My anniversary

So there’s something I haven’t mentioned in my two years of writing An Apple a Day. Not because it’s a big deal or I’m embarrassed or anything, it just hasn’t come up and I didn’t really think it worthy of telling. But I figure if you’ve taken the time to read this stream of silliness, maybe you’d like to know a little bit more about me.


Four years ago today, the first of November, I was in a motorcycle accident. While pulling away from a stoplight at 20mph, we got run over by an SUV. I was wearing a full face helmet, a proper jacket and padded gloves. The good news is that everyone made it out alive. The bad news (which seems minor and totally inconsequential compared with the aforementioned good news) is that, technically, I didn’t make it out in one piece.


I was pinned down by the bumper of the SUV and my hand got stuck in the spinning chain and sprocket of the bike. While I was conscious, two and a half fingers on my left hand were ripped off. I’ll spare you the gory details here, but if we ever end up sharing a bottle of wine across the kitchen table (and I hope we do), we’ll get to the good stuff then. Like the bizarre and almost comical things I said while waiting for an ambulance, the Frankenstein moment of taking off the bandage for the first time, the life changing shock of not being able to count on one's fingers for basic arithmetic problems and what phantom pain actually feels like; the stuff people want to know about but are generally too respectful and timid to ask.


But in all sincerity, I am so lucky that nothing worse happened. People have endured things a hundred times more painful and heartbreaking than loosing three dispensable fingers and I know my experience ranks remarkably low on the tragedy scale. I’m right handed and still have my pointer and thumb, which makes a world of difference. I’ve adapted so that I still knit sweaters, carry stupidly heavy pieces of furniture, french braid my hair, sew my own clothes, speak sign language with my mom, hang a chandelier and do a handstand. My right handed, 7-fingered guitar skills leave something to be desired, however.


After the accident, it took a lot of effort to keep positive and motivated. I remember my dad talking about the fine line between grieving a loss and feeling unduly sorry for one’s self. I panicked thinking “oh shit. this could turn me into a bitter, resentful old lady if I don’t start to come to terms with it.” I went back for my final semester of college at the start of the new year and continued to pattern, draw and sew my senior collection one handedly. That’s not to say I wasn’t insanely weepy about it. I didn’t leave bed for nearly 5 weeks after the accident (I had some other injuries that prevented me from, oh, walking, bathing, feeding myself and otherwise acting like a grownup) so I had a lot of time on my hands to mope. Luckily, I’ve since snapped out of it.


Even though I’d consider myself well adjusted on the whole, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that writing this was very hard. Tears were shed. Taking these photos was surreal; I hardly even notice my hand anymore that so seeing it as others do was sort of a jolt. But I love my hand and can honestly say I wouldn't change it back if I could. It’s quirky and goofy and me.


So now you know about my checkered past involving Italian motorcycles. We're closer already, don't you think?

157 comments:

  1. oh amy. wow, what an anniversary.

    and the things you can do without all your digits, i'm ashamed to say i can't do even with my full set. so wow, and viva la difference.

    the photographs are beautiful by the way.

    i'm so glad you made it out alive so we can all enjoy your steady and illuminating stream of silliness.

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  2. What a lovely story, I admire your grace and courage. Your hands look beautiful. It's an anniversary to remember the first day of the rest of your life. And life is so beautiful, isn't it?

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this! Your outlook is more than encouraging!

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  4. oh amy. we're so glad you are alive and safe and doing so very well. and i'm always continually amazed how it hasn't slowed you down for a minute. and to think of all the things you have accomplished! more than most people with 10 good friends for sure.

    you are so brave miss merrick.

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  5. What a remarkable story. The photos are beautiful. My grandfather is missing one finger (farming accident) and he still likes to tell us that "Oma cut it off and put it in the soup." All you can do is just keep going. Big cyber hug on your anniversary.

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  6. holy crap! this makes you even cooler! i can't believe all that you do + then add this little challenge on top of it! wow! i am so glad everyone was safe! thanks for sharing this with us!

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  7. Those photos are so beautiful. The dress, the lovely smooth line of your legs, your soft hands held out so lovingly and trustingly for us. It's so tender and honest the way you told your story. It's wonderful how you were determined to let yourself grieve but not sink into bitterness. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  8. I've been reading your blog for a while, but I just wanted to finally comment and say you are very brave.

