Therapy but I did not know why. This feels in the gaps and helps me understand who you and your family are. You seem to always be in the Refiner’s fire. I love reading your blog because it gives me a sense of peace and hope and positiveness. You still keep the hard things real and genuine. I do not have a blog yet. You, However, do inspire me to start writing the story of my life. I also seem to always be in the Refiner’s fire. Every time my mom says “Annette just pray for peace and hope.” Thanks Tracy for giving me a little slice of your peace and hope today even though it is through reading about such a tragic turning point in your life.
    Hugs and Prayers, Annette

    • tracy

      Welcome to WOK Annette! It is so nice to see you here. I hope you can feel the love of your Savior as you go through your own Refiner’s Fire. Sending you lots of love.

  5. Sharon Portela

    I don’t know what to say. I remember you before your body fell apart. It may be broken, but your spirit is so strong, and your love for everyone you encounter is palpable. Thank you for doing all the things you do. You make me want to be a better person, a better mother, a better grandmother. I. Love. You. So much.

    • tracy

      Sharon, oh my goodness, thank you. Thank you for your love and care and concern. You are a gem!

      Would you believe that sometimes I doubt whether I know what love is. Sometimes I feel so unloving, so flawed, that I doubt I am showing anyone any love. Thank you for speaking up and reminding me that I am capable of loving.


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