What I Now Know: Laura Beck

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 06, 2019 # What I Now Know, SCI Awareness

Dear Laura,

You’ll wake up when the car is sliding across the road, everything will go black, there will be flashes of light, you’ll hear Jacob crying, you will be cold, water will be pouring off the car onto you, and unfamiliar voices will ask you to count to 10 over and over.

You’ll wake up a day later with tubes in your nose and throat, and people who love you will sift in and out of the ICU room to grab your hand. These souls that pass through, will be some of your biggest support in the coming years. Look them in the eye, even though you won’t remember seeing them.

You’ll be very scared, you’ll wish the wreck had taken you, but most of all you will feel pressure to put a smile on for everyone around, I know you hate it when people feel bad for you. Don’t do this to yourself, be what you feel. Don’t be afraid to be what you feel.

I know that you’re going to be wondering what will life be like now, and it may be hard to believe this, but you will still have a very good life.

There will be some people in your life that will fall away because they cannot handle watching you live through the loss- let them go, don’t hold it against them.

There will be some very unlikely people to hop right into this wild adventure of grief and adaption with you. Cling to those people, you need them, and you will learn so much.

Laura, I know you worry so much about your appearance already, and the dysmorphia you are about to step into will feel like the heaviest burden. Mirrors will terrify you, and fuel anger. The mirror you need to focus on is Jacob's eyes. The way he sees you is unlike anything. He sees your fight, your crazy fun spirit, your laughter, your compassion for others... he sees your soul, not your physical attractiveness. Trust his love.

Laura, do you know how much you love helping others and pushing others to believe in themselves...? this injury is going to bust open a huge door. Behind that door are thousands of people that you will talk to daily, people you may help see the brighter side of life, and some of them will help you see the brightness that seemed lost. Encourage them to properly grieve the loss and the hurt, encourage yourself to properly grieve the loss and hurt; that’s where joy is found.

Hope is a complex concept, because some days, all hope seems lost. But it won’t always be so daunting, so dark, so hopeless, so painful. Those days come and go; so do the days that your stomach hurts from laughing.

Laura, you will face so much pain, hurt, fear, grief, anger, depression- keep pushing. Keep believing better days are ahead. You do not ever have to be thankful the injury happened to you, but you must consciously choose to see the good in your life, despite the loss.

You will make a new life for yourself.

You will find joy.

You will learn more than you thought you ever could.

Enjoy your last day with your legs- you will never forget your last able-bodied day climbing the oak tree barefoot with your best friend, or laying in the grass with her and watching the clouds.

Bask in that last standing hug with your mom and sister-in-law. It’s a really great last group hug.

I’m rooting for your last able-bodied day.

I’m rooting for the whirlwind that will hit you tonight.

I’m rooting for your wild adventures to come.

You’ve got this.

One day at a time.

-Your future self