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  9. We all in some way have scares of some sort. Some are mental, some are hidden under our cloths, while others are visual upon first appearance.

    Having survived cancer, open-heart surgery and a few more other medical challenges, I connect with your post and the delicacy of your images and grace of your word.

    I thank you for sharing this and wish you all the best,
    Egmont

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  10. beautiful photos. and lovely retelling of a story that definitely has your bad-ass quotient going through the roof. both graceful and brave, for sure.

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  11. I've been following you for a while and awing over all things antique and beautiful... I just wanted to say that you're right, your hand IS quirky and you (and gorgeous, of course).

    Katie @ http://thedisappearingangel.blogspot.com

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  12. wow. what story. i'm sorry you had to go through this but even so, i know that everyone has a personal burden and sometimes knowing people via the internet leaves certain things out (just as it brings others forward.)
    i have had my share of heartbreak in life. but like you i know there are people with more and people with less. it just is.
    the past two years my daughter has been dealing with a chronic illness for which there is currently no cure. she is home from school most of the time with tutors. just recently we have been told that there is hopefully to be a cure within the next handful of years. so there is light at the end of the tunnel. sometimes it is hard to understand how we get through some days or periods in life. but as you said, i don't want to spend all my time being bitter and angry. (just once in awhile when i'm sharing wine and a cigarette with a friend and need to blow off steam:)
    i haven't been reading your blog long but really like it and imagine you are a remarkable woman. thanks for sharing.

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  13. That is so amazing for you to share. Thank you so much for letting us all in. It's really hard to share the things that you keep close to you, in my opinion the things that make you feel a bit odd or different can be really hard to let people know about. But I really respect you for sharing, thank you so much.

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  14. you are truly an amazing lady miss amy.

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's inspiring the things you still manage to do fine, like knitting and sign language. :)

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  16. Treehouse CollectiveSunday, November 01, 2009

    Wow! Thanks so much for telling your story, courageous. Reminds us all, injuries or not, to keep things in perspective. Stay positive, keep going.. cause you're doing a fantastic job at making the most of life!

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  17. You are so incredibly courageous. What an inspiration.

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  18. Thank you for sharing this story about the real you. All of us leave pieces of ourselves scattered hither and yon as we go thru life ... as we risk loving and lose ... as lovers and friends come and go ... your loss is a poignant reminder of that.

    Those scars, from living a life fully and well, make us more beautiful, don't you think?

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  19. i too was hit by a car (thankfully it was a hyundai & not an SUV) while riding my bicycle home from work almost 10 years ago. helmet saved my life. had serious injuries to my leg which i'm lucky to have (the leg, that is). i refer to it as my "franken-leg" it's sort of oddly shaped and covered in scars. anyway, the sure web has a crazy way of connecting us all. thanks for sharing your story--i'm proud of you.

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  20. I'm pushing through a case of blog commenting shyness to say that..... I follow 5-6 blogs daily, reading their updates and musings on life, and in a way sharing in the pieces of their life they've filtered through and decided to put onto the great interweb.

    Yours is hands-down my favorite blog to read, and your post this morning got me thinking about the bonds that you form to blogs, and inevitably their narrators. It was so surprising to look at your blog this morning to find your story. At the same time it wasn't. You've always struck me as someone who is "lived in" a little bit. (*Sorry about the "lived in", but that was the best expression sibling I could come up with for "Wise beyond your years"). What i'm trying to say is, I've suspected you were a badass for awhile now.

    Suspicion confirmed. It seems like you've done a great job at taking everything in stride. My favorite French Aunt lost the same fingers in a Mill accident a long time ago. She is one of the strongest people I know.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Thank you for sharing part of your story. I believe writing about what has happened, whether good or bad, helps to bring it into perspective, to process it. If necessary, it helps us to heal. Blessings on you today.

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  22. Thank you for sharing. This was a very honest and touching story, and it brought tears to my eyes too.

