Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Near-Life Experience

I write fiction. I write this blog and book reviews but I also write fiction and in my genre of choice it is important to keep the happenings believable so the reader will relate to the characters. If I were to write the last two weeks of my life into a story line it would never see the bright side of an editor's desk because it would be completely unbelievable. The reader would balk at the over-the-top circumstances, drama and conflict and therefore would find the characters boring, this story would be completely unsellable.

But as they say truth is stranger than fiction.

I can't share everything that has happened because I am still processing some things, figuring out others and there are a few things that are not mine to tell but I can tell you this ... vacation isn't always as rejuvenating as they say. When I signed off nearly two weeks ago I expected to return to my keyboard refreshed, refocused and ready to go. I am none of those things.

Our vacation plans never even got out of the gate due to a serious illness in my uncle's family (it was his cabin we were going to). He insisted that we go to the cabin without him anyway, so instead of 13+ people for the weekend we arrived at the cabin as a group of seven.

The first two days there went off without a hitch except for when I sprained my wrist and when Mischief's ankles got sliced when he got tangled up in the dog chain. Except for that, we had a great time those first couple of days. By noon on the third day my uncle and cousin arrived with a few quads. The plan was to take the kids for a ride and then we'd have a BBQ and bonfire before my uncle headed back into town. We didn't make it past the quad ride.

My dad momentarily lost control of the quad he was driving (with Mischief on the back). Mischief was thrown clear of the quad and tumbled into a bush. My dad ended up under the quad on top of a tree stump and boulders. Mr. Awesome took my parents and Mischief to the hospital (the same hospital I had been at earlier that morning with my wrist injury) immediately and I followed later with my uncle.

Mischief was cleared immediately; nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises. My dad, after a long 24 hours of x-rays, scans, back brace, ambulance rides and two hospitals, learned that he had broken his collarbone and torn some ligaments in his neck in addition to the scraps and bruises that were covering much of his torso. All things considered we feel pretty lucky that both quadders walked away from the accident.

There are other things going on, things I can't write about now but I promise I will sometime soon. I just need more time to get more information, process and figure things out. What I do know for sure is that life is a precious, fleeting thing. That even though it sounds so cliche, we really must savour every moment, live the life we want to live and not just the life we settle for. We need to do what it takes to make our dreams a reality, we need to make memories with those who are precious to us and we need to be grateful for each day we have. We never know when life will take a turn and suddenly we are out of chances, out of time, to do the things we really want to do and be the person we really want to be.

I read a quote a while ago that kicked my procrastinating self in the behind. Before the accident and everything that surrounded it I realised that I need to live today and not wait for everything to begin tomorrow. I need to do the things that are important to me now instead of waiting for the right circumstances or a more convenient time. My life won't be anything if I just sit around waiting for something to happen to me. I need to start moving, start making things happen. What's that saying? You can't steer a parked car.

Anyway, I'm not dying and I didn't have a near death experience but I don't want to settle for a near life experience either. Do you?

A year from now you may have wished you started today.
~Karen Lamb

No comments: