Sunday, June 11, 2017

Complicated Anniversary Phase 3

We now get to talk about Phase 3 of this complicated anniversary.  It's hard for me to believe that 13 years later, the anniversary of the car accident can still not come and go quickly without an impact on my life.  That was such a defining moment in my life and definitely defined my "before and after."  I'd like to say there comes a time you don't think about it everyday, but my reality has changed so much, I couldn't not think about it every day.  When I need my wheelchair for any type of mobility, or something is just out of reach in my seated position, I am reminded daily.  I am also reminded when I have contact with my friends I would never have met without this defining moment in my life.  My amazing Ms. Wheelchair Kansas/Ms. Wheelchair America family would not be a part of my life if I had not had the car accident on June 7, 2004.  My life would not be as richly touched by these amazing women.
Enter Phase 3.  June 7 is also my son's birthday.  It's a day of celebration.  It's a day each year that recognizes the miracle that he is and we celebrate the miracle that he will keep growing up to be with each passing year.  It's a day to be grateful and focus on my blessings and the miracles that have touched my life. 

But, it's also a day that memories creep in and feelings of loss and grief don't really go away.  So, it's learning to balance all three phases, which don't progress in a linear fashion from one phases to the next.  In fact, sometimes all three are present at once.  And, that's OK, because life is messy and full of surprises and you never know what your "after" might include.

When I thought about the card needed for this post, I knew it needed to be a birthday card.  However, my son happened to be at camp on his actual birthday this year and his card went with him there.  So, I decided to use the stamp set he has been gravitating toward every time he decides to make a card.  I also chose to use both a color challenge and sketch challenge to guide how this card would come together.

This card is being entered in two challenges: Color Inkspiration #10 and Freshly Made Sketches #291.  If you are interested in the Color Inkspiration group, it is a private Facebook Group you can check out here: Color Inkspiration Group.  Be sure you head over to Freshly Made Sketches #291 to see the design inspiration cards and other creative entries.

When I said this was a complicated anniversary, I meant it.  There were all kinds of feelings of grief and loss when I woke up 6 weeks after the accident.  There were feelings of frustration, resignation, and pride as I relearned tasks and learned to make accommodations necessary for my new normal.   Phase 2 enters such an important, valuable, life lesson for me.  The importance of gratitude and making a conscious effort to find something to be thankful for in every situation became a defining part of my life.  There are lessons that I and my family have learned that I would not want to skip.  My life is different.  There is definitely a "before and after"  But, the lessons I have learned, the experiences I have had, the relationships I have formed during the after are such an amazing part of my life that I would not choose to go back to the "before" even if given the chance.

I reach this 13th Complicated Anniversary with the realization that it's OK to still need to take a moment to grieve the losses of my "before." But, I also realize that my life is so much richer during my "after" and I have learned lessons I would never want to unlearn and met people I would never want to miss out on meeting.  And, this anniversary is not only the anniversary of a defining moment in my life, it is the anniversary of my miracle son's birth.  So, Happy 13th Birthday!  I can't wait to see what  your life will hold.  

Read the rest of the story here:

Products used to create this card:
Serene Scenery DSP (Retired)


  1. What a great card! Love that shelf and the antlers!! Thanks for joining us this week at Freshly Made Sketches!

  2. Fabulous card and a beautiful and touching story. Hugs to you! Thanks so much for joining us at Freshly Made Sketches.