Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Walk Has Changed

This is my last week as a 23 year old. Nevertheless, because of how much pain I’ve been in as of late, I’ve been walking around more like an 83 year old. My grandma calls this “waddling” and I must agree, my daily walk has been a lot more like “March of the Penguins” than I would like.

In a week, it will be 8 years since the accident. Oftentimes, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was getting ready for my Sweet 16 when one random mistake – one split second – one wrong turn changed my course in life forever.

I still remember the way the rain felt against my face that morning. We’d been in such a hurry to get everything prepared for “my big day” – a party that my mom could scarcely afford but was determined to give me – that we never could have imagined that our haste would be so costly.

I had just gotten my nails done and was more concerned with examining them than helping my mother find her way to the hair salon. My two sisters were in the back seat and were carrying on loudly with my mother, who was lost. “Turn left.” “No, turn right.” “I’m sure it’s left.” “We’re gonna be late.” My mother quickly turned left, speeding through the rain, anxious to get me to my appointment on time. None of us saw the signs that indicated we had gone the wrong way on a three lane highway. But in a few short seconds that played on like hours, we saw the car speeding towards us, swerving between the lanes ahead of us and we all understood the terrible mistake that had just been made. I turned to the center of the car, put my hands against my sisters’ chests, fearful that they would come through the middle of the car, yet still, I could see what was about to happen. As if I had experienced it in slow motion, I felt the impact of the cars crashing, heard the metal crushing into metal, felt my head crash against the windshield. And then, everything went dark.

I opened my eyes and heard my mother and sisters screaming and crying. “Nancy, open your eyes. Look at me,” they yelled, but I could barely lift my head. I finally looked up and saw that the windshield was broken. Light was streaming in through the cracks that spread like a spider web through the glass. As I tried to lift my hand to touch it, I felt the pain rush down my neck into my back and down my arms and legs -- a pain that would stay with me for 8 long years, cause my confinement for 2 long months and ultimately result in a series of spinal surgeries that proved unsuccessful at helping in any way. In one moment, all of the things that I had come to love so much: cheerleading, swimming, softball, gymnastics, rollerblading, and simply running up the stairs, were taken from me. Worse than this, and aside from the physical changes I suffered, I lost my hope. I forgot God. I was angry and hopeless.

It has been many years since that accident and still I try to put the pieces back together of why it had to happen. The pain oftentimes seems so unnecessary. And I ask myself daily: What is God trying to show me through this? Though I still grasp for answers, I realize I have learned a lot. I’m older and wiser now, and though the pain of the past still follows me, there is not one step I take that does not remind me of how far I’ve come --all because of God’s grace, all because I am walking with Him. And I thank God for every step I'm able to take. My walk has surely changed, but I am stronger for it. And I am thankful.


Kristi said...

It is truly amazing how God can take a tragedy so ugly and use it to make someone so beautiful! God bless you.

green said...

Just reading about your accident gives me chills and reminds me of a few car accidents of my own.

You certainly have incredible strength to come through what you have, with the attitude that you do, even though I'm sure that you had some really bad days.

I strongly believe that God allows these horrible things to happen to us to test our faith, like what happened to Job in the Old Testament. If this is true then it seems like you have passed the test and have become a stronger person because of what you have been through.

God's grace is amazing, as you know. Stay strong in Him and you will be fine.

martie said...

What a nightmare you have endured. But thanks be to the LORD, you have a great attitude! It is hard to believe that someone who has gone through so much can still have faith in GOD. Isn't HE wonderful. I know that you must have had, and probably still do, some terrible moments and depression as a result of this life-altering event. You are a very strong young woman and I admire the strength you have. I will keep you in my prayers forever, Nan.

~Deb said...

I just heard this message today- from Joyce Meyers... She was saying that sometimes it takes a tragedy or something painful in our lives to make us stronger--through God... God makes us stronger because of it.

I hope that you are feeling better... That story was incredible.

Jonathan said...

Wow, this story is really well written. It's even more interesting because it's a true story. Glad to hear you've come so far.

Corry said...

Kc and I were overwhelmed after reading what happened to you. We don't know why these things happen, but as you already concluded, God has a reason for it. And we concur with Kristi: You may not have been that wonderful person who you are now.

We pray for you. May your walk be pain-free soon. God bless you, Nan.

God's Grace.

Thomas said...

Good luck as a 24-yo.

Ashley said...

wow, it's impressive how you've pulled through. What a frightening experience to go through! I really could not imagine. People are super careless when they drive, as well. They don't realize how they could take away a life.

But it's good that you have such an optimistic view through your faith.

Sycorax said...

Nan, You know what I have faith in?

