For Those Who Know The Significance Of Today
Today marks the 20 year anniversary of that horrible crash which took my sight and nearly took my life.
Dates are curious things. We celebrate wedding anniversaries and birthdays and holidays. Those who’ve lost a loved one, especially a child, have that date as ingrained in their memory as that person’s birth date. And, I’m no different. I’ll never forget that October 9, 1993, was my last day of normalcy. I’ll never forget how, just a few minutes before midnight, there would never again be life as I’d known it earlier that day.
Every year sometime in late September, the knowledge that October 9 is not far off starts to itch at the back of my consciousness. I don’t dread it, it’s just there.
Twenty years is no different than 19 which is no different from one which is no different than 50. But yet, it does, I admit, feel a bit different this year. Again, there’s no dread, it’s a date just like any other year in the grand scheme of things. And, I get to do what I love this year…
Today, I’ll be presenting in front of about 700 high school students at a conference in Missouri. Yes, Missouri. And wanna know the interesting and weird synchronicity of also being in MO on the anniversary of the crash? Our rental car is a Toyota Corolla, the exact make and model I was in when the crash occurred two decades ago. When the attendant at Hertz said “Toyota Corolla”, I thought about asking for a different car. Then….nah, screw it. I don’t mind tempting fate.
After the keynote, we’re going to rush to St. Louis to fly to Vegas. You may be saying, “Great! You’re going to have some fun to recognize the anniversary!” Well, sorta. I speak for a health care conference on Friday morning and, logistically, this just works out best. But, yes, once we arrive in Vegas, I’ll toast to the date with a fine libation.
I do not mourn my blindness. I don’t pine for the life I had before. My life now kicks ass. Period. So, when this date rolls around, it’s just the chance to intentionally remember, ponder and, mainly, to be thankful for the incredible life I live. It could have been so, so different.
And if you’ve walked this journey with me since 1993, thank you. That’s all I can really say…thank you.