Today is Wanna Get Away Day. You have no idea how much I want to go on a real vacation not in the state of Wisconsin.

Today is the anniversary of the car wreck that changed every single part of my life. The wreck that eventually landed us in Wisconsin where my son lives.

This is the last photo I took that day We were at the beach enjoying a day off and reading and walking and loving the sun and the astounding beauty.

It was a little after 5:00 pm and Gary was going to drop me at a house for book club. I was the passenger and so I grabbed my phone to look up the address.

We were at a stop sign on Kalanianaole Highway near Temple Valley. Gary later said that he saw the SUV in the rear view mirror and relaxed his body like he used to do when he knew he was going to fall while skiing. I had no clue that the SUV was going to hit us. The impact was strong enough for us to slam into another large SUV and then the two cars ahead of that driver got hit. News at ten, five cars, and we all lived. Our car was totaled and so I called my son and he came and got us.

I had no idea I was injured. I thought I was just sore from the impact. The next day I texted photos of the car to my manager and told her I would try to make my 2:00 shift. I wish I could say I’m surprised she didn’t tell me to stay home, but I’m not. Lori was one of the worst bosses I have ever had. She never even asked how I was.

I work with a headache, called the insurance person, arranged for the rental car, and made it to my 2:00 shift. Looking back, I can’t believe I made it through that shift or all the other shifts I worked with a level ten headache.

Gary never knew how bad it was. He knew I had a severe concussion and a traumatic brain injury. My days started with work followed by the doctor, the massage therapist, the acupuncturist, and on and on and on. Six appointments a week and then I’d Google how to kill myself. The pain was staggering. The loss of me was even worse.

So here we are eight years later. I have my next and hopefully last surgery on August 31st to repair the damage that is causing my eyelid to droop. I had surgery in 2018, but now the doctor will be doing a different procedure and hopefully that will help.

We don’t live in Hawaii where lots of people look like me. The food is, well, it’s what it is and so I cook and have given up on eating out much. I just can’t afford the cost of food that doesn’t make me happy. I’ve given up buying pineapples and mangoes and other tropical fruits.

We do love our house. I would have preferred renting and putting away 30% in my 401K because life was easier then. But rents are way too high here and there are so many disgusting slumlords that buying made more sense.

I’m not ashamed of our yard now, it was a horrible weed pit, but it was so much work. Neither Gary nor I love gardening so we only do natives and other perennials because they don’t die and need to be replaced every year.

And I do love Coconut. People often tell me that if it hadn’t been for the wreck I wouldn’t have my dog. That’s true. But I also would not have known about this new life that included a dog so I would not have missed having Coconut. For all my dog has added to my life, I would still much rather have taken a different road that day, or stayed at the beach longer, or anything that would have not put us at that stop light at that moment. But I didn’t get to make the choice.

I’m going to figure out a way to travel when the colder temperatures arrive. It’s not the cold or snow I hate. It’s the gloom. But for now. I’m going to walk the dog.