9/19 is not a date…
19 years ago tomorrow, January 24, the Notre Dame women’s team bus accident occurred. Which means today is my son’s 9th birthday. The events are intertwined, much as that might not be my first choice.

I have mentioned before that James’s birthday has been a huge healing step for me; no longer is the end of January a time to mourn, but a time to celebrate and honor the life I have and the life I’ve created.

This year’s anniversary is a little different – although they all are in their own way. I was 18-years-old when the bus accident happened – 19 years ago. Which means I have been living with this longer than I did not. The accident, my injury and my recovery have now defined the majority of my life, and will continue to do so. In a way, this might be something to mourn. But I choose to look at it differently. I choose to honor and celebrate the life I have been given.

When you are 18 years old, “the rest of your life,” is a difficult concept to understand. The time frame is too abstract. With some time and perspective, I understand slightly better the idea that I will live with this for the rest of my live. Tragedy doesn’t go away. It changes you. It has changed me. And the changes, I like to believe – or want to believe, are often for the better. But one can only see that with the passing of time, with the healing power of time. It didn’t quite take me 19 years to figure this out; but it took more than nine.