I have Faith in you.

You empower all that is good in humanity. Your strength and will, are simply amazing.

Happy 24th! (Your starting to catch up to me! hehe!) ;)

cybeRanger said...

God is good and faithful. He has worked all things together for our good and His glory.

crossblade said...

hey Nancy,
I really dont know,wht to say..but its awesome how God has been with you and led you all through this....

yea you are getting wiser and wonderful!!!
God bless you

Oswald Croll said...

Wow... horrible story. Luckily I have never been in an accident of that measure, so I can't even begin to understand what you went through or still go through. On the up side, maybe your actions saved your sibblings from more serious injuries. Hopefully it also showed you what type of person you are.... on that in the face of danger, thinks of other first, before her own personal safety.

Happy 24th.....

Gayle said...

That's what I got out of it too... (after I wiped the tears from my eyes) that you thought of your sisters before you thought of yourself. Not everyone does that, sweety. You were special before the accident and what is proof of that is the fact that you are still special. You didn't let your pain ruin you!

And by the way, you also happen to be a very skilled writer! :)

Mike said...

A very moving post...and happy birthday..a lil early.

nosthegametoo said...

A good friend of mine went through a similar accident. I'm glad you're still on the long road back.

Peace and Love.

elmo said...

tragic...i can onli imagine wat u must haf felt n gone thru. thank God u survived to tell the tale n God made u a stronger person bcos of wat u haf been thru.
happy birthday to u!
i'm glad to know a beautiful person....dats u!

Nunzia said...

Thank you all so much :) I am officially old! lol God bless you guys! You've been a blessing to me.

Jujubie said...

Can never imagine what you went thru but I salute and respect the fact that you face the problems head on ......wish I have half the strength that you have in you...=)

green said...


If you're "officially old" at 24, what does that classify the closer to 40 than 30 crowd as?


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Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret. said...


One of the best guys on the Planet, Jerry Lewis was troubled so much by chronic pain he almost committed suicide. I recently saw him on Neil Cavuto, where he explained how he solved his pain problem and said to relate this info to anyone we knew who had chronic pain.

Try a Google search for "jerry lewis" pain if this link doesn't work.

Incidently, saw your updated picture on the other blog.
I think you need to become an on-air talent at Fox News.

You're qualified in all departments, and I think you could be the next Ann Coulter.
(at the very least, a writer/researcher?)

Best of luck. I know about the duckwalk (and it ain't Chuck Berry)
I have chronic bursitus in the right knee and can barely hobble from time to time with aid of cane.
Most of the time it's okay, but sometimes it lasts for a few months.

The last bout occurred when I stupidly thought I was well enough to climb and stand on a ladder for a few days. Silly mois.

Keep smiling -- you look swell that way.

Phantom Driver
Proud father of an American soldier.

martie said...

Happy Birthday, Nan! God Bless!

steve said...

God is good! He is oh so good!

steve said...

and Happy Birthday

Bradley said...

Wow. Nunzia, you sure do wright a lot, and you seem to be well expressed. I imagine you wouldn't be writing so much if you had not been in an accident that limits your physical activity. I think this particular blog of yours has the most inspirational writing on it. Notice the number of people who are touched by your writing. Would you be this developed as a writer or blogger without your accident? Probably not.

I have no idea what you went, are, and will be going through because of your accident (I have suffered so little), but I appreciate you sharing such tramatizing memories with the blog world. It's moving.

Godwyn Lim said...

Your Testimony shows the Goodness of God Amen?! Our God is a good God! Surely Lord gave us a destiny...

I personally went through, extreme medical challenges & God fought the Battle for me, I just learn to Trust Him & know daily He Loves me! "Stand Still!" with the armor of God...For Jesus is our helper, what can the World do to us? As Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and Forever, LOVING us!

Sister in Christ can I link up my web site with yours? Meantime, Have a good week ahead!

God Bless!


Corry said...

Kc and I wish you a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

God's Grace.

Rick's Corner said...

Happy Birthday, and Happy Thanksgiving. That is a wonderful post. Well written, insightfull, etc. I wish you happiness and success.

Misfortune breeds opportunity. You will find the silver lining to this tradgedy.

"May the Lord bless and protect you."

"May the Lord show you kindness and be gracious to you."

"May the Lord bestow favor upon you and grant you peace."

Daniel Levesque said...

Happy Thansgiving Nunzia!

green said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Nunzia

Nick Stephenson said...

Happy Birthday, Nan! Sorry to hear about the terrible accident.

While I don't share your faith or believe in any form of 'God', I'm impressed by your courage and attitude.

Good luck "old" girl!!

Damian said...

Stay connected to God always...