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  23. Wow. The rest of the world kind of melted away while I read this. You're incredibly brave and incredibly incredible. ;)

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  24. I have to tell you... Looking through the photo's (without reading first) I didn't notice your hand. I did, however, notice how beautiful the pictures were, especially the one with you holding the ring.
    I always think, if something were to happen to me along these lines, that I would be able to maintain classiness and move on. You have done both I think.

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  25. Amy, I think you're amazingly brave and honest for telling your story and it only makes me admire you more (especially the knitting - I have all my digits and can barely knit a row!). The photos are beautiful as are you xx

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  26. I am glad that you were able to share this. I have to say that my blog has saved my life, literally. I had been unemployed for months, bills piling up and severely depressed. I couldn't afford to do my photography, and my style wasn't popular in my new hometown, so little encouragement. I hope someday, perhaps on my blogging anniversary, to be able to tell my new on-line friends how much they have given to me.

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  27. oh grief. 10 fingers is what i meant to type. i'm a little foggy this morning, forgive me.

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  28. This post is so incredibly candid and sincere... and reliving the experience in order to compose and share this post with us...profoundly brave. Thank you!

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  29. Beautiful. I can think of few things so inspiring as the testament to the strength of the human spirit (and human body). Thank you for sharing. This was as good as church (which I ditched this morning).

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  30. Wow, you are so incredibly strong and brave. I admire your courage and determination to turn something that would have made many other people bitter and angry into something you love about yourself, even if (or maybe because?) it is difficult.

    You are beautiful and so are these photos. And I feel touched that you would share this with us.

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  31. Lovely photos, beautiful post, thank you for sharing your story. We are all connected by our stories, of love, hope, loss and resurrection. We used to sit around a campfire and now we sit around our computers. Its like the circle keeps getting bigger and our bonds stronger because of it.
    Love and blessings.

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  32. truly beautiful! thank you!

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  33. God, Amy, you are so beautiful. Tremendous written and visual storytelling. Each post trumps the last. This is truly tender and lovely.

    Thanks again for the perfect view into your head (and hands).

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  34. thank you for this. not enough bloggers share the personal stuff, it's nice to see a really popular one take a leap of faith in her readers.

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  35. You my dear are........

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  36. You are absolutely beautiful and so talented... and yes, I do feel closer to you now. I think we all do. I am sending you a big hug FULL of admiration. oxo, Barbara

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  37. Thank you for sharing. We all have scars I guess, it's how we continue our lives with them that matters. And you are doing so great! I love reading your blog because of the simple joy of life, your excitement and imagination.

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  38. Thank you so much for this.

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  39. you truly are an inspiration, you have managed to take a bad situation and make the best out of it. I have been silently reading your blog for a while but this touched my heart so much (that you would tell us something so personal) that I felt I need to finally comment and share my appreciation for you courage and your unbelievably brilliant personality that you share with us.
    Thank You

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  40. Those photos are so absolutely beautiful. I hope that is will not seem strange if I say that this post is like a favorite part of a book or movie, that you go back and read or watch time and again because it so beautiful and poignant or simply for the unique point of view, and when you experience it, you feel a part of that somehow.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

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  41. Everyone else has already said what I'm currently thinking, but I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. Oh, and your dress is as beautiful as the words you type, too.

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  42. yeah, a monumental story.. we're still close, don't worry!! sometimes things are not ok but it's OK now...

    thanks for the courage for posting this..

    love and best..

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  43. Thanks for sharing- so so brave. The photos are beautiful too. xo

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  44. Yes much closer now. Beautiful photos, beautiful tale. Thanks for your bravery and thanks for sharing.

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  45. You are beautiful. Amazing Amy.
    Greetings from Brazil.

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  46. I have a close friend who lost the same fingers on the same hand as you in a woodworking accident. it happened only a few months ago, and he's still really struggling. i'm very proud of you for your positivity and pray that he will own the same confidence you do someday.

    thanks

    brian, your committed reader from Popcorn Day

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  47. Beautiful post, Amy. The photos, the words, the ability to be you and share it with us... I am incredibly moved, and I wish I could give you a big hug - out of pure affection and absolute respect for your strength in retelling this here...

    Thank you.
    -maria

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  48. Thank you for being so brave to share this, and to do it so beautifully too!

