Monday, April 18, 2011

13 Years Ago Today....

found here

April 18, 1998

13 years ago today my life changed.

For those of you who don’t know – I was in a house fire on UTC Campus at the Sigma Chi Fraternity House. I escaped the fire by jumping out of the top floor only to land on a sidewalk. I broke my back, both feet and burnt over half my body 3rd degree. They said I would never walk again; I had 4 surgeries the first few days – skin graphs that now cover both of my arms and my entire back. Rods were put in my back that later would be covered in staff infection and be removed. Left foot – clean ankle break, right foot crushed and basically wired back together on the inside. I don’t sweat, I can’t cool myself off, I can’t be in the sun, I can’t push myself physically, my foot sometimes just likes to “go out” on me, I wake up with an aching back everyday, I have gained a lot of weight due to not being as active, I have lost a lot of my self esteem, I look in the mirror and see scars from head to toe, and I always wondered why it happened to me?

But you know…I am ALIVE to write this today. I lived, I fought, I stayed strong and pulled through. I walked again. . I kept my good attitude “most” of the 3 months I lived in the hospital with my mom. I left the hospital in crutches even though they told me I would be in a walker. I was and am completely supported by the BEST friends and family a girl could ask for. The most genuine man I know loves me unconditionally and I am fortunate to have been married to him 10 years this July. I have four fur children that bring smiles to my face on a daily basis. I have a business that continues to make my heart happy. I live in a city surrounded by friends and family. I am on a great weight loss path and am very determined to get my health back. I wake up thankful everyday that I was given another chance to live. God saved me that day for a reason and I plan to spend my entire LONG life discovering why.

To all the people in my life that day and the 13 years to follow – thank you. I couldn’t have done this without you. All of you are part of my journey. I love each of you and thank god for the difference you have made in my life.

the above quote is the perfect sentiment for how I am feeling today - I hope all of you take the words and live your life to the fullest.

"i do believe that when we face challenges in life that are far beyond our own is an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength and courage. I have learned that "how" we face our challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them"

~Sasha Azevedo


tmcculloch said...

Simply perfect! Love you!

Ivey Handcrafted said...

Thanks friend - LOVE YOU

charmedbydawn said...

Tobi - you are a beautiful example of courage, beauty, love and the strength of the human spirit.

dowhatyoulove said...

we love you!

Marcus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ivey Handcrafted said...

Thanks Dawn - you are too sweet. Thanks for being my friend!

Amy & Chris - I love you too

heather smith said...

Oh Tobi, you are SO BEAUTIFUL, inside and out, and I'm so thankful that God saved your life that day. I'm thankful for the opportunity to know you and I know everyone you meet feels the same way. Happy 13th year since that day. We love you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tobi!

Anonymous said...

We stood, we watched and we cried, the house we knew as our home was gone, but the lives we knew as our own were saved. You were a shining star then and have grown to shine even brighter and be an inspiration to many. We are the ones that have been blessed to still have you in our lives.

Ivey Handcrafted said...

Love you Smith Family :)

Who wrote the last two - I sure would love to know!!

Anonymous said...

I knew some of this story but not as much as you have shared here. You have a wonderful way to make everyone around you feel important and that is a true gift.
After reading this I now know why I missed hearing about it. My wife Theresa got her kidney-pancreas transplant 2 days before and we were in Chicago for 3 weeks.
Anyway Patti and I are so blessed to have you as a Daughter
love you Steve