“On Wednesday May 30, 2012, 9:10pm a body was shattered.

The body was that of my dear wife. She was just finishing up an evening jog with a friend when she was struck by two vehicles. The first hit her and the second ran over her, pinning her body beneath one of the tires.”

(excerpt from a post I made for friends and family the morning after my wife was in a serious and life changing accident)

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And so 2 years ago today, my wife lived, survived and learned to thrive. We celebrate every day as a gift of survival.

All around the world, people sent their love and prayers and we were overwhelmed with gratitude. Some of those people were you who are reading this today. We will always be grateful to you.

For me, it meant dedicating my life to one of sharing, service and striving to be a better man, despite my many rough edges. Giving and forgiving…kindness…have been my stars. I fall sometimes. I fail even more. And my ego sometimes gets the better of me, but everyday is a new opportunity, every moment is a new chance to find that quiet place of love.

And I do this out of gratitude and out of awe.

Clarice has shown incredible strength and compassion.

She has gone through and still goes through pain. Every day. But she bears it with grace and good humour.

Her face still bears the mark of partial paralyzation and her spine only bends so far, the bones of her vertebrae stick out where the flexibility ends and the fused section begins. She has metal implants and the aches and pains associated with that and her skin will carry the scars forever. And for me, she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

Her doctors performed brilliantly and the nurses were incredible. She can walk. She can breathe. She can greet each morning.

She exercises. A lot. It’s the muscles she builds and strengthens now that will support her in the years to come.

She laughs, plays and teaches. And she reminds me how resilient and unlimited the human soul really is.

She is the strongest and most phenomenal person I know.

Happy Being Alive Day, Clarice!

You show me what that means each and every day.

Thank you.

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I wrote this next part in April of 2012:

Sometimes we are on the verge of blossoming into a thousand flowers.

But we don’t.

We are waiting. We are thinking, ”Maybe tomorrow. I’m quite busy right now doing the same unsatisfying things I have been doing for years. Yep, pretty busy.”

Or maybe we are afraid of what will happen if we open up. We are afraid to leave a bad situation because we’ve forgotten what a good one even looks like for us.

We’ve gotten so used to a life surrounded by unhappiness that we’ve convinced ourselves it’s normal. After all, everyone else’s life looks like this, too.

Somewhere along the way we stopped believing in our own strength and beauty. We think we’ve lost it, or maybe it was never really there.

And worst of all, we’ve let someone else define who we are for us. We’ve lost who we are so we’ll believe whatever anyone else tells us, even if it makes us smaller…angrier.

There are not enough voices telling us the truth. There are not enough voices to get through the mist that has gathered around our belief in ourselves.

Right now, let me be that voice.

Right now, let me tell you:

You are Strong.

You are Beautiful.

You are Capable.

You are Worthy.

You have made mistakes. You have lashed out. You have hidden your dreams, your light, and your power. These things are true. These are things you have done. They are not you.

You are your dreams.

You are your light.

You are your power.

You are a miracle waiting to happen. You are a blessing waiting to be bestowed. You are an example of truth waiting to be spoken.

You are a thousand blossoms waiting to explode into colour, fragrance, delight and joy.

Don’t let anyone hold you back.

Yes, you have been buried. Like all good seeds.

It’s time to live.

It’s time to open to the world, to the sun and to yourself.

You are on the verge

Of something

Astounding

Bloom

*******

I would be remiss if I didn’t give thanks to friends and family and total strangers who sacrificed on our part. From donations to fundraisers to being there and helping me keep it together during all that hospital time. I am often overcome with emotion and tears thinking back on all the love and work and effort you poured out for us. My life means nothing if it’s not dedicated to service of some kind since that day, thanks to your examples.

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Aaron Paquette is a First Nations Metis artist, author and speaker. Based in Edmonton, Aberta, his first YA Novel Lightfinder comes out in May 2014 through Kegedonce Press.

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