My name is Anna Schiele, and last October I was involved in an
accident caused by a driver who had been drinking. The man stopped in
the middle of the intersection, and another car swerved over the
double yellow line to avoid hitting him, only to lose control in the
lane my mother and I were driving in. This accident took the life of
that woman, while causing mental, physical and emotional damage to my
mom, myself and the two children who were in the car with their
grandmother that day.
After nearly ten months of hurting and healing, there still is not a
day that goes by that leaves me unaffected by that accident in one way
-An excerpt from an email written to MADD
July 22, 2011
A year ago today, I experienced what would be one of the most life changing events I ever hope to encounter. It is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
But through the hardship and the pain, that accident has helped to mold me into the person I am today. It had taught me more about myself than I ever wished to know. It has shown me the value of a person, the true worth of a good friend and who really stands by your side when your world is falling down around you.
It has taken twelve months, physical therapy and personal counseling to heal just the surface effects from that terrible accident. There are still times at the end of the day when my knees pulsate with pain and I just sit down and cry. There are moments when a car comes just a tad too close to the yellow line and my chest tightens. There are some words that I can’t utter, or times when I just can’t focus. There are time when I’m driving and I picture “what-if” scenerios when are car is coming from the other way. I can’t help it. It’s terrifying, but I’m overcoming it.
This year has been the biggest trial of my life. Not just for me, but for my family as well. My mom is such a symbol of strength. She is one of the most determined, positive people I know and I hope to be half of the person she is one some day. Her determination to walk away from that wheelchair when she so quickly could have chosen not to is such an inspiration, and I love her more everyday for the role model that she is to so many people.
Before the accident, I was working out at the gym or running nearly everyday. Being unable to do so and falling into a state of depression was one of the biggest breaking points last winter. I set out to get back into the happy-go-lucky person I was, full of life and strength and energy. It’s been a challenge. I can’t yet run an entire 5K, but I can run. I can get up and walk every single day and that’s more than some people are able to do.
I’m remembering to be thankful for the place that I am at in life, for the places I have been and for the places I am going. It hasn’t been easy, and it won’t be. But it really is a beautiful life.