October 9, 2019

One Year Ago Today...


… my life changed.

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. Maybe it's wishful thinking to hope that I'm being dramatic. But, here we are.

This is not a post like you expect from A Quilting Chick. But I've been MIA here and you deserve to know why and I need a place to put my story.

But remember one thing as you read. God prepared me for this. In so many wonderful and amazing ways. Keep that in mind.

Last year, I decided to start doing some part-time work recharging and cleaning those scooters you see on the sidewalks of many cities. On October 9, 2018, at about 6 am, I pulled up to a location where there was supposed to be a scooter ready for pickup. I was slowly working my way to the office for work and had time, so I figured a quick pickup was okay. I grabbed my keys and phone and stepped out of the car to look for the scooter, going back behind a row of bushes to check as well as across a small courtyard. No scooter, no biggie.

Head back to the car. As I approached my car, I saw a truck parked nose-to-nose with my car and some kid was getting out of the driver's side. Figuring he was there for the same thing I was, I smiled and turned toward my car only to see someone getting out of my driver's side door. He had my tote bag and was running to the truck.

Not being a completely sane and rational person, I ran after the guy. He jumped into the back of the truck and threw my tote into the passenger window. I reached through the window, grabbed my tote, said, "Thank you very much!" and turned to go back to my car.

I heard the truck start and figured they were running.

Then I felt it.

I couldn't believe they hit me.  As I felt myself being slammed into the side of my car, I kept telling myself to just hold on a few seconds more. It would all be over in just a few seconds.

I landed behind my car and I heard them speed off. I still had my phone so I called 911. Started telling the operator what happened, started hearing sirens, then heard a vehicle pull up.  I was so thankful. EMS was there.

But it wasn’t EMS.

I heard a door open, running feet, then someone grabbed the phone out of my hand.

But the penny hadn't dropped yet.

Not until he grabbed my tote bag.

"Are you kidding me?!?!" (Yes, the security footage clearly hears me yelling that.)

Then running steps back to a vehicle that sped away. People started pouring out of apartments, EMS finally showed up, homicide detectives showed up. And I was whisked away, off to the hospital.

Now that I was safe, all I wanted was my loved ones. I don't know how long they poked, prodded, and x-rayed before I was allowed the phone. Luckily, I make it a habit to memorize a handful of phone numbers (who does that any more? I guarantee, I do and my kids have been trained to).

But no one would answer.

I called my sister, as she lives here in town. Then my mom. Then my daughter. Then my best friend. Over and over. Until my best friend answered and promised to handle the calls and I could let go.

The rest of the day went by in a blur. Maybe the next few days. But everyone was there. My sister there first. Then my kids started arriving - seemed like they got here pretty quick. And my niece, who's been as close as a daughter. My boss showed up. Mom got there the next day. This outpouring of love.

Remember, I told you, God prepared me for this.

I was hit by a truck, rolled between it and my car, and left for dead. (Okay, maybe that IS being a little dramatic, but frickin' homicide was sent to my location!!)

But, the only damage was a broken knee, tibia, pelvic bone, and sacrum (part of the tailbone).

They took me to surgery. I think that was day one, but not completely sure.

All the employees at the hospital were wonderful. Except for the anesthesiologist who was rude, hurtful, and had me in tears - and left the other doctors apologizing for her behavior.

The hospital moved me into a rehab program to teach me how to maneuver myself in and out of my wheelchair and how to use crutches to get in and out of my house.

This is where the wonder of God's plan starts to show itself.

The hospital wouldn't release me until I could get up the three stairs into my house. A year before, I moved out of a townhouse with a full flight of stairs into a first-floor apartment. I was out of the hospital in two weeks.

Mom stayed with me for about a month and my sister was there every single day. I would have been lost without that help. Thank you.

But I'm also very independent and like to do things for myself. So I learned how to maneuver the wheelchair. How to make things easier. What tricks to use to do things for myself.

And God prepared me for this.

It was a good six months before I could sleep in my bed all night. My recliner became my home. A recliner I bought when I moved into my first-floor apartment.

My sons became another lifeline here in town. The son's that lost their way and were lost to me, living in a halfway house but, over the last year, found a church home and made the changes in their lives that got them good jobs and a stable home and made them capable of being the help I've needed. Thank you.  I’m very proud of who they’ve become.

I've had friends stopping by to check in, clean the house, or just to visit. Friends I reconnected with over this last year after years of being out of touch except for Facebook. Thank you.

My boss let me work from home, even making a few trips to me to drop things off or pick things up. Work I wouldn't have been able to do except last May, I broke down and bought a decent printer for the house with Bluetooth so I could work from my recliner or from my desk (in the sewing room that had to become my short-term home office).

