This was a gift from G-d. That I survived to get to spend another day with my family was miraculous. That I could conjure up the strength to write my experience in a book was nothing short of astonishing. That it would become as well received as it is becoming, unfathomable.
I have said it before and I will say it again, this entire experience has changed me. I wrote the book for many reasons. The first and foremost was admittedly for a selfish one. I wanted to feel better. Every time I wrote in my blog or told someone my story, a little bit of the pain would release itself and I would feel lighter. But what started out as a selfish motivation turned into an overwhelming need to help others. My blog was reaching people I had never met, and my words were touching lives of those I had never seen.
Was it possible that some of the things I learned from my experience would penetrate others and help on a greater level? And that maybe my lessons weren’t just MY lessons and they could possibly resonate with others? I was nervous about putting us all out there, but from what I am seeing from people who are direct messaging me, that is exactly what is happening. I underestimated the impact it would have on both of our lives.
I didn’t think the book would resonate with many out of the gate. I am doing my best to balance getting back to everyone in a timely fashion and spending quality time with my family. I know I cannot convey the pain and process it took to complete this book in 2 minutes on television. The coverage has been great, but I would have liked to go into depth about those moments I felt before and after I died. But, like people are telling me, that is what the book is for.
Please know, not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the fact that I am above ground. That I am coherent enough to put more than 2 words together. That I am dealing with minor neurological issues. That my son is healthy. That the ugly scars around my body are only aesthetic with a twinge of pain and they are only a visual reminder of the trauma I’ve been through. My husband sees them and with tears in his eyes, tells me he still thinks I look beautiful. I wish I had his eyes. I wish I could hide the tears from my face when all three of my children ask “Mommy, when will your boo boo go away?” I wish I had a better answer for them than “in time.” Time seems to not affect a 2 and 4 year old’s mind. They just want to know “how many sleeps until they go to Disney World?” I don’t know how many sleeps to tell them it will take for the markings to fade. And how long until the internal scars heal. We can only do our best every day. And every day, EVERY day, we say a prayer thanking G-d for helping us to remain a family. Many others — too many others — are not as fortunate. It is getting better and writing 37 Seconds has been my salvation.
I wanted to convey that in this book. My husband agreed to share his deepest feelings with you, complete strangers. Something he would never do if he met you in person. But somehow, behind the pages in a book, he thought he was able to hide. He knows from the contact I have had, that he is anything but hidden.
So how has what happened to us changed me? The facts remain that I am a midwestern housewife, gravity has taken over, in my mid-forties and my skin doesn’t look as lively as it did when I didn’t have a care in the world in my 20’s. Moments have deeper meaning for me. Every moment. Even the uncomfortable ones. Jacob is a blessing, a miracle and I have a bond that is unbreakable with him. Adina and Valentina are growing girls with strong spirits. Ones that I hope to impress upon how much a warrior they can be if thrown any obstacles that get in their way. Jonathan is and always will be the love of my life. He is my soul mate, my care giver, my protector and my breath of fresh air. Yes, we annoy each other, but I am grateful for those moments because it means life is trying to get back to normal. I laugh less and I cry more, but I feel so alive… because I am alive. I am alive!
Thank you all for making me understand how important that fact is. Your support, from strangers, echoes the right message to me, to my family and to everyone reading this blog and our book.
I thank you. My family thanks you.