Saturday, October 5, 2013


This past week marked two important anniversaries in my life.

September 30 marked the six-year anniversary for the fiancé and me. Six years since two friends who had been on a few dozen were-they-or-weren't-they-dates had a conversation that decided our new status was "officially together." (The conversation was immediately followed by me sending him a text while still sitting in his parking lot that night, which said something like "Don't get weird about this, okay?" His response was something along the lines of: "Wouldn't dream of it, doll. Won't get any weirder than I already am." Fair enough.)

A good visual representation of us.
Six years together, so far. Six years wherein we've laughed often, cried rarely, worn a lot of costumes, cooked, toasted, roasted, supported, traveled, lost grandparents and loved ones, gained friends and loved ones, and realized we want all the years ahead of us to be spent together, too. Which brings us to the next anniversary...

October 4 marked three years since I survived the car wreck that by all logic should have killed me. If you want to read the whole story, it's here. If you want the nutshell version, I was driving a Tahoe full of production equipment from Jackson to Memphis. While driving in the left lane to pass an eighteen-wheeler, a deer stepped directly in front of my car. At 70 MPH, I hit the deer. Then I was rear-ended by the eighteen-wheeler behind me, which spun me back into the right lane and directly into the path of the other eighteen-wheeler, the one I had been passing. That truck hit me, too, still at 70 MPH. The rear of the car was crushed, the front was ripped off, and here I still am today. Three years after three separate impacts -- deer, semi-truck, semi-truck -- any one of which could have meant the end of my story.

To the left, imagine where the front of the car used to be;
to the right, imagine where I was leaning against the airbag.
I could write again about my feelings from that night, all of my gratitude and fear and renewed sense of purpose, all of which is still true. But instead, on this third anniversary, I'm literally counting my blessings. Here are just a few of the things that have happened in the three years since the night I miraculously did not die:
  • I've been more intentionally grateful, almost every day (I'm still only human)
  • I learned that when the chips were down, I did, in fact, have the right people around me, thank God
  • I made a career shift to allow for more writing time; I have since written six scripts, three novels, and two more children's books, so far. I have had two plays published - one I wrote pre-wreck, one I wrote post-wreck - which are now being performed, in real theaters, by real actors, in places I've never been. I no longer feel like a wannabe when I say "I'm a writer."
  • New friends came into my life, and new theater projects, and the urban family for which I am so thankful continued to grow... and old-gold friendships are even more precious to me than once they were
  • My first nephew was born, and I got to hold him while he was still tiny, and now he's walking; I shared wonderful mugs and glasses of coffee and wine (and mimosas) with my parents (and with the fiancé's parents), and appreciated them even more; I've been able to cheer on all of my siblings as their lives moved forward in amazing and sometimes surprising ways 
  • I fell in love with Doctor Who. I know-- what took me so long?! 
  • I took the fiancé out of the country for the first time-- just to Canada, but now that we know that we can, in fact, leave the country and be let back in despite his rouge-ish ways, we have bigger plans ahead
  • I snuggled with Dov, survived all the attempts on my life by the world's largest cat, and fostered and found homes for a dozen rescue dogs (one of them still with us-- oops)
  • I wore bridesmaid dresses in two of my best friends' weddings, and danced at several other weddings, one of them just a few days post-wreck and while still donning a neck brace, and not to be a broken record, but seriously: I have been reminded more times than I can count what an amazing collection of people fill my life, including that hilarious, protective, loyal, and loving best friend of mine...
  • whom I am now engaged. http:// hen we got engaged, and started planning our own wedding 
Those are just a few of the thousand good moments and milestones I've been blessed to experience in the past three years. There have been bad days, too; funerals, illnesses, setbacks. But to get through my own bad days, and to be there for my loved ones on their bad days, is another category of blessing. Some blessings feel brutal, but are blessings nonetheless.

I sometimes reference anniversaries pretty lightly. We all do. Forgetting an anniversary is one of the world's oldest jokes... and, in fact, this year the fiancé forgot ours for the first time ever, despite me tagging him in a Facebook status about it, which he liked (true story). I forgave him, largely because soon we'll have a new anniversary date, so the September 30 one will eventually fade away. Still, a year and a half from now, when the fiancé is "the husband" and we celebrate our first anniversary, we'll laugh together about how we'll actually have been together for nearly eight years at that point. Assuming he doesn't forget the new anniversary.

Sometimes anniversaries can seem a little arbitrary. But sometimes it's important to remember not only the date an anniversary marks, but also everything that has happened on all the days in between, and everything we survived to reach this day.

So here's to anniversaries, and not taking a single one of them for granted.