Monday, November 17, 2008


UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS JENNIFER R.D.! You won my book giveaway from this post! Whoo Hooo! I'll pop it in the mail this week sometime! :)

Eight years ago today my life changed in one quick moment. All because one man was in a hurry to get home and failed to stop at his red light.

I don't remember much of the moment. Mostly just my husband saying "Oh God, please, somebody help me". And screaming. And the feel of glass on my tongue.

I had to be sent to a hospital 100 miles away because they didn't think I would live. For 3 days they waited while I dreamed in my morphine-induced haze. Then I saw my brothers' face - oh, it was so beautiful! He was there when they wheeled me in to put back together all the shattered bones, once they knew I would actually live long enough to enjoy their labor.

Still, I don't remember much until 2 weeks into the journey. The most clear moment was with me alone, in a darkened hospital room, crying. I cried because the pain - physical and mental -was too much to bear, even with all the drugs. My body had been crushed and repaired as best as could be and I couldn't do anything for myself - not walk, not feed myself, not use the bathroom. Nothing. And the pain, oh God the pain. Like nothing I had ever known before.

So laying there crying, I had a talk with God - The Universe - The Supreme Being - Whatever you want to call it. I said: listen here, if I'm supposed to learn something from all of this, if I can actually take this kind of pain, then please send me the strength to fight. And if I'm not strong enough, than please, please, just take me now - cuz begging the nurses to kill me isn't working. Put me out of my misery and don't make everyone else suffer along with me! I'm going to sleep now and if I wake up in the morning, then I'll take it as a sign that I'm strong enough to overcome all of this and I'll try my hardest.

Well, seeing as it is 8 years later, I guess you know what the outcome was. I obviously fought. And I did it hard! The doctor said with my extensive injuries - two shattered wrists (now with metal rods in them), a shattered left arm (now brand new with a cadaver donated bone, which leaves me craving steak when I hated it before!), a shattered left shoulder and a obliterated left knee (currently with metal rods and soon to be with a new knee altogether) - that it would take 4-6 months in the hospital to recover. I did it in 7 weeks. But it took something I had never had before: A belief in my self worth. I literally had to wake up each morning, tell myself that I was worthy and loved (most importantly by myself!) and that I could do it. And I did!

Now don't get me wrong! I don't think I'm all that and a bag of chips (yum, chips!) by any means! I still struggle with self esteem issues and crankiness due to chronic pain and a body that doesn't work the way it should. I mean come on, I had spent 32 years up until the moment of my accident hating everything about myself! And while falling off of the front porch while trying to walk to the car is funny in hindsight, at the time it is pretty humiliating! But I am defintiely in a better place with myself now. And honestly, I don't think I would have ever found that without flying through that windshield! I'm so very thankful to still be on this earth! The last 8 years have not been easy, that's for sure! But every day I am given a life that I love - I create art, play with my furry children, love my husband and read about the lives and share art with my dear artist friends online! I get to wake up every day and know that I am loved and share that love, smiles and art with others. And that, honestly, is what I think this whole life journey is about! What a lucky girl!

Now, to celebrate this day of becoming who I was meant to be, I am giving away this book:

"SPILLING OPEN: THE ART OF BECOMING YOURSELF" by Sabrina Ward Harrison. This book was one of the first ones I bought after finding my creative muse (all because of art therapy in the hospital rehab!). It really is a beautiful book filled with so much insight about life and art. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post by SATURDAY the 22nd to be entered into the drawing. And if you want to share a story about a bad situation that turned out for the better in your life, that would be awesome! But it's not necessary!

Now, go have a wonderful week! And please remember that running red lights is NEVER a good idea, no matter how much of a hurry you are in!


Jennifer R.D. said...

Wow Tamara, what a fighter you are! Well- you did it, it's been eight years and you are still a beautiful, shining light in this world. Bravo, my friend and shine on!

SheaNC said...

It takes a lot of courage to share your story with the world, not to mention surviving everything you've been through. I for one am glad you did :)

sandee said...

You are one of the strongest, most beautiful women I know. I have not gone through the physical challenges that you have, but I have been down that path with so many deaths in my family (daughter, brother, dad, friend...) And now the mental health issues with my middle son. It can become so debilitating.

But we, as humans, do have a the glass half empty or half full? I choose to have mine half full...and I'm sure I will see it completely full some time in my life.

To the strong sisters I know...ART ON!!!!!

peggy gatto said...

I am so glad you are here!

Mija said...

I'm with Shea... so glad you're still here SC soul sistah. You are one strong mutha! And a blessing like NO other... a gift from the divine, with a spirit of scintillating vibration, rocking the cosmos with your seraphin energy... the song of every bird, the exhale of every tree, the hum of every insect, the roar of every wind tells of you, who is absolute love and pure light. You are the glory of Goddess in the highest, let heaven and nature sing!

I love you!

Maija said...

Oh my darling friend- this is the first I have read about exactly what you have been through and it made me cry! You are so loving and generous and kind, I hate that you had to endure such horror and pain, and that it is still with you today. You are such a wonderful soulful person- I treasure you as my friend!

barbara burkard said...

you are a special wonderful loving generous sweet lovely miraculous beautiful glorious etc etc etc person....i am EVER THANKFUL AND HUMBLED to have gotten to know you and love you...

with all my love and of course

Julie Brill Molina said...

You are totally awesome.

Thank you for sharing that story and for fighting!

theresa martin said...

Wow Tamara. Ditto what Julie said. You ARE totally awesome. Wishing you the best for the coming year.

Earthtone Studios said...

Tamara you are truly a gift. I received the angel card from you recently. The card, the goodies, the thought, I was amazed, inspired..i felt loved. Who could this gift be from? was one of my first thoughts and to find out it was from someone who didn't even know me made it extra special. Thank you for bring sunshine into my day. For being so generous. Your story is amazing...just like you are.