In life, there are little, tiny moments that make up the big picture of your life. Sometimes, the moments are so tiny that you don’t even noticing them happening. You wake up, make insignificant choices without thinking, and somehow at the end of the day, you could be eating pasta for dinner, but you walked past a flyer for a new Chinese place, and now you’re having that instead. Tiny little moments make up your whole life.
But sometimes, life throws you a big moment, and it changes everything. The even crazier part is one of your little moments can simultaneously be someone else’s big moment.
10 years ago today, while I was working my way through my sophomore year of high school, a complete stranger 1,106 miles away got into an ice-related, 2 car accident with a group of his friends, and it set in motion a series of events that changed everything. A life-changing accident was certainly a big moment in that stranger’s life, but its effects wouldn’t reach me for almost 6 years.
That stranger survived something that very well could have been fatal, walking away with two broken front teeth, a broken nose, and bruised lungs. His recovery process was long and painful, and he started dreaming of moving out of the north, away from the constant set of gloomy, dreary days. He fully recovered, and less than 3 years later, he moved to Raleigh without knowing a single person. A couple more years went by as he got settled into his new life, and one Thursday he went into work as usual, and ended up meeting the girl who’d become his wife.
As I’m sure you can guess, that once stranger is my husband, TJ – the greatest person I’ve ever known.
10 years ago today, his life changed forever, and without me knowing it, mine did too, albeit in a much smaller, insignificant way. I wasn’t there when it happened. I didn’t have to go through the terror and grief that his mom must have felt when she got that phone call to say that her 18 year old son had been in an accident. In fact, I feel kind of weird even saying that it had an effect on my life. I have to believe it had a part in bringing us together though. There’s no reason a girl from Florida and a boy from New York should have ended up in North Carolina, and yet, life brought us here. Brought us together.
Luckily, everyone involved in the accident survived with fairly minor injuries, and most of them are still friends today. In a way, it ended up bringing them closer together, and in the years that TJ has been in my life, I’ve really enjoyed becoming friends with them too.
I guess the point is, you never know when life is going to hit you with something little or something big, and you never know where life is going to take you.
Note: TJ and I wrote this post together, as I didn’t feel totally comfortable about writing a story that’s not really mine to tell.