A Dent In Time

Sirens blared. Police vehicles, a fire truck, and an ambulance rushed to the scene after little league football families witnessed a wreck. One driver running a red light at 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. The other vehicle was making a U-turn, unaware of the danger oncoming causing a t-bone car collision.

The jaws of life were later ripping open a small, white, now crushed, Corsica to pull out the driver. The Corsica’s driver door had been hit dead on. The 16-year-old girl was cut out of her seat belt so that she could be rushed to the hospital while the other driver raged about how she was now late for work.

Before she was cut out of her car, the driver answered questions about her favorite things to her volleyball coach as he spoke to her to keep her conscious. She cried and laughed about how Supernatural was her favorite show during that time. Going on about how incredibly gorgeous the lead characters were as blood dried in her hair.

Later, when the Corsica was at the wrecking yard, the driver’s mother came to collect the rest of the personal belongings from the car. The workers at the yard asked if there were any survivors because the car was so badly damaged. There was no way the person in that vehicle lived.

Yet she did.

I wish I could tell you those moments from my personal memory. Unfortunately, I can’t. In fact, I can hardly recall anything from the next 4 months of my life. There are snippets of memories, like pages ripped out of a book with random, mostly unimportant parts, kept in. The only recollection I have from the hospital was that my nurse was incredibly handsome, and I made sure he knew it.

There was no life flashing before my eyes scenario when I wrecked that day. It was one moment of putting the car into drive, then nothing.

I would spend the next chunk of my life trying to cope with the damage my brain had sustained in the wreck. Six years have gone by since that day, and I have never been the same from that concussion.

The main recollections I have from that time were fairly simple. I remember I was only allowed to go to one class at school for one day each week. Eventually we added more. For the first few weeks I always chose choir because I figured that was the easiest class to go to. Even then, only one hour of the most simple class would go by, and I would come home and sleep for hours on end because I was so worn out.

When I started to “get better,” my concussion doctor had me take simple memory tests. She told me that if I could get a high score (85% I think), I wouldn’t have to go to see her anymore, and I could continue school as normal. I failed four times before I finally passed. It took me more than two months to get to the point where my brain was functioning “normally” again. I was frustrated because I was starting to feel better, but my brain didn’t want to work with me. I kept failing that damned test. Eventually, I did pass, but I still wasn’t normal.

During the time that my brain was a complete mess, I really got into the creative mode. Mostly because that was the side of my brain that hadn’t been damaged in the wreck. I had never been more creative in my entire life, but I didn’t function properly in any other aspect. I couldn’t concentrate on anything except my creations. The images and ideas that came off of my pencil were the things that filled my mind. That may have been the only advantage that came from the entire encounter.

It took a long time to recover, but I eventually did. Retaining as normal of a life as possible after a near death experience. Of course, a situation like this one does not leave you unscathed. This one certainly didn’t. The sole, consistent reminder of that traumatizing time in my life came with a dent that has stayed with me.

Literally, a dent.

When my car flipped, the car door slammed into the back of my skull. You can feel it in the back of my head to this day. I may have forgotten a lot during that time, but this scar is a constant reminder that life is short.

Don’t waste the time you have.

I know it’s generic, but there’s no better explanation as to what I gained during from the experience.

I was only 16 at the time, and I believed I had my whole life ahead of me. It was almost stolen away from me completely. Instead only a short period was taken from me. That makes me lucky. Remember that sometimes we are lucky for a reason. Find that reason. I have, and I intend to live it out. Dent and all.

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