What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It was cold, the coldest I had ever been in my entire life, despite the 105 degree Oklahoma heat that day. I swore even my bone marrow had turned to ice, or at least slush. Off in the distance I could hear a faint whirring sound of a motor, similar to a chainsaw. My eyes were heavy, it was dark but I knew it still had to be daylight, and I struggled to open them. The chainsaw sound stopped and I could hear male voices far away, drifting closer then farther away, I couldnt make out what was being said. I could smell gasoline. My mouth was full of blood, I immediately recognized the hot metallic taste,and what I later found out was windshield glass and pieces of my teeth. I tried to move but my body was pinned by something heavy. I tried to speak but I could not move my mouth, it was numb. Someone was close to my head, they were talking to me, they called me by my name but I did not recognize the voice, one word I did recognize was lifeflight. I put 2+2 together and the chainsaw sound was the ‘jawsoflife’.
This happened to me in 2001 at the age of 32 yo. I was hit head on by another woman travelling about 45-50 mph. I was driving our camaro, she was driving a dodge pick up truck. She walked away from an accident she caused, I flew away in a helicopter. This was a day I ultimately realized, I could die very, very easily.
About 10 days later, I hobbled out of Hillcrest Hospital (with the aid of a walker) with a broken mandible, severe concussion, 9 broken ribs, a casted left leg which my lateral meniscus was entirely removed from my knee, a badly bruised right kidney, and some extensive dental work and future surgeries to look forward to. My recovery was quick. I had a great physical therapist, a good maxiofacial MD, and an awesome ortho surgeon. My dentist……….well I hate dentists, even the best ones.
I had always gone thru life with the mentality: live today worry about tomorrow later. When my husband and I were dating, he once said to me something along the lines of this: “Either I was completely crazy with a death wish or my appetite for adventure was too insatiable”.
Things soon changed after my motor vehicle accident. I no longer feel the unstoppable strength I felt in my teens and twenties. I know now for a fact, my mortality is just as much as the next person, it never became more clearer than on that hot July day in 2001.