Fribble Count Your Blessings

By Deannda L. Neufer (tdmeneuf@stny.rr.com)
September 1, 2000

Another birthday has come and gone. And this was the first time I didn't notice the passing of my second birthday. No, not the day I was "reborn" as they say, but the anniversary of the day I should, by all accounts and means, have died.

Twenty-three years ago I was in an accident that changed my life forever. It gave me a purpose and a reason for living. I haven't quite figured out that reason, but it made me realize that there is much more out there than just me. Just so you have some background on the reason I feel this way, here's the story of my second chance at life.

I had gone to a drug store to get cigarette filters for my sister's sister-in-law. This was way back when kids could still buy the cigarettes themselves. I was almost fifteen. I rode a 10-speed bike to the drugstore. Butte, Montana (where this took place) has some rather steep hills. While heading to the store, I noticed the brakes were acting up a bit, but thought nothing of it when I came back out.

For some reason I turned down Colorado Street instead of Dakota and my life changed forever. The back brakes were no longer working on the bike. I slowly applied the front ones, but they didn't work either. I didn't panic. I thought I could slow myself down by dragging my foot. However, I was only wearing footsies -- no shoes -- and by this time I was going about 30 mph. I burned the footsie off my right foot and burned the sole of my foot. But I still didn't panic.

I thought I could just turn a corner and go uphill. A cross street was coming up but the intersection was barely large enough for one car. I knew I would never make it. So I thought, "Go under the tracks and turn there."

I never made the corner. Instead, I hit my left knee on the corner of a house, swerved away from the building and then back in and smashed into a double-paned window. That in itself wouldn't have caused much damage -- maybe a few cuts, possibly a concussion -- but unfortunately I went right into a wardrobe on the other side of the window. I hit the wardrobe and bounced back out. The police figured I was going about 50 mph upon impact with the window and wardrobe.

My skull was caved in, the bone under my left eye shattered, and my upper lip was bloody. My neck was the real mess. Nearly every muscle, nerve, and blood vessel was torn, ripped, or cut.

When I awakened in the hospital and it dawned on me what had happened, I knew in my heart there was a God and there was a reason for my existence. As I said before, I may never really know that reason, but it's not my place to question. The physical results of that accident? Blinded in my left eye, and many scars around my head and neck.

As I recently celebrated my 38th birthday on this fine earth, I stopped and reflected for a moment on just how lucky and blessed I have been. I have a wonderful husband who loves me no matter what, and he always stays by my side and backs me up.

I have two wonderful children, who are healthy, happy and smart.

I have a wonderful job, where they actually listen to you and care about you. I can take my girls to work with me and I have fun.

And I have my online friends. For those who say that online relationships aren't real, I have news for you. They are. You become familiar with these people and when they disappear for a while, you worry and wonder. When they have good news, you celebrate with them. When tragedy occurs, you mourn with them.

Thanks to the Internet, I had a wonderful birthday and I realize just how blessed I was 23 years ago and how blessed I still am today for knowing so many people who care.

Maybe we all need to stop for a moment and really count our own blessings, both financially and personally. I know my bank account is much better off thanks to the guidance and kind words of fellow Fools and my personal cup is overflowing with many blessings as a result of the friendships forged here at both the Fool and RabbitJack's Casino on AOL. Thank you everyone for a wonderful day and for enriching my life beyond words.