Yesterday morning we made the call that finally closed the chapter on the accident that helped shape the last year. In paying the final bill for Jay’s burn care, I hope we can finally move past all the pain associated with the accident and appreciate how much we learned from what happened.
Let me preface this by saying that I strongly dislike the phrase “Everything happens for a reason”. I do not believe that Jay was burned and suffered great pain for a larger purpose. That said, I do believe that you always have the opportunity to see the positive in a negative situation and to learn from and grow through overcoming pain and struggle. I am not grateful for Jay having been burned, but I am proud of how we handled the emergency and amazed by all of the ways this negative turned positive.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident we saw an outpouring of support from family and friends and even acquaintances. The Grostick’s who hosted us in Henderson, Nevada when we left the hotel deserve a special shout out! Thank you so much to everyone who sent a kind word or showed your support. It really meant a lot to us, especially to me as I sat with Jay (who was zonked out on pain meds) in the Arizona Charlie’s Hotel and Casino in Vegas overwhelmed at times by the situation.
During Jay’s recovery in Phoenix we had the opportunity to learn about the Overland Expo. After winning tickets, we attended the 2011 Expo (while Jay was still in burn dressings) and told our story to the event organizers. Because of that, this year we are attending the 2012 Expo as presenters, sharing our story and hoping to convince other couples of the importance of having both partners know first aid and four wheel driving. We also made so many great connections at the Expo that led us to volunteer with the Muskoka Foundation and be featured on Drive the Americas.
That evacuation was one of my first times driving on a four wheel drive road. No pressure! When we got back on the road, we realized the importance of teaching me how to drive off road. Over the course of the year I had lots of opportunities to practice and I became more comfortable at primitive camping. This really opened up our options and saved us money on campground fees. I can’t wait to take a driving course this spring!
Through enduring this emergency, Jay and I were forced to discuss serious issues about what we need to know about each other’s wishes for major medical decisions. We are more prepared for marriage by having had these conversations. Since we are not married yet, we also went through the processes of adding one another as someone who has permission to speak to our insurance companies.
Now that all the bills are paid and Jay has only a faint scar, we are able to joke about what happened and celebrate the accomplishment we made in overcoming this challenge. Last night we celebrated with a bomber of Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp Ale. Cheers!