Joy Magazine

Change for the Better

On Jan. 6, 2009, my husband, Rex, and I were driving to Phoenix to have our 1990 Dodge Shadow fixed when, out of the blue, a car went through a stop sign and changed our lives forever.

Even before the accident, things were tough. I had been let go from my job, so I had to give up my car, a 2007 Saturn. After the accident, we were without transportation.

I used to come home from work, get an ice pack for my back, shut myself in my bedroom and put on the cable television.

Rex would come home from work and ask me whether I wanted to eat. "Yes," I would say, and he'd make me big meals — mac and cheese, grilled-cheese sandwiches — and I'd get fatter and fatter.

Sometimes I'd go into the living room, where Rex was watching television, and say, "Can I talk to you?"

"No," he'd answer in a loud voice.

Then, after his show would end, he'd come into our bedroom and want to talk, but I'd already be asleep.

It was the same routine, day after day.

All that changed after the accident. Our car was totaled. I nearly crashed through the windshield and suffered chest trauma. I hurt myself pretty badly, the car was smoking, the door was stuck and Rex couldn't get it open ... I thought I was going to die.

I was taken by ambulance to a hospital, and afterward things started to change for the better.

I started going to the chiropractor, which lasted about six months. During that time, I started to walk and ride a bike. I'd ride to the store to buy food. Once every two weeks, Rex comes home with two bags of food. He says he can carry $40 worth of groceries.

Once a month he takes the bus to wash clothes. I now cook homemade food and can clean the house. We walk to Tinseltown to see movies. We bike to church ... We bike all over Medford. It's like we're dating all over again. I lost 20 pounds.

We decided to disconnect the cable, and that's been good, too. We read the Bible together. We pray together. Rex reads Reader's Digest. We discuss articles we read in Time magazine. We discovered the library, where they have DVD movies and music CDs and computers to check e-mail. I'm involved in crafts at the Hawthorne Community Center.

When I walk, I am more aware of my surroundings, and I don't take life for granted anymore. I appreciate my marriage more. We lost much, but I realize I have eyes to see and ears to hear. I have legs and arms. I didn't know what I had until I had that accident.

It was life-changing.

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