Be prepared.

After the lawyers wrap up the case in about a year or so I might write one more post, about the accident itself. I’ve been warned not to talk about it, and that’s fine for now because thinking about it gives me something I’m calling PTSD-Lite. All of it is fading in due time, although I will never be the same person. It’s funny though, how other people seem to expect you to just get right back to it all like nothing happened. I’ll live with it forever and it will always be a part of what makes me who I am now. So I’m gonna talk about it when I feel like it, everyone else’s opinion be damned.

I’ve been working so hard at my art that I have about 7 paintings and 1 pastel in progress right now. Nothing to show here yet, but I expect to take this space back to art very soon. But before I do, just a few semi-final thoughts on the accident. Really it’s more like advice for being prepared for the worst, like the good little boy scout I was raised to be.

There’s a little urban legend floating around that you should put a contact called ICE into your phone. You know, In Case of Emergency. When I was being cut out of my Jeep the paramedics couldn’t have cared less about my phone. And even if they had brought it to the hospital, how would they have cracked the password to get to my contacts? They did care about my wallet, obviously. It’s got my ID, and that’s the information they and the hospital needed. But it doesn’t have any contact information, so finding out who to call would have been a slow process indeed and the fact that we don’t share a last name would have complicated the search I’m sure. So that ICE business, write it down in permanent ink on an actual piece of paper and put it in your wallet with your ID. And bring your ID everywhere.

Greg and I use a location tracker on our phones so we always know where the other is at any time. So many people have told me they couldn’t live with that “invasion of privacy.” But I’ve never felt like my privacy was invaded, nor has he, and its original purpose was to help me figure out when to start dinner and so that I wouldn’t have to be one of those annoying spouses who texts him all day, because I know right where he is and when he’s coming home. But the accident changed it from innocuous to miraculous. I was at the grocery store before the accident, so Greg expected me home within a couple hours or so. When I didn’t show up, he texted me. When I didn’t respond he knew something was wrong so he checked the location tracker, and it showed me immobile, on the freeway. He raced down to where my signal was and saw the crushed remains of my Jeep, and knew immediately to go to the hospital. I was only just barely coming to when he showed up, well before I could have expected him if someone had to track him down somehow. And if he hadn’t been with me in the ER, well, let’s just say my PTSD-Lite would probably not be Lite right now. So track your spouse, track your kids. Maybe let them turn it off sometimes with immunity if y’all are really worried about it. But you never know when you might really need to know where they are.

And my last little bit of advice is something we’ve been doing since pretty much the day we met. Always, without exception, give your significant other a kiss and tell them you love them before you walk out the door. Every. Time.