Friday, December 17, 2010

A year later

Today marks the first anniversary of the car accident that steered me onto a long road of recovery from my sustained concussion. (Praise God it was only a concussion!!) It's kind of weird, really, being here again; seeing and writing December 17 as if that date doesn't carry with it an ominous sensation. But the fact is, it does. It's a strange feeling to know that starting now until the middle of January, everything that happens will be a day that I honestly don't remember from last year.

Since Christmas season began, I have been reminded over and over again that I truly have no recollection of this time from 2009.  When I unpacked our Christmas decor, it was as if it were Christmas morning all over again as I discovered gift after gift that I had "never seen before." In fact, there were so many items, ornaments, etc. that I texted Brad to ask him if he happened to add some things to our storage without me knowing it. He said he could "100% guarantee that didn't happen." And when I rejoiced over finding a copy of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, he laughed and said, "Yeah, that's just how you reacted when you opened it last year, too." (However, we all know that my finding of last year's Christmas candle didn't go quite so well.)

I was happily showing off my favorite "new" ornaments that are now prominently displayed on the front of our tree to Emily, when she laughed and revealed that it was actually she who had given them to me! Whew! That was close! Good thing I didn't talk any smack about them or anything!

While it was genuinely exciting to find all of these new things, it was equally creepy to know that I had lived a life including them in my past but simply could not remember it in the slightest. It was such a bizarre sensation to know that I had literally picked out and purchased after-Christmas specials, brought them home, touched them, held them in my hands, wrapped them up, and packed them away, but honestly did not know that they existed at all. I really can't even explain the feeling. Very surreal.

Anyway, even though this post is already long enough to stand on its own, I wanted to redeem some of last Christmas season by blogging about it! I really hate that a year's worth of my favorite time as well as a pretty significant event in my life has thus far not been represented on my online scrapbook. So here is my version of December, 2009, consisting of what few pictures we did manage to take while I was loopy:

First of all, I couldn't even remember our house, let alone what time of the year it was, (Can you imagine me now knowing it's CHRISTMAS??)  and I simply could not understand why Brad would decorate for Christmas in "April." When he continually reassured me that it was, in fact, Christmastime and that I had been the one to decorate, I just got frustrated at him for "making things up" and at myself for not being able to understand. I must have eventually accepted what he said as truth, because I then fixated on our Christmas tree.

You see, somehow the top portion of our pre-lit tree had burned out. Apparently, every time I woke up (or just if it had been more than a few minutes' time) I would stare at the top of the tree with a very concerned look, then wonder aloud why it wasn't lit. Poor Brad had to keep replying, "I'm not sure, honey. I can't seem to get it to work." After a while, he grew exasperated, feeling terrible that he "couldn't even make his sick wife's Christmas tree work." (His words, not mine.) I ultimately learned that I wasn't supposed to ask about it anymore, even though I couldn't actually remember why or the answer to the question I was dying to ask. And I made sure to tell every person that came to visit, "Hey, don't ask about the tree. Brad doesn't like it when we ask about the tree..." (BTW, you should really feel most sorry for Bradley through all of this. He definitely had it way worse than I did.)

Christmas Eve was exactly a week after the accident, and by then I was at least able to stay awake for significant amounts of time and carry on a pretty legit conversation (even though I still wouldn't remember it later). Since I was finally "up and about," we were able to squeeze in a couple of our traditions. Oh, you better believe that I'm a stickler for traditions even when I'm concussed. Or, more like Brad was trying to make sure I didn't miss a year / trying to bring some familiarity back into my confused world. We opened our Christmas PJ's, made Santa cookies, and fell asleep next to the tree watching A Christmas Carol, just like every other Christmas Eve.

When we woke up Christmas morning, Brad made our annual cinnamon rolls, and we opened up our stockings. Speaking of, of course I hadn't done any Christmas shopping before December 17th (nor have I this year, either), so sweet Emily escorted a wobbly Mindy through Target to purchase his gifts. This year, I was pretty sure we didn't own Elf and was surprised to find it when we unpacked our Christmas stuff. When I saw that it was still in the plastic wrap, I concluded that it must have been given to us as a present. Ha! I still didn't realize that I had given it until I looked through the pictures. (Weird!) Also, take note that this is when my Taylor Swift love officially began. You have Brad Mehaffey to thank for that one! :)

After we had enjoyed our Christmas morning alone (which is a tradition that I absolutely love!), Brad and I joined the rest of the fam at Matthew and Heather's house for the family celebration. I don't really remember what all happened, but it looks like we had a really great time! At some point, not sure if it was Christmas day or another time during the weekend, the whole family participated in a huge Mexican Train, Dominoes tournament. I only mention it because I'm pretty sure it's the first thing / long period of time that I legitimately remember after the accident. The game was one of the gifts I had received, and we had so much fun playing it.

One good thing about having to take frequent naps was that I wasn't expected to have any responsibility in the big Christmas dinner. Luckily, Mrs. Mehaffey #3 was a perfect hostess and coordinated a terrific meal.

So, there ya have it. Christmas 2009 as I "remember" it. I always love taking pictures and documenting our lives, but I've never been so grateful for the visual reminders of an event as I am about this period of time. Quite literally, without some of these photographs, I might not even know that the holiday took place at all.

And you lucky readers get the privilege of having two holidays for the price of one this year! Which is actually the main argument I used for putting up our decorations before Thanksgiving; I had a whole lot of Christmas to make up for! Thanks for indulging me as I recapped an event that took place a year ago. I feel much better knowing that it has been sufficiently chronicled.

I can't recall this event and period of time without being reminded again of how good God really is. I am confident that it is His angels alone that kept me safe one year ago, and I am so very thankful for His grace and mercy. God Is So Good! 


Karen said...

Mindy, I am soooooooo glad that you are better now! and so glad that you weren't too seriously injured (not that a concussion isn't serious, but from the look of your car it could have been so much worse). You are truly blessed and someone was watching you last year. I hope this christmas is doubly chistmassy for you to make up for your lost time."

Steph said...

Be careful on the way home! So glad you were okay! Make sure to take lots of pics this christmas to make up for last year :)

Elaine said...

Oh, honey--I cannot believe it has been a year. I am glad you were finally able to blog about last Christmas. You did it justice, but I can't lie--it made me cry. I am reminded again about how blessed we are to have you with us and that your recovery is complete. You are such a special part of our lives and I am thanking God again for sparing your life and giving us more time to love you!

Brenda said...

I'm sure I express feelings of so many when I say we are thankful that eventhough you are missing some moments in time, you are still with us to experience many more moments of time.

Bradley said...

Babe, I love you. I'm glad you are okay after your accident. Be careful coming home today!

Lindsey said...

I'm so glad that you're back to regular Mindy and that you have pictures to remember what happened last Christmas! God is good and I'm glad he was taking care of you :)

Dad said...

It really is hard to believe that it's been a whole year! God not only blessed YOU, but He also gave everyone that knows you a true Christmas Present at the same time. He truly is an AWESOME GOD!!
P.S. Thank you, Brad, for taking such great care of the precious package that God has trusted to you. I'd better stop now, something in my eye...

Sharon said...

Love you Mindy!

Aunt Cathy said...

We are all so thankful you are ok. When we first saw the pictures of your car a year ago & saw the extent of the damage on the outside it was a wonder you weren't hurt even more. However, when we saw the inside picture of the car & how well it held up, it was very clear that God had sent an angel to sit beside you & protect you. We are so blessed to have you in our family!

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