This near death experience and the imprisonment in a defective body opened up so many perceptions that I would never have experienced without going through it.
It reinforced my faith in a loving, merciful God who takes care of his own. It gave me insight into the vulnerabilities of others, and a compassion and empathy for the hurt or maimed.
The second effect was the realization of the transience of life. The “Here today gone tomorrow” saying became very real. Time was of the essence, a waste of it amounted to being criminal. This has made me very impatient with whoever wastes my time, whoever does not keep an appointment, or is late and careless about it. I am an absolute terror with my staff, but they got to know that and now things go like clockwork.
Third, it resulted in self reliance. Maybe not only this experience, but the fact that I actually have nobody to rely on, necessitated that I do become self reliant. The fact that I have taken on a lot of responsibility for the family in general, and for my smaller family, in particular my Mother, made it a no choice situation. But I coped, and still do. It also helped me a great deal at work.
Fourth, I had to find ways and means to entertain myself within a defective, broken body. I taught myself how to write with my left hand as I could not use my right hand. I learned how to program my VCR to time record, then learned how to edit films taped. I made up poems and “witty” conversations that I never wrote down. I relaxed about letting my imagination go. I learned the power and appreciated the beauty and effect of music. I discovered the therapy of laughter. I was always a bookworm, that also helped.
I learned to appreciate the satisfaction of taking a full breath. It took me four months to be able to yawn. I learned to appreciate living without pain. I learned to take care of my body, because without it healthy and independent, life was very difficult indeed.
I tried to be patient. It took me 7 months of physiotherapy to get back the full and proper use of my right arm. I learned to overcome my fear of driving, and though it took some time, maybe a couple of years, I no longer cringed when I heard an ambulance siren. It took me a few months not to grow cold and slightly faint when passing the road where the accident happened. I can even now drive by and bypass those large police trucks, one of which had caused the accident, without a second thought.
This experience made me discover a great deal about myself, some good, some not so good, but generally it made me grateful to be alive, it made me try to enjoy every minute of life and appreciate all the beauty around me. Anger, depression, boredom are all parts of life, but they no longer take over my life. I philosophize and try to get on with it. This experience helped me through another traumatic experience that nearly killed me. But that is another story. Now I am much stronger, much happier than I was. I survived.