September 13, 1970. A beautiful Indian Summer day, I'm looking forward to an afternoon hanging out at the Boat Regatta, followed by an evening of roller skating and dancing with my friends.
Life is all about choices, the choices we make for ourselves, and the choices made by other people that directly affect us.
Plans change. There was no Boat Regatta that day. Instead, there was a borrowed car, a practical joke, a crash and the loss of life and innocence.
That's me. I'm 17 years old. It's about 3 weeks after September 13. I hope, I'm dreaming, because the alternative is too horrible to face. I don't want to believe the story I'm being told, but I can't remember how I got here.
Choices, my own, "Let's go here", and my friend agreed. My dear friend died as a result of her injuries from the crash.
Choice, someone else's, play a practical joke and put a snake in this car.
It would be 41 years before I would remember how those 2 choices changed the course of events that night, but, I lived with the lasting effects every day of my life from that September day to this one.
For some reason I can't define, this 45th anniversary of that day is more emotional, more "with me" than usual.
For 41 years, I was emotionally, Spiritually and psychologically locked in a crashed car, (although I didn't realize that's what it was). Years 42 and 43, I struggled to get out of the car. Year 44 was a time of healing and freedom from guilt.
Of course, there is much more to the story which is better left for another time and place, but I've shared this much here to encourage my friends to not give up.
Find that place you are locked into that holds you back. Fear of finding out what "whatever" is? Don't give up! Stay with the struggle no matter how scary or intimidating it is. I promise,the freedom of being released is worth it.