~ ABOUT ME ~
am a "Native Floridian!" I
am slightly obsessed with the Florida sun! The
hotter the better! I have always
loved being outdoors and very active. In
my preteen years I played on a softball team, enjoyed skate boarding, skating,
biking, fishing, mini golf, bowling, and playing
football with my neighborhood friends.
My teen years weren't
extremely different. I still
enjoyed all the above-mentioned sports and more! Like
playing volleyball at a nearby local beach and checking out all the guys! I
did fairly well in school, but never really tried to excel in any subjects. At
this point my goal in life was to get out of school as soon as possible and get
a job. Yes, I did get a high school
diploma (early). Then my first real
My late teen years and
early 20s were spent working many different jobs. They ranged from secretarial
duties, to hardware store clerk, meter reading, landscape and pool maintenance,
water line installation, operating equipment such as a forklift, front-end loader,
backhoe, chipper, table saw, chain saw, dump truck, etc. The more physical the
job, the better I liked it. I was
constantly on the move, until…
~ MY STORY ~
It was a warm July afternoon as I
listened to music on my walkman radio.
As I bent over to pull some weeds from a flowerbed I was in
charge of maintaining, I was startled to feel someone tap me on the
shoulder. I turned around
to see my boyfriend, whom also frequently worked at the same
retirement community that I did managing his own business, standing
there. Being the boss
allowed him the freedom to find me or have lunch with me any time.
As I stepped out
of the flowerbed and took off my walkman (so I could hear) he said,
"your 25th birthday is coming up and I'd like to take you out of
town to celebrate it this weekend.
How does that sound?"
I said, "it sounds great, but I have to work the next two
weekends so why don't we wait until I'm off for the weekend so we can
stay out as late as we want to and I don't have to worry about going
to work the next day." He
agreed that would be good, gave me a kiss and we both went back to
doing our jobs.
As I continued
weeding, planting flowers, and mulching flowerbeds, the July sun
became warmer and warmer. Loving the outdoors and the sun since
I was very young, the hot sun actually energized me as I thought about
how much fun I was going to have celebrating my birthday.
about what we would do, where we would go, and of course, what I would
wear! I would have to
wear something different than what I had worn in the past on dates.
Something special. I
grew more excited just thinking about all the details!
As the next few weeks
moved along we saw each other at work, had a few lunches together,
went to see a movie one evening, and went bowling one evening.
I had always enjoyed
bowling but wasn't an extremely good
bowler. I enjoyed the
competition, but was really there just for the fun of it.
That night I actually bowled my highest score ever, a 112.
I felt good and was overjoyed with my new personal best score!
During those few weeks I
would often think, how could my life be any better?
I have a job I enjoy, a fairly healthy family, friends I enjoy,
a boyfriend I adored, and my own health.
What more did I need or want except maybe a few nice material
things sometime in the future. Material
things had never really been that important to me so I basically felt
satisfied with my life. I
had it all, I was invincible, I just wanted to have fun and enjoy
everything I could!
As my weekend off
approached I decided what I would wear.
A favorite pair of jeans, a new tank top, a nice black blazer
type jacket I borrowed from a good friend's daughter incase I got too
cool that evening in just a tank top, a comfortable pair of black
shoes with flat heels so I could move around easier on the dance
floor. I didn't know our
exact plans yet, but we were definitely going dancing no matter what!
Friday was finally here!
I got off work at 3:30, went by my friend's house and picked up
the jacket her daughter was loaning me.
I headed home to take a shower and get ready to finally
celebrate my birthday. Around
6 p.m. my boyfriend arrived to pick me up.
He had a single red rose that he graciously gave me, told me I
looked nice, and asked if I was ready to go.
I said he looked nice also, and yes, I was ready to go.
I then asked where we were going.
"It's a surprise, it's somewhere I've been before and want
to take you to dinner there," he said.
I asked could I take his picture before we left for the
evening. He agreed, I
snapped the picture, but he didn't offer to take my picture.
I thought briefly to myself that it was kind of strange that he
didn't offer to take mine, but quickly dismissed the thought.
We were happily driving
towards our destination and listening to the radio when my boyfriend
suggested that we stop at a convenience store and buy a six-pack of
beer to drink on the way. I
was completely in agreement. We
stopped and got the beer, immediately opening them and continuing on.
We would talk and drink until we arrived at the restaurant.
It was a seafood restaurant (seafood is one of my favorite
foods.) There was a long
line of people waiting to enjoy the delicious seafood so we were told
we could wait at the bar until a table was available.
We gladly did so, consuming a couple of mixed alcoholic
beverages while we waited.
Our dinner was finally
served and we ordered another drink along with it.
When we finished my boyfriend said he knew a nearby club that
played great music and we could dance there.
I always loved dancing! My
boyfriend was a good dancer and had recently been taking line-dancing
classes. We arrived at
the club and quickly ordered a drink.
The band was excellent as we partied and danced for hours.
In between having numerous mixed drinks.
At one point late into our partying, I got a strange feeling
and made a comment to my boyfriend that maybe we should slow down or
stop our drinking because we had a fairly long drive home ahead of us.
He shrugged it off and said not to worry that he would be fine
driving home. Having had
drank and drove many times myself before this night, I shrugged it off
also and continued to drink and party.
The club was about to
close so we decided to leave and begin our trip home.
My boyfriend got in the driver's seat and I got in the
passenger seat and reclined it so I could relax and sleep on the way
The next thing I remember
was waking up, looking at a broken windshield, wondering where my
boyfriend was and why I couldn't move.
I then heard people talking (which I later learned were
paramedics.) My next
recollection was waking up in a hospital bed, unable to move;
wondering where was my boyfriend and why was my family there?
I was told that I had
been in an accident and was completely paralyzed from the neck down.
I was then told that my boyfriend had been ejected from the
vehicle and did not survive the accident.
I felt like someone had just stuck a knife in my heart!
All I could do was cry and try to make sense of everything I
How could all this be
happening? Just hours
before I had been celebrating my "25th" birthday with my
boyfriend, feeling invincible, and in an instant my whole life was
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