Dear Mrs. Bluth,
You saved a life today, mine. I can’t tell you how dark and painful my life is because there are no words to explain the torment and darkness in which I exist. Each morning I awaken to the bitter reality that I am still here, another day of excruciating pain and the knowledge that I will never be who I once was just four years ago. Four years ago I was a vibrant, vivacious and promising young woman, engaged to be married to the most wonderful young man and looking forward to a life filled with joy and happiness. No more. It all vanished because of my own foolishness in thinking I could beat the odds, that accidents only happen to others and that I could fly free as a bird with my wings of foolish decisions without paying the price extracted for selfish stupidity.
I was just returning home from my bridal gown fitting, my mom and sister in the car with me, and we were all laughing and singing silly songs when my cell phone rang. I reached into my purse to answer it ignoring my mother’s warning not to talk on the phone while driving because it was my chosson on the phone confirming dinner plans for that evening. In that fraction of a second, I lost sight of a stop sign and crashed into a truck making a turn in front of me. The world went black and I have no memory of the aftermath as I lay in a coma for six weeks. When I came to, I learned the devastating news that my mother was gone and my sister, who was in the back seat was thrown from the car and had perished as well. But I, the one who had ignored my mother’s warning, was left a paraplegic from the waist down and deaf when the air bag exploded in my face damaging my eardrums.
I will save you the events of the years that followed except to say that I now reside in a facility and have very few visitors. But I have had lots of time to think about the terrible toll one mistake has made of my life and what it has cost my family. I read a lot, and write my memoirs, although this too is difficult and painful because my right hand is mangled, another reminder of disobeying my mother and infracting on the rules of the road. The newspapers are filled with tragic events which make me feel even more guilt-ridden about my own state of affairs.
However, two weeks ago you printed an amazing letter that was life-changing for me. It was from the gentleman who was blind but looked for and found the beauty and worth of life in any of its forms, which was sent to you posthumously. It was while I was contemplating a way to end my miserable existence that I riffled through The Jewish Press and fell upon your column with that letter. I read it over and over again. I had the aide cut it out for me and enlarge it as my eyes cannot see clearly. It is my virtual life line and has given me the impetus to live another day. That, perhaps, to finish my memoirs so others will understand what a heavy price we pay for one second of neglectful action.
So, please add my thanks to that of the gentleman’s, who looked forward to having your column read to him those many years and the comfort he drew from your responses, even though most of them did not apply to him per se. I, too, have come to understand that there is much we, as humans, will never understand. That there is a chief bookkeeper in Heaven keeping spread sheets on all of mankind and that there is always a way for someone to go from the red column to the black no matter how impossible the odds are. That as long as there’s life there’s hope and when there’s hope the impossible can possibly become possible.
Please advise your readers never to take their eyes or their concentration off the road when driving. It only took one second to change my entire world around. But I am grateful to have found a reason for living.
I have gotten many responses on the very letter you refer to and all of them owe there accolades to the wonderful gentleman who shared his life with us, after he passed. We each have a very special purpose for being here no matter what the circumstances of how and why we got here and under what conditions. So, pass it forward by finishing and publishing your memoirs and, perhaps, you too will be saving other people’s lives. I won’t belabor the issue any more other than to say I deeply thank you for sharing your journey with us and wishing you a refuas hanefesh and koach to seek out a way to make every day meaningful and fulfilling so that others may draw from you, learn from you and thank you for showing them how to overcome the obstacles and being a role model.