I stared at the girl in the photograph. She looked so familiar, but who was she? Had she been a classmate? A neighbor? Had she and I worked at the same place? There was so much I didn’t know. my body had healed since the accident; I was walking and lifting weights two days a week and do 15 lapses in swimming 3x a week and trying so hard to feel strong and to be strong. But my mind was muddled. I’d remembered my family and my boyfriend, but I’d lost many of the details of our lives together. I couldn’t recall the trips few months ago my boyfriend said my favorite. I couldn’t remember my crush or the boy who wrote the most heartfelt offering in my yearbook — “I still remember the time you cared enough just to talk. If you hadn’t been there I wouldn’t be here today.” Had I saved him from suicide? I didn’t know. Sometimes I would run into people at the mall and they’d swear I knew them but I’d have to say no, I didn’t. At least not anymore. and sometimes, I just had to pretend I do recognize them and just go with the flow during the conversation.
There’s a cliché saying that memory makes us who we are; I disagree, experiences do. Memories are just a part of who we are and memories come from those experiences. On March 23 2001, I was involved in a car accident. Broken ribs, paralysis, deep coma, and traumatic brain injury. I was unconscious for 2 weeks. The longer someone is unconscious, the worse the outcome after they wake; if they do. After spending 7 weeks in the hospital, from a car accident/brain injury, I came home to reacquaint myself with everything. It wasn’t until several weeks after getting home that I realized that I had no reference to my 21 days of life.