April 19, 2005
Snapshots in Time
Just reading all the blogs mentioning the Oklahoma City Bombing. Wow, 10 years ago. It seems in some respects so recent, and in others, a completely different universe.

Michelle Malkin has a interesting piece, even reminding us of the haunting photo of the little toddler, Baylee. That photo has been forever etched in my memory, and I'm sure many others as well.

Brian at Audience of One writes about his memories and asks where we were on that day.

Well, mine aren't entirely profound, but it's interesting to note it was at a time of my life when my whole life changed. Not because of the bombing, but it was just a series of things that happened that year that made me grow up. I was 25, thought I knew it all....

I remember watching the news of the bombing from my bed. I had just undergone neuropathic surgery on my right arm. A fairly major surgery, and I was just about to start aggressive rehabilitation. At the time, I had no use of my hand and hadn't been able to work for months as the nerve in my arm died, and my hand became partially paralyzed. To go through any nerve regeneration is painful, and as anyone who has gone through knows, extremely frustrating. I had to relearn everything, from tying shoelaces to stacking blocks.

When I awoke from surgery on April 6, the surgeon explained that he was able to repair the tendon and the nerve, but I would never have a pretty wrist again, nor would I resume full function of my hand. I am proud to say he was wrong. I refused to give up during the next few months, even as painful as it was, and regained full use. While I don't have feeling in my wrist to this day (and trust me, that sucks, especially when you touch a hot plate), I have no lasting effects other than the 8" scar. It took me a long time to accept how it looked. For ages after, I took pains to wear long sleeved shirts and hold my arm at my side. My boyfriend, who very soon after became my ex, called it my "claw". An incident comes to mind of someone's ill-thought out comment - when I was reaching for my change from a store clerk, she blurted out 'What did you do there? Did you try to kill yourself?". Even if I did, why would I tell her?

I was also planning a wedding at the time. My boyfriend and I had been together for 9 years, had recently purchased an apartment together and while I hadn't moved in yet, was planning to once I recouperated. Unfortunately, he had become bored of having a girlfriend who couldn't do much with a partially paralyzed arm and was already dating his next girlfriend. A fact I wouldn't know until a couple of months later.

For me, thinking about the Oklahoma Bombing reminds me so much of my turning point. It was a time of lost innocence for me. In the world, in my own life, in my love life. Nothing was as it seemed. I learned over that year, which continued to be my Annus Horribilus, that while just when you thought the worst was happening, it could get even worse still. But I also learned how to stand on my own two feet, to trust my instincts and to believe in myself and in the greater good.

Now, 10 years later, I'm pleased with where I've travelled. I've done more than I ever could have dreamed of, when I was that little girl a decade ago. That girl that only could imagine marriage and babies. I'm so much more than that, and I will be ever thankful for having a year such as 1995 to teach me what life can truly be.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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Turning thirty and a half
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