Two Years Ago Today Our Lives Were Changed Forever.

Two years ago mundane things seemed abnormal. I remember the first time I left hospital four days after the accident. Stepping outside it took my eyes a while to adjust to the sunlight. Florescent lights had a way of lulling you into a state in which you forget the brightness of noonday sun. Matt’s dad had kindly asked me if I would like to leave so that I could go home and shower. Knowing it was needed I left Matt’s side, trying to not let worry get the best of me. Walking to my car the smell of antiseptic, sickness, and body odor offended people who were behind me. It was hard leaving Matt in the hospital, knowing I was free to go where I pleased. He had had no choice but to stay in the hospital. His two broken femurs, pelvis, and vertebrae made it so he could not move for a long time.

 

Looking back over the experience we went through it often feels as unreal and foreign as stepping outside of the hospital did that day. It is a memory that sometimes is distant and other moments is real in the present. Matt is the one of the strongest most vital people I’ve met.

 

After we moved to Rochester so he could re-learn how to walk I witnessed a tenacity in him that inspires me even now. Matt spent countless hours practicing transferring from his bed to his wheel chair. After he mastered the art of the transfer he was able to move to the physical therapy room where he could commence the journey to mobility once more. He worked hard and began to heal much quicker than the physical therapists had forecasted he would.

 

There were tears in our eyes the day he took his first steps after the accident. I stood there, watching him slide his walker along while slowly putting one foot in front of the other. He began to grow stronger. Discomfort is a great motivator to change the circumstances you are in.

 

Fast forward several months to the court room where we sat the day that the young man was sentenced for hitting my husband and running. I remember looking at the kid thinking he looked younger than my 17 year old brother. A mixture of compassion and anger welled up inside of me. We had no idea what that moment would be like.

 

What would it feel like to see the person who single handedly turned my husband’s life upside down?

 

The judge sentenced Tyler to 180 days in a work house with work and school leave. He then asked him what day would be most convenient for him to begin serving his time. In that moment, something inside of me fell. We were not given the choice of what day would be most convenient for our lives to be flipped inside out and upside down.

 

I could not understand why the judge would extend such a luxury to Tyler. He had ran for four months, evading arrests multiple times, only to turn himself in at the advice of his lawyer. We woke up the next morning to an article City Pages had written stating that, “Matt Call is Pissed about Tyler Braunschweig’s Light Hit and Run Sentence.” It was upsetting to see the media had printed an article without speaking with either one of us. We weren’t pleased with how things had been handled but we most certainly were not ‘pissed’ about his sentence.

 

There are days that I am still angry and there are days that I feel as though I have forgiven him. It’s a work in progress. We have chosen to forgive and to continue to move forward. We are grateful for the blessings we received in the midst of hardship. We are indebted to those who surrounded us. Friends, family, and strangers made it so that we could face what was ahead.

 

We had a choice of letting the experience tear us down or build and shape us to become stronger individuals. I admire my husband because everything that happened made him into a powerhouse of forgiveness and growth. Today is two years since the accident. We are not the same people we were two years ago. We are stronger. We trusted God to bring us through it and He did. I want to say thank you to everyone who stood by us and supported us. We value you.

I’m going to end with an excerpt from a piece I had written 20 days after Matt’s accident.

Travail-

Suffering, affliction, tribulation.

A work especially of painful or laborious nature.

A physical or mental exertion.

It is a word that is also associated with triumph.

Overcoming a circumstance wherein the midst of, joy is hard to find.

At the end of travail comes something beautiful.

Pain is not wasted.

Growth takes place.

It is a metamorphosis into a newly refined individual.

Though there is sorrow and days where we cry together, days where frustration threatens to take over, we know this is temporary. We serve a God who is bigger than this. We daily choose to forgive. We choose to not allow bitterness to take root. We will not be overcome.unnamedunnamed

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