Friday, April 18, 2008
April 18th, 1998
The original Sigma Chi House, Chattanooga, TN
On a completely personal note I must write what today means to me....
10 years ago today April 18th, 1998 I was in a fraternity house fire here in Chattanooga. To make a long story short...I was the last one out of the house - and I escaped by jumping out of the top story window. I was burned over half my body, broke my back and broke both feet. I was in the burn unit for 5 weeks and had 4 surgeries- and rehab for 2 months. I lost 87% of my muscle mass and basically had to be taught how to do everything again. They originally said I would never walk again -but I overcame that after 10 weeks in a wheelchair. It was a horrible 3 months - with much pain and heartache - but I still felt lucky to be alive - and had the support of my amazing family to get me through it all. Since then I have had several more surgeries, staph infection, etc. I have scars that I can't hide - but they remind me every day how lucky I am. Please take this day to tell people you love them....not to sound morbid but you may never get the chance again....
Today I wrote this to my friends and family - but I thought I should post it on here so you could learn a little more about me.
"April 18th, 1998 - a day that almost took my life, but in the end changed my world for the better. From this day I have been given a new outlook on life, become a stronger person, great relationships with fantastic friends and family, cherished godchildren, a nephew and a niece that I love like my own, and above all the love of my life Corey, who loves me scars and all - and as his wedding band says "you were worth it all". Not a day goes by that I don't thank god that I am alive . Believe me I still have hard times, and I have days when I feel sorry for myself, but I always get back up and going and remember that there was a reason I was saved that day....I may never know what it was for, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Something good always comes from bad moments.
I remember this day like it was yesterday and I am having a hard time believing that it has already been 10 years. The past 10 years have brought the following: more surgeries (staph infection, hysterectomy), marrying my soul mate, a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, several moves with our dream homes in each city, a fur baby that brings joy to my life every day, owning my own gift shop, becoming a godmother, becoming an aunt (twice), adoption heartbreak, meeting my best friend, random jobs that introduced me to great friends, finding out what I love to do with Ivey Handcrafted (even though I always knew I would try and follow in my mom and daddy bob's footsteps), learning more and more about myself - and living my adventure alongside my partner.
If you have learned anything from knowing me in the last 10 years, I hope it is that you learned you should live life to its fullest and NEVER EVER let a day go by that you don't tell the people in your lives that you love them.....take it from me - you never know if you will be able to tell them again.
Life is short....if you don't love what you do - change it, if you don't love where you live, move - enjoy your life, cherish your friends and family - and thank god that you are in this world and able to live every day. I wish I could thank you individually - but I hope you each know how much I love you. I thank all of you for everything you have done for me over the years, whether it be sending a card or a package, driving to visit, phone calls, emails - or just being with me when I needed a friend - everything you have done for me has been appreciated and always will be. As I have said many times before I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
I can't write this without thanking one person - because everyone needs to know how incredible she is (even though most of you already do)
My mom - she stopped her life for me....and her life became me....I will never ever be able to repay her - she is the TRUE meaning of a mom - and I only hope I can be a mother like she has been to me. I love you momma....I HOPE YOU DANCE
Thanks again - and I love you all....I thank God I survived but I know I couldn't have done it with all of you either....you are all a cherished part of my world.
With forever love,