Here it is. Thursday. A day I've been dreading for quite awhile. A day I've been wishing had already come and gone. It has been marked on my calendar, taunting me, for some time now. It is the first day of school for my two boys. In past years this has meant a tradition of making them a nice breakfast, snapping a photo or two, and sending them off with both a tear and a smile in my heart. I always make them home baked cookies to come home to on the first day of school. They come in, chattering nonstop about teachers and friends, and rambling about needed supplies. It is our "first day of school" tradition.
This year is different. Last night I tossed and turned as sleep eluded me. My mind reviewed details of the last twenty five months over, and over, and over, again. My stomach felt nauseous as the memories of another car slamming into mine replayed in my mind with vivid intensity. My fists clenched at the thought of each of my five surgeries. The surgical aftermath of intense, teeth clenching, pain was brought back to me in agonizing detail. The memories are real, distinct, and horrible.
I gave up on sleep, came downstairs and made myself a cup of tea. I will be leaving early this morning. Briefcase is gone and it will be up to TR to wake her brothers, make sure they have a bite to eat, and drive them to school on time. It will also be TR who will pick them up at the end of the day, take PR to baseball practice, and run both boys out for needed school supplies. My heart aches that I won't be there for them today. My heart aches that I have not been there for them much of these last two years. It can't be easy having a mom going through multiple surgeries, drugged up recoveries, and a legal nightmare.
Instead, today, I will sit in a room with judges.
Oops, wrong judges. And it will be only one judge. Maybe one like this?
I will be accompanied by my lawyer.
He can be pretty intense. I guess that's a good thing. I definitely don't want to be on the other side of a lawsuit with him. Ever.
Today does not begin the trial regarding my car accident. The trial begins in about two weeks. Today is an attempt to avoid a trial through mediation. The lawyers each argue their case to a judge and they try to come to some type of agreement prior to the actual trial date. It would be nice if I could tell you on tomorrow's post, "It's over, done, finished!" I don't expect that to be the case, however. I hope I can say that, but I don't expect it. I am expecting the case will go to trial.
Because nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, has gone the less complicated path in regard to this accident. Not my injuries, not my surgeries, not my recovery. I hope for the best, but I have come to expect a struggle. I have come to expect that I will need to fight like hell for every millimeter of movement I regain with my arm. I have come to expect that I will have to fight on a daily basis for a sense of normalcy in my post car accident life. I have become so accustom to obstacles in my path, it is now hard to imagine them not being there.
I have learned, however, that I am a lot stronger than I ever knew. I have not had a perfect life. Like everyone, I've had some major things to get through, even prior to the car accident. This accident, however, caused me to hit an all time low. Rock bottom. I was in so much pain at times that it was an effort to breathe. But you know what? I made it through, one excruciating breath at a time. One failed surgery after another. One horrible post-surgery recovery after another (and another, and another, and another).
When I walk into mediation today, I believe the opposing lawyers will be expecting a weak, injured, beaten to the ground woman. Last time I met with them I was only six weeks post-op from my last surgery. I was not in very good shape.
They will probably expect to see that same woman today. Their expectation will be wrong. I am not that same person. I have learned to fight like hell. I've had to.
Lady Justice, my arm may not work, but I am stronger now than I have ever been.