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  49. Thank you for sharing your story. I've taken care of patients before post motorcycle accidents and it is a scary thing. You are an inspiration for so many...

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  50. It's the imperfections we have what make us unique.I've always found men with kooky noses and twisted fingers attractive.

    Here's a wee secret of mine, it's not as shocking as yours but it did cause me shame as a kid and can be quite painful- my legs are slightly deformed.They twist inwards meaning I walk badly, have flat feet and I often get pains shooting from my toes to my hips if I walk too much or if the weather drops.I wore supports and the most achingly old woman shoes and boots all through school.Sometimes I even can feel my knee joints out of place.Still, I have learnt not to care.I wear flat, 1930's dolly shoes instead and laugh at myself when I trip as I so often do.

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  51. I've been reading your blog for a while and would just like to say your strength and passion is encouraging. Your pictures are lovely and you are someone who should be looked up too.

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  52. I think you are wonderful, and your photos are amazingly beautiful. A hard story to share, thankyou.

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  53. You are a precious soul. And even though life has thrown you this challenge, you have met it with grace and determination.

    I don't you, but from reading your posts I know that you are a creative person and one who finds joy in the simple and best things in life. Hang onto that gift.

    By posting this about yourself, you WILL have touched someone's life that needed to be touched. Your tragedy has purpose.

    Teresa

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  54. Incredible.
    Your perseverance and ability to not make a big whoop out of something that is, decidedly, a big whoop, astounds me. Brava!

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  55. Wow. That way you told this story is just amazing. Good for you that you've come so far. You're brave!

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  56. This is completely, remarkably magnificent.

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  57. I read your post this morning. I've thought about it all day. I wish I knew exactly what to say but all I can come up with is that in our family we have gone through times like you've described, we've looked different from everyone else, we've left out the details and we've had scars that people want to know about. We've survived emergencies that felt unbearable in the process with all of that though comes so much. You are an exceptional person, that is obvious.

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  58. Thank you for sharing. You moved me to tears. Your photographs truly beautiful...

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  59. I've only been a lurker on your sweet blog, but I just have to say this was a courageous thing to do. All my respect to you.

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  60. I'm really glad you shared that. You have beautiful hands.

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  61. Thank you for sharing you are a brave and wonderful woman and I am blessed to have read your story.
    Visit me at tidbitstidingsanddailydoodles.blogspot.com

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  62. I heart you darling. I'm so glad you shared. And as many have mentioned, I wholeheartedly agree, the photos in this post are really beautiful. XO

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  63. Keep spreading the sunshine with your fresh and full of wonder perspective! Your parents must be very proud to have raised such a strong and spirited woman, and indeed, they must be some very spirited people themselves. You make me want to persist with more grit and positivity! Thank you for that!

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  64. it made me cry too.

    here's to your strength rubbing off on me and others. thanks for sharing.

    xo

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  65. What an incredible post, full of strength and realness. Actually, even with your accident, you really do have a lovely bone structure and lovely hands. (Beautiful, feminine dress btw. --love it.)

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  66. Thank you so much. I am so grateful and inspired by your vulnerability. I am 10 months out of the hospital and find it so hard to write out the words that are not my "cover" (being funny and making it all O.K. for everyone else.)

    You have shown me through your honesty that that is the biggest gift you can give. I knew it in my head but tonight I really got it.
    Thank you.

    Much light and many many blessings to you!
    You rule.

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  67. This is the first comment that I leave on your blog. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
    You are a beautiful person, with a beautiful mind.

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  68. Wow such a beautifully raw post. Thank you for sharing this with us Miss Merrick.

    I admire your bravery in dealing with your accident and with allowing us to glimpse something so personal. You are living proof of one of my grandfather's favourite sayings - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    They are lovely pictures.

    Humble Magnificent
    x

    www.humblemagnifcent.blogspot.com

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  69. Wow girl....thank you for sharing! What an ordeal you've been through...you must be so fantastically strong! You are an inspiration to women everywhere.
    Those are incredibly gorgeous pictures, by the way. And I really love your dress!

