God says everything happens for a reason, and in my mind it does. The person I was becoming almost nine years ago was someone turning down a very dark road; I was ugly to my mom, played mean jokes on the people I cared about, and ultimately I was turning away from God. The accident was more than a physical toll on my body but also a mental one too. I realized just how lucky I was to be alive and able to spend more time with my friends and family, even if it meant that I was not able to move my body anymore. It could be worse. I could be dead.
I could see myself becoming a teen mom or even becoming a drug addict the way my life was going. It’s scary to think about the person I would or could have become before my accident. In some ways this accident has saved me. It saved me from becoming someone I don’t like. It has taken a lot from me too. It has taken my body, my independence and some of my dreams. It’s been a double edge sword, like most things.
I got to be so close to my mom before her passing almost two years ago. Now I get to be close to Jessica, who reminds me so much of my momma, and watch these beautiful babies grow up right in front of me. I get to inspire others. I get to see the good over the bad. I can handle this injury if it means I get to live my life. I can still get married, have kids of my own, and do most of the things I want to do. My family gets to watch me prosper and grow into the woman I am meant to become.
God tried to warn me about what was going to happen but being the stubborn girl I am I didn’t listen. He gave me a dream the night before my accident about the same accident but there was one large detail difference; I died. I was driving down the same road and lost control of the ATV. I wrecked and everything went black. At the time I just thought it was only a bad dream, something that happened every once in a while. Now that I look back on it that dream was God’s way of trying to tell me not to get on ATV but instead of listening I got on anyway. I have paid my dues, but this one is one of debts that I have to live with.
I always say that the person I was died that cold February morning on that highway, and there’s a small wooden cross on the side of the highway to prove it. The selfish, immature, and down right ugly young woman had her life cut short because of one stupid decision to go out on a freezing morning to ride the four wheeler instead of just doing the normal blowout. She needed a wake up call and that’s exactly what she got; a wake up call. Instead of going down that dark and lonely path and have to turn her life around later God took a terrible accident and showed her the light. The light is always brighter than the darkest times in my life.
Paralyzed from the neck down after an ATV rollover at 14, April Otwell is beating the odds the doctors gave her. She's a blogger, fantasy writer, college student, sugar glider guardian and spinal cord injury survivor. She's even writing her first fiction novel!