On April 2nd, I was in a car accident. I’ll never forget that date, even if I don’t remember the crash itself. One day, maybe I’ll lose track of the number of weeks that have passed by since.

I went to the intensive care unit, then to the recovery floor, then to the rehab center, then finally back home. There’s some metal in me and a lot of scars on me.

Recovering hasn’t been easy. All the friends, family, and medical professionals who have helped me have been so generous and incredible, but it hasn’t been easy. There’s been a lot of pain. I’m way more dependent than normal, unable to shower, drive, or get down stairs.

But I’m lucky, because I’ll walk again. And really, I’m lucky because I’m still here, typing this. I came very close to death, which is a sobering goddamn thing to realize, no matter the pain meds flowing through your IV.

Sure, there are a few days where you choke back tears because the ache in your spine is too much, but on the whole I’ve been more positive than I thought possible for me. Because dwelling on how you miss being able to drive a car is fool’s gold. The alternative isn’t whatever life you were used to before you skidded into oncoming traffic. The alternative is being dead.

And I love being not dead. I love my house. I love playing music too loud in the car. I love my sunburnt knees. I love trying on outrageous scarves. I love everyone. I love drinking overpriced iced coffee. I love falling asleep with the TV on.

Today’s my birthday. Drinking legally is cool, but all I can really think about is how happy I am to have made it this far. I love being alive, and I hope you do too.

2016Jack Riedy