It's been proven time and again, on back roads and superhighways: A
seat belt can save a life in a car accident.
Back on October 13, 1992, I was fighting for my life after becoming
paralyzed from a car accident and not wearing a seatbelt. I never would have
thought that this many years later I would be a successful teacher and run my
own photography business, who believes in herself and makes a difference in the
lives that she meets every day!
My situation has led me to discover things about myself that I would
not have before. I am proud not only of what my disability has taught me, but
also of where it has taken me and whom I have met along the way. People have
stayed and people have went about their way and left my journey.
If you want to know why you should wear a seat belt, it's for your
protection. This could save your life even in a small minor traffic accident.
So much in my life is because of this injury. No, life isn't perfect,
but it wasn't perfect before I used a wheelchair either! Over time I have come
to realize... It wasn't me who changed... It was my perspective! Being a gal
that uses a wheelchair has reminded me to appreciate the little things in life
such as being able to get out of bed each morning and enjoy the fresh air. I
have begun to realize, it is not what I do in life that matters. It is who I am
inside that truly defines the real me. I have met people in my life who are
blatantly uncomfortable around me. So be it I say. Deal with your own feelings,
in your own time.
Having said all of this, I didn't get here overnight. It took me a
bunch of years to come to grips with the gravity of it all. It took a great
support system of family and friends, a belief in myself, an ungodly number of
margaritas and a deeply engrained sense of humor. All that I have going for me
defuses the all-consuming desire to lash out, to find and affix blame.
You don't need to walk to fall in love, to get married, have kids, get
a degree, go to work or be a successful leader. Whatever you want to do, you
don't need to walk to write, paint, take in a ballgame, go hunting, scuba
Napoleon said, "Struggle
is a decided advantage, for it awakens within you attributes which would
otherwise forever lie dormant."