Now and Forever

Convertible 2

June 2014, two men struggled to get Mark into our friends convertible, but it was a great ride and memory now. 

In just one moment, our life’s journey took a drastic change and now I can’t help but relate our life as before or after April 27, 1991. In my mind it’s like I have two filing cabinets, one holds memories of before and the other after the car accident. Much love is contained in each cabinet, however the two different lifestyles did changed our relationship. The one constant is as Carole King sings, “Now and forever, I will always think of you.”

I still miss the way things were in my before cabinet and enjoy reflecting on the files contained there. I have to smile at the possibility of my mind embellishing those twelve years of memories, because most of the files hold an easier and happier way of life.

Anniversaries have a way of making me reflect. Because it will be twenty-five years in just a few days, I realize my married life after the accident cabinet holds more than double the files of my before cabinet. To lift my spirit I’ve set my sights on writing about the positive aspects contained in my after cabinet, which I consider blessings.

I’m glad Mark and I survived the accident which could have taken both of our lives. I’m grateful our children weren’t with us when it happened. At the young ages of seven and eight, they appeared to be more resilient and accepting of our new lifestyle than they might have been if they were teenagers at the time. Their childlike belief that all would be well kept us working towards their expectations.

I’m thankful the accident happened before we moved instead of after. I’m grateful for the advice and insight of others to stop the sale of our home. This unfamiliar road would have been so much harder had we been attempting to get settled in a new house while seeking new friendships. I appreciate the love and support we felt from our Sandy neighborhood. The benefits of Mark returning home to a familiar place surrounded by familiar people proved to be immeasurable, especially with his short-term memory problem.

There are unexpected advantages to Mark’s memory issues, such as not recalling the pain and length of time in rehabilitation. I believe his poor short-term memory has saved him from depression. He is fun to be with and works hard to accomplish things which used to come easy. His example of patience, endurance and the constant expression of appreciation encourage me to do and be better.

We’re fortunate Mark regained consciousness after three months of being comatose and remembered the most valuable things in life—faith, family and friends. He retains his determination and quick-wit. He enjoys making people laugh and reminds me that bringing happiness to others brings joy to oneself. He teaches me what’s most important in life and encourages me not to worry about all the other stuff.

I appreciate of the wonderful people we’ve met since our accident and their positive examples. They are mentors who give me strength, courage and faith that I can succeed in my caregiving journey. I’m grateful for all those who have shared a part of their stories as guest authors on Uniting Caregivers.

We’re happy to live in a wheelchair accessible home which provides comfort and conveniences, making our life easier. We’re fortunate to share our home with my parents who are willing to help in every way they can.

We’re lucky to have friends who love and encourage us. Friends who made our move to Draper easier. They welcomed and helped us feel comfortable right from the start. We moved just five years after the accident and we were still adjusting to a new way of life. Their warm reception and support made our new pathway bright.

I’m privileged to have parents and siblings who are generous with love and service. We’re blessed they live close by and we can call on them at any time. If possible and needed, we know they’d come at a moment’s notice to assist in any way they could.

I’m fortunate to have the acceptance and love of Mark’s family and although they live in other states, we know of their concern and care for us. I’m thankful for cell phones, email and social media, which bridges the distance and keeps us connected.

I’m blessed to be a part of a large extended family where cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are involved in our lives. We cherish our relationship with each one and I’m grateful for their love and loyalty to family.

Looking at all these files of blessings, I realize our life has turned out just as it should for our own personal growth. Our journey may have taken an unthinkable turn on April 27,1991—one I wouldn’t have chosen, nor expected or could have prepared for. However, joy is found in the after the accident cabinet. I believe happiness can be now and forever because Mark is a part of me and I will always be with him.

4 thoughts on “Now and Forever

  1. Love the picture and the story. Your blessings are remarkable and plentiful, but they would go unnoticed or some would not even exist if you and Mark were not the amazing people you are. Thank you for sharing what you have learned in your lives with us.

    • Thanks for your kind words Nancy. Just to demonstrate what great neighbors and friends we have, two men struggled to get Mark into that car. It’s our friends beautiful convertible and they let us take it for a spin. We felt like a million dollars. It’s a great memory!

  2. I so love you Mark and Barbara! I remember that day very well… heart was so heavy for both of you. We still worry and always will worry about you, but are so blessed to see first hand the life you’ve embraced after the accident. The two of you, although very hard; have blessed us with an example of faith, determination, hope, attitude, gratitude, service, and undying love. You are my hero Barbara. I know this has been hard on you….very, very hard! I marvel at what you do for Mark! I marvel at the determination of Mark! I know he was blessed with a great sense of humor because that has been the one thing that has remained and been unchanged! That has helped both of you and your families weather the storms the past 25 years! Your families have been an example of unselfish service! I know the outcome of the last 25 years isn’t what you dreamed of…… But I will say one thing. From my perspective, the “accident” made one thing very clear! That you and Mark are a team. A strong and loving team!!! That you would do anything for Mark and have shown that to all who know you! People say that they would do everything for their spouse but you have been an example of someone who really HAS! I love you!

    • Thanks Melody! Your comment is a love note I will always cherish. You’re right, Mark and I are a team, but we couldn’t have made it through the past 25 years without the love and support of family and friends. We are so fortunate! It has been “very, very hard” and Mark’s recovery has not been what we’d hoped for, but all the worry and work has been and still is worth it. And just like you, we are determined to make it the best life possible. Now and forever, we love you too!

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