And my kids. My kids got a scare, didn't they? My daughter can't go a day without making sure I'm okay. They all stay in touch so much more now. For being there when I needed you, for understanding when I couldn't bring myself to dealing with people by answering the phone. For the love, comfort, and help you all gave. Thank you.

In January, the doctors let me start putting weight on my leg again. I quickly pushed and pushed and by February, I was walking with only a cane. Now, I'm moving pretty well, using a cane mainly for additional support with just a neoprene knee brace to help keep the knee stable.

I'm still dealing with pain every day. The doctors say I probably always will. But I'm here and I'm doing and I'm getting my life back.

Much more than I can say for my attackers.

Attacker #1. He was a 16 years old problem child. The police told me that he had taken daddy's new truck out after he pulled a gun on his mother's boyfriend that same day. Later that day, he managed to total his dad's truck. His girlfriend and newborn baby were in the courtroom with us. As soon as he was brought into court our eyes met and it was a flashback right to the moment this started. He's been sentenced to 10 years. But he's in juvenile so, right before he turns 18, we go back to court. If the judge feels he's been rehabilitated, he'll be released on probation for the duration of his sentence. Otherwise, he'll be remanded to the adult system.

Attacker #2. He was 20, so tried as an adult. But as he wasn't the driver, he was sentenced to 7 years. 

God helped me. He prepared me for every single step. Little things that I haven't even listed, I would stop and think, "If I hadn't of done this, I wouldn't have been prepared for what is happening." Maybe Attacker #1 needed a swift kick to get his life together and make a better life for his newborn daughter. Maybe he'll take advantage of being in juvenile, learn a trade, and this will have been his turning point.

Maybe.

But we are done with that. All of that is over. I've had good help and good listeners around me and we are done with all of it.

They took much more than my phone and bag.  They took my independence, my hobby/fledgling business, and my mobility. Every day that I sat in that chair, not doing what I wanted to be doing, was another day they stole from me.

So now, a year later, we are officially starting over.

I'm back. You're going to see me start taking A Quilting Chick in a slightly new direction. I'm going to be working on whatever makes me happy. No-fuss. No stress. The sewing room is my happy place and I'm not letting stress in there.

I'm going to start selling my quilts! You'll start seeing them show up in my Etsy store. It will be a slow process because, at last count, I have 44 quilt tops ready to be quilted. Money will dictate how quickly they get done. I'll start with the crib and lap quilts that I can easily do on my home machine. 

You'll start seeing some block tutorials here. I've been quilting for about 20 years now and I have learned a few things along the way. I feel it's time to start passing that on. Maybe I'll start teaching classes again.

And I'm considering doing a few challenges. Just an idea banging around up there. We'll talk about it.

But for now, I'm closing. I'm going radio silent today. Tomorrow, we play!

5 comments:

Cats and Calico said...

Thank God you are able to handle such a tough situation. Our family lost my sister who also fought back but only survived three days past the attack. In court we found out he was angry because he lost a game of pool. Yes, a game of pool. He tried to drag my sister away but she fought him and he shot her. Back in the day his family got to say how his son would miss his Dad but no in the day statements from our family were not allowed. They didn't even know my sister had to small girls she left behind. The guy that murdered my sister served eight years of a 25 year sentence. Life is not always fair but we have to carry on with what we are dealt. Sounds like you've got a good attitude and strong will to not let them ruin your life. People have no idea how crime can affect your life and the lives of everyone who loves you. Best wishes for you and you family.

lvkwilt said...

Like you, I believe that God is with us every step of the way...I too have chronic pain (two car accidents--neither my fault!). My husband also has problems with his SI joint and has pain. Our son recently found a new pain patch that has really helped both of us--it doesn't make us pain free, but I feel like I'm supposed to send you the link. It is called the Kailo patch and here is the link...https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kailo-the-future-of-pain-relief#/ It has adhesive and can be worn in the shower. It works best for both of us. Our therapist found a similar patch which costs half as much. It is called the nCAP...it doesn't have adhesive but is more bendable. The Kailo patch is somewhat stiff so needs to be placed on a flatter area of the body. The idea of both patches is to block the electronic pain signal to the brain. I'm not describing it well, but it might be worth the $119 to give it a try. It is a crowd-sharing site so isn't like a regular purchase...kind of like an investment. Fast shipping though! I sure hope it helps you because being in pain gets old real fast! God bless you!

Chase Klop said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You are an inspiration in how you are handling what happened to you. I love that your perspective is that God prepared you. I pray that your quilting business will blossom!

Alycia Quiltygirl.com said...

That is quite a journey - and I am so glad you are getting better! Good luck with your quilt sales!!

Debby said...

Hi, I was so saddened to read your story, that this has happened to you, and that people can be like this! Well done to you for working your way through this, hugs and all the best.