Many years ago, my grandmother told me “If at the end of your life you can count five friends that have been with you for the better part of your life, you are lucky”. Well, this weekend I cried and laughed with two of them.. and over the last few months since the accident I have certainly had the rest of those five fingers covered with visits from my amazing sisters (aka, close friends).
The harsh reality is that On October 8th, it very well could have been “the end of my life”, but it wasn’t. I have mulled over and over the stark realities of this accident, and the thought of the multitude of tidal waves that have crashed over me in the last few years. For those of you that know me well, you know they have been summed up in one word; “REALLY?”.
Since 2006 I have had brain surgery, discovered I had Lupus, Cryoglobulenemia, have blacked out, seized multiple times, gotten my foot run over by a Land Cruiser, had blood infections, flare ups, panic attacks, and then run over by a freight truck. Throughout everything I have stayed grounded through the inspiration and support of my family, my incredible friends, and my God.
One of our friends recently asked us “If God is real, then why has Colleen gone through so much? Why would God allow Colleen to get run over by a freight truck and struggle for her life?”. These questions constantly cycle through my mind. Although I have endured much, I have also been blessed with an abundance of gifts. Over the last few years I have worked with incredible people, explored beautiful places, found unconditional love, excelled as an athlete, and met some wonderful souls that have helped shape my life. Getting mad and choosing to lose my belief seems like the easy way out of this predicament. I am here. Despite the odds of brain surgery and getting run over by a freight truck (not easy things to do). God decided to give me more time to appreciate life.
All of my doctors have called me a miracle. “We thought you would die”, said one of my trauma surgeons. “You were not expected to walk for at least six months”, said another surgeon… “Your body is healing better than we could have ever expected, especially with an auto-immune disorder”, per another surgeon.. their comments abundantly dance through my thoughts.
I am here.
Perhaps God has allowed his child to go through these trials to show the fragility of life to both myself and to others, perhaps it was to bring people closer together, to share hope, to extend the reality that even though awful things happen to all kinds of people… beauty can still bloom.
Yesterday I found myself struggling. With my sweet friends at my side, I hoped that I could have a day with little to no medical complications.. although we went for a short walk, I also had over an hour of wound care and puked quite a bit. Did my friends and my husband think less of me?, Certainly not.. but I kept saying to God.. “Really?”.. only to hear his still and quiet voice respond with “really.. you can do this”.
When questioning the reality of why bad things happen and if God really hears us, we need to open our eyes and look at what is before us.. Sometimes the voices of encouragement and love can be sent from those we love, and if we choose to fight and not give up instead of finding anger and frustration, perhaps we will realize that bad things might just happen so we can grow and strengthen not just our own lives, but the lives of others.
Today I am happy to report that I am walking small distances without my walker (still using the support of someones arm). My stomach wounds are healing, my leg and coccyx wounds are still very large but remain infection free, my immune system has held rather strong, my pelvis breaks are hurting a bit less, and I am learning to manage with adaptive support (like the wondrous reach-it stick) since my abdominal muscles are still quite a mess. The prognosis is stellar, and I am expected to be fully healed and back to “normal” by the end of next year- but will have my surgeries completed by the fall and hope to return to work by late summer. Thank you for your love and support, the human spirit is an incredible thing.