Over the past few days, I've been going through Austin's writings from school. I'm still looking for that essay he was writing about me but the story he wrote about our wreck touched my heart as well.
The story of our wreck is a long essay so I'll just capture some of the lines that touched me most.
"When we arrived there my heart was smashing into my chest. My mammaw and I walked over to the front desk to see where my parents were. The woman told us they were in ICU. (this means Intensive Care Unit) I wasn't sure what to expect, but my heart dropped all the way to the floor when I walked past the curtain. The strongest woman I had ever met was bandaged and broken." (this is my mantra now on days I think I can't make it another step!)
"She was so surprised to see me. She had a broken finger, nose and knee but was smiling and said, "I love you and am very happy to see you." Then we went to see my dad and he informed us he had 3 blood clots. He reassured me that he would be okay and I agreed. The visiting hours were over and as I walked out of the hospital I sighed with relief because I knew my parents were going to be okay. As we left that day and got in the car, I thought of how they nearly died in a motorcycle wreck and realized how I took them for granted all the time. I know if they had died, my life would never have been the same again. That is why I never take them for granted anymore."
I've always believed that things happened for a reason. I never doubted that our wreck was a stop sign in life for us. It forced us to slow down and reprioritize things, to rediscover each other and our boys. It made us closer as a couple, as parents, and as a family. It gave us an opportunity to take a vacation of lifetime and I will never regret the money spent on that Disney cruise - especially now. But it also made our children realize not to take life for granted or those you love, and it made an impression on Austin, even at his young age.
At the time, I was thankful for the "stop sign" and looked forward to the long future I would have with my children. God saved Tim and me and I never once felt I was at a risk of losing a child. I now know that those three years were even more of a gift because we truly used them to the fullest. Each moment, each memory, was a present from God because it would be the last three years we would have with Austin. And the trials we faced through that wreck, certainly strengthened our marriage. We need that strength and foundation now more than ever. I look back over our life and every tragedy has a reason. Right now it is hard to see the purpose from Austin's passing through our tear soaked eyes but I know in time we will. We do, without hesitation, know how precious life is and to not only be thankful for every moment but to use it to its fullest. We will never take each day or each other for granted.
"The cross we bear is a bridge for the dip in the road you can't see but God can."