Today marks a very special anniversary in our house. It is the anniversary of the day Matt fell.
It is a day I will never forget, and oddly enough, at this point in my life- look back at fondly. (Matt does not haha) Not meaning I’m glad it happened…..quite the contrary, I can only imagine what our life would have been like had he not had the accident. We had planned on picking up and moving to Korea after graduation that year and teaching for a few years to pay off our student loans. We both had a love of travelling and adventure and had so many plans.
But things happen and things change.
I often went climbing with Matt on weekends, but that week in 2005, my sister and I were hosting a stagette for our cousin who was getting married in a week (I was a bridesmaid) and so I was busy and did not go with him. Thankfully, his best friend- who was a lifeguard and has great first aid skills, went with him.
It was about noon and I was home alone the day after the stagette (I was living with my parents as I was back home to do my education, and my sister lived in Shediac) when I got the call. I was on the phone with my sister, when the other line beeped. Alex was on the phone and he asked if I was alone, which I was, and then he told me that everything was okay but Matt had had a climbing accident. I could hear the ambulance sirens in the background and I started to cry. He reassured me, and told me to tell Sondra to come get me.
So, I did, and they came as quick as they could but it was a 20 minute drive. I couldn’t get a hold of anyone so I just sat and waited.
When they arrived, we hopped in the car and drove to Saint John where they were taking Matt to the hospital. The whole car ride, Nick had us laughing and made the situation as light as he could which is exactly what we all needed.
We got to Saint John and they put us into a small, dimly lit room where Matt’s aunt and uncles were (they lived in Saint John and arrived as soon as they heard) Once Matt’s parents arrived, the doctor came in and told us that Matt had fallen forty feet off a cliff and had landed on a ledge with another twenty feet below him. And he had broken his C6/C7 vertebrae. Everyone started to cry….but I was 21 and had no idea what EXACTLY this meant. So, I asked if he was ever going to walk again- when I got the answer…I started to cry and fell onto my sister’s lap and unfortunately started hitting her (sorry Sondra, I didn’t really know what I was doing)
It took a few hours before I was allowed to go in and see him. When I finally did, all he kept saying, was, “I’m so sorry Mel, I’m so sorry, I really messed things up.” And he also kept telling me that I should leave him and not deal with this. I told him to shut up. Tricky thing is, he kept forgetting conversations and so every time he woke up, he would say it again and I’d have to tell him to shut up again. Haha.
I think the hardest part, for me, was that since I wasn’t his wife, and really only just a girlfriend, I was left out of conversations that the doctors were having with his family. And I never knew what was going on. It was scary being left in the dark. And it was scary for Matt too, he couldn’t sleep at night as he would wake up intubated and scared. So, he would ask for me. Often, I’d drive there in the middle of the night and stay with him, but often I had no idea he even HAD asked for me.
I told him he’d better get better, so he could marry me. And we ended up getting engaged AT the rehab centre he went to in Toronto. THAT is a whole other story.
It was a pretty intense time, but also amazing. I lived with his aunt and uncle at the time and the amount of friends who came down and stayed with us and visited was amazing. I had one friend, Erika, who I had not seen in awhile, who jumped on a plane in Ottawa when she heard and flew home to be with me. It really showed us who our friends were and it showed us the AMAZING support system that we knew would follow us through this journey and they have and we couldn’t have done it without them.
And let’s be honest, who knows were we would be if this had NOT happened. We had to go through IVF and we have TWINS because of it. Maybe Lily and Leah would not have happened. Maybe we wouldn’t be in Moncton and have the amazing life we have now.
Things happen for a reason right? And even if they don’t, things HAPPEN and you need to adjust and make the best of it and I think we are doing a pretty good job at that.
Happy Accident Anniversary Matt! But don’t do anything stupid like that again!
Have a GREAT Tuesday!
Blissful Bhakti Babe