That summer the scent of change was unmistakable, but change is change and it has away of taking you by surprise. It is change after all, at fifteen you think your life in invincible though, tragedy is not supposed to strike you, but it does.
I learned that the hard way one Summer when I was crossing the street and was plowed down by a drunk driver.
I should have been enjoying the smells of boiled peanuts, peach ice cream, and southern cookouts. I had been invited to my best friends house in Georgia she had moved two years before, but we still kept in regular contact. We talked we imed, we sent texts about crushes, and boys we liked and the usual.
I was looking forward to that visit, more than anything. Traveling to Georgia, far away from my family, seemed like something impossible at fifteen. I was close to my parents yes, and they trusted me otherwise they wouldn’t have agreed to a trip across country on a train.
I liked the idea of going on a train, it would give me a chance to see the country, spread out in front of me in a way a plane could not, and a bus well that was just to creepy for my Mom and for me. I just didn’t like the idea of a bus, for some reason a plane just seemed safer.
When your thinking about the bad things that can happen to you at fifteen, you think more in terms of breaking up with a boyfriend, or a friendship even, or moving away like Myra had to the summer we turned thirteen.
You don’t think plans to see your best friend are going to be changed, by an act of someone you would have never known if he hadn’t gotten behind the wheel drunk. And then plowed me down in the crosswalk, throwing me to the ground, the impact instantly knocking me out.
I woke up the smell of Lysol, sickness, even death, not homemade peach ice cream, I woke up to my Mother looking as if someone had just died, and suddenly began wondering if I would die.
I didn’t of course, I am telling my story, but I digress.
I saw Mom put on a plastic I assure you everything is alright smile, but I knew it wasn’t sincere. When Mom really smiled her eyes smiled with her, but not this time, her eyes were sad. Red and swollen like she had been crying for days, and for good reason she had.
I felt nothing, no pain nothing, my legs felt as if they were not there, I felt my arms, but not pain, accept where the needle stuck me, for the Morphine drip.
I could barely take a Tylenol without getting knocked out for hours, no wonder I had been unconscious for days.
When the Morphine wore off everything would make more since, I would go home get strong enough and still make that trip to Georgia.
I wanted to believe that, I really did. I almost made myself believe it to, the way Myra and I had used to make ourselves believe that if we closed our eyes in the middle of July and napped Santa would come, but we were only three then and our imaginations always, always ran away with us.
To be three again, and believe in magic.
I had something greater than magic now though, I had faith, and I knew instinctively I was going to need it to get through this. I was going to need it when I realized that trip to see Myra was not going to happen.
I was in the hospital. I had been hit by a drunk driver.
I didn’t hate the guy though, not when I learned more about him, but that was simply because it took to much effort to hate and God loved me enough to take away any feelings of hate.
When I tell people I do not hate the man who changed my life in an instant they look at me like I lost it, but the truth is I found something.
I found a strong faith in the Lord, a faith that can not be shaken, though at times it did just that. I found my faith shaken and my life turned upside down.
For days my Mom went along with my pretending perhaps it was easier for her, but I think she did it more for me. She wanted to do what was best for me. My Mom and I were close, even at fifteen I didn’t rebel from my Mother the way some did, we were close.
She was my only parent, my Father took off and left when I was not yet four, and family on his side treated me like I was a monster. My Father made his own decisions, but they had the nerve to tell me when I was only three that it was all my fault, and when you are three you believe what an adult tells you, Now I know better but at three, I had that weight put on my small shoulders, and Mom about tore my Aunts a new one, to put it politely, she was mild mannered but when it came to hurting her little girl watch out world.
I was glad to have the Mother I had, she was a successful woman, who provided well for me! But she taught me never to take wealth or success for granted, her career as an anchorwoman, known nationwide had given us things we had never dreamed, but Mom always gave the grace to God. She also did what she could to help others, even if that was sometimes just showing them how to help themselves.
“Sienna you are only going to go as far in your life as you let yourself go, and I am not talking about monetary success, I am talking about in what truly matters is that you are good person with a good heart. That you live your life for the Lord.” Mom told me one day as I was struggling about Myra moving away. Now I had much bigger struggles though, struggles I never imagined I would have.