Monday, May 30, 2011

Grateful for the journey

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

I've finally settled back in at home. It's nice to be back with Andy, even if it isn't so nice to be back in Colorado. Though, I have to admit that the weather has been absolutely beautiful lately. We even have some humming birds zipping around outside our windows. Spring is finally here & if the weather were like this more often, I could probably put up with the crappy people a little better.

In my last post (a week ago, sorry) I whined about my trip home and then told you that I had some good news to share. The day has finally arrived and I'm ready to write about it.

It's been a long time since I've written anything about my accident. This is due, in large part, to my need to just put it all behind me and move on with my life. I can't change what happened to me, but only accept it as part of my reality and use it to improve my day to day. So that's what I've tried to do.

Except I haven't been able to completely put it behind me.

In all the things I wrote about my feelings, physical and emotional, concerning the accident, I only briefly touched on the financial ramifications of this disaster on our lives. It's been rough. To say the least.

For two years we've had an outstanding insurance claim. The thing that I wanted most, to move on, could never really happen until we could settle with the insurance company. That couldn't happen until I could heal. Last July I was finally released from all my doctors. After that I just needed a few follow up dental appointments to determine my future care, and we could finally begin to close this giant door in our life.

Several months of waiting, and back and forth. Phone calls and emails and question after question after question relating to my recovery and current health.

While I was in North Carolina all the waiting and communication came to a stand still and I went to mediation to settle the claim.

It's over.

Two little words. That's all I could get out before bursting into tears that afternoon when I left my lawyer's office.

In mediation the mediator, said something to me that keeps running through my head. "You've been through a lot and you need to be compensated. The only way to do that is with money."

I understand that, from the perspective of the lawyers and the insurance company, this was a simple business transaction. It's the world's way of trying to make a wrong, right.

For me, it's so much more than that. While money makes the world go round, it doesn't make me or break me, and how do I a put a dollar amount on the last two years of my life?

No. This was less about compensation than it was about closure and being able to start the final healing process.

I could say that these last two years have been a nightmare. There have certainly been nightmare like times, but I feel like so much good has come of it too.

I've grown up more in these last two years than I ever did in the previous twenty seven. I see the change in myself and recognize it for the blessing that it is. I've never felt more grown up, and that doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I'm chronologically older. I'm better able to appreciate a situation, good or bad, for what it's really worth and how much of my attention and worry it deserves. I'm grateful for that knowledge and for the strength I've gained through all this turmoil

My husband and my marriage have never been more precious. We meant our vows when we took them, nearly five years ago, but I don't think either of us expected just how soon we would have the opportunity to test that sincerity. I'm grateful for that and for the knowledge that as long as Andy is by my side I can tackle any obstacle.

I'm grateful for all my friends and family that supported me, and Andy, through all the pain and heartache. These people have a new importance to me now, and they are more dear than ever before. You're only as strong as the people around you and right now I feel like a fortress, impenetrable and unyielding.

Most of all I'm grateful for my life and the opportunity to live it. That's just what I intend to do.

It's over, and I'm grateful.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The long journey home

And I do mean long.

I got home late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. That was not the original plan.

Saturday, I woke up at 8 and got everything ready to go. Julie and I loaded up the car with my (gigantic) suitcase & headed to the airport. After a tearful goodbye, I headed to baggage check and then to security. All those things went smoothly and I got to my designated gate around 10 am. My flight was scheduled to leave at 11:40. I was flying to Minneapolis where I would meet a connection to Denver.

Right around the time we should have started boarding there was an announcement. The Minneapolis airport was having a small problem with a power outage & my flight had been delayed 20 minutes. No big deal, and because of the power outage in Minneapolis my connecting flight would be delayed as well, so no concern there.

A few more minutes pass. We should be boarding the plane to leave at the delay time. Another announcement, the flight has been delayed another 25 minutes, but so has my connecting flight, so again, not a big deal.

12 o'clock rolls around and we start boarding the plane. Everyone gets on, gets comfortable and the captain comes on the intercom. Due to the severity of the power outage in Minneapolis they've had to shut down the airport for a short time. My flight is canceled.


I get off the plane with all the other passengers and get in line to talk to an agent. Several people started calling Delta customer service to reschedule their flights, but even if you can talk to a real person and get your itinerary changed, you still have to stand in line to get your new boarding pass. I opt to just stand in line because talking to customer service on the phone usually makes me want to throw my phone against a wall, and I was already in a terrific mood.

It takes a while, but finally I get to the desk and the nice lady helping me gets me on a flight to JFK in New York where I then would fly to Denver. That's fine. Whatever gets me home. I take my new boarding pass and give a description of my checked bag so they can transfer it to my new flight though I only had a small hope that would actually happen.

It's now 1 pm. My new flight doesn't leave until 4 so I set out to find something to eat. After eating and resting a few minutes and letting my phone charge at the Starbucks kiosk, I decide to go find my new gate.

It's now 2 pm.

I go to the TV screens that display flights and their information. I see the gate and the time my flight should leave and then all the way to the right is flashing in bright red letters, "Now 5:05." What. The. Hell?

When I walk to the gate and read the display, sure enough my flight is now scheduled an hour later than originally planned. Which means that if I stick with that flight I would have exactly five minutes to get off the first plane, make it to the new gate in JFK and onto the plane before they shut the door. So, basically It's a given that I would miss my connecting flight.

I walk around until I find a desk with an agent. They're helping some other woebegone travelers so I commence waiting.

When I get helped it just so happens that the person helping is the same one who rescheduled my flight a couple hours ago. She's very nice and gets me on to another flight and once again, takes my bag description to have it checked onto my new flight. Yeah, right. Not a chance in hell that bag is making it to Denver the same time I do. I asked if there was any chance there would be a delay with this new flight, no was the answer and I'd been upgraded to first class for both flights. Well, that was something.

My new flight takes me to Atlanta where I have a three hour layover and then board a second plane to Denver.

Let's take a moment to count all this up. At this point it's roughly 3 pm. I've spent all of 5 minutes on an airplane, 5 hours in the same airport, and been booked on 6 different flights for the day.

The flight to Atlanta wasn't scheduled to leaved until 5:15. Lot's of time to kill and I spent most of it on the phone complaining to various family and friends about my ordeal.

Eventually the time did pass. My flight was uneventful as were my three ours in the Atlanta airport and my second flight to Denver.

My plane landed at 11 pm and, of course, my suitcase didn't, so Andy and I spent some time while the nice people at the airport found it (New York) and scheduled it for delivery to me.

We got to the apartment at 1:30 am (3:30 am eastern).

But I'm home and my suitcase made it to me this morning at 5:30.

Hopefully in a couple of days I can tell you about some exciting news I have. I'm not pregnant, sorry. However, still exciting news, and this particular news has been a long time coming. 

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Half over

I've been in NC for 10 days. I have 10 more to go.

Clearly my trip hasn't made me any more enthusiastic about blogging. In my defense, it took a week to get rid of the jet lag. It was horrible. Also, part of why I'm here is because Julie needed some help with someone to watch Mina. I know that sounds kind of strange, because aren't there babysitters in North Carolina? Well, yes, but Julie is having to deal with some family things right now and will be for several weeks and Mina hasn't spent entire days with baby sitters ever. So it just made sense that if her world was going to turn upside down for a few weeks, at least she should stay with someone she knows. Hence my three week trip to North Carolina.

Anyway, I have some free days and some things planned the rest of this week. Hopefully I can get some pictures taken and at least post those to the ole blog, if nothing else.

I hope you're all having a wonderful May!