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  70. Hi Amy

    It's not easy to put a little meaningful comment in answer to your wonderful and brave account of your accident but you are one very inspiring lady...I wish I could hug you

    http://bodieandfou.blogspot.com/

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  71. Beautiful photos, Amy! Thanks for posting this; it was an honor to read. Having just passed a fourth anniversary of my own, it was also timely, encouraging, and joyful!

    PS: Your dad gives great advice. x

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  72. what a strong, encouraging post. Such a window into your personality. Beautifully written, beautifully photographed.

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  73. Thanks for sharing your story. It is always good to know how others have coped with less than perfect circumstances in life. Well done!

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  74. I cried all over again, this time with pride.

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  75. Thank you, Amy! I so appreciate your candidness, humor and honesty-you are a pearl of a girl, writer and artist! xoxo

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  76. you are more than wonderful! i just adore the way you write and think you are just lovely.

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  77. You are a marvel--so much wit, verve, and style. I'm so, so glad that you made it through the accident and the darker days.

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  78. Good lord, beautiful lady, I had no idea. Literally, truly never noticed. I bet you were a marvel with 10 fingers- I know you are a marvel with 7.5.

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  79. You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your hard story.

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  80. Courage. Thank you for sharing. As a designer who dyes and sews all her own bits, I've been amazed at what my hands can do. I had an accident and a close call once, and was stunned at the mere thought of not having them. You are inspiring, and courageous. Thank you for sharing your perseverance, strength, integrity and gratefulness.

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  81. Everyone is commenting about bravery, beauty, and talent, and I find myself wanting to say the same thing. Because you, E.M. are all these things and so much more. Gosh, what a fantabulous person! Is there a chance I could be like you when I grow up?

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  82. I'm so sorry this happened to you... My husband and I ride together and it is appalling how unconscious and inconsiderate cars are when there are bikes on the road. Hubby's bike is a large Harley with a custom muffler that you can hear coming a mile away so even if a driver can't see us, she can hear us. Even still we avoid busy intersections and when on the freeway stay in the far right lane or carpool lane whenever possible (so we have room to swerve). I'm so glad you and your riding partner came out with your lives and that you've adapted so well to your injury.

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  83. Thank you for sharing your story - I know it took a lot of courage. I've been reading your blog for a while now and I have been continually inspired by your beautiful aesthetic and your joy. I am even more inspired to know more about your strength, bravery, and perseverance. Thank you. Keep writing! I hope one day we do get to share bottle of wine!

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  84. You are a brave and beautiful woman. God bless you. And thanks for sharing; it helps put my mundane problems in perspective.

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  85. Thanks for sharing. You are truly amazing.

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  86. This was SO beautifully written. I appreciate you sharing it. I love your blog.. it was one of the first I started following daily :)

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  87. You're very brave and the photos are beautiful, my dear. (And by the way, I never noticed until we were saying goodbye that day in NYC this summer.)

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  88. wow! you sound like a truly amazing person!! i often wonder what it would be like if something happened to my hands. i use them so much! thank you for sharing. you are beautiful.

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  89. Wow. Wow wow wow. You have incredible courage to share this. My own hands have always been stared at - first by children when I had to wear splints for my Rheumatoid Arthritis, diagnosed at age 6, and now by older people and friends (I catch them from time to time) because they are disfigured from disease, and scarred from many surgeries.

    As a matter of fact, a writer once published a newspaper story about me - a television reporter with a visible disability and said if there was a Wicked Witch of the West jewelry line, I could be a hand model. (It sounds bad but it really was the most lovely article!)

    When I was a kid, I used to pull down the sleeves of my shirt or jacket to cover them up, or hide them in gloves, mittens or pockets when the temperature did not necessitate such coverage. I decided to not hide them some years ago, or the stiff gait I have when I am in a flare or just feeling stiff (I have RA in all of my joints).

    It was time to start wearing my scars as a badge or honor and a constant reminder (to myself) of my struggles, and the fact that regardless of what anyone else thought of them or me, I know the measure of my true strength.

    It seems to me that with this post, you know yours as well.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I think you are beautiful.

    Tamara

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  90. You are and will always will be close to my heart. When this happened to you, I was worried, but hopeful knowing how strong and resourceful you are. After this accident occured in your life, I changed my own perspective. Whenever I am facing an uphill battle of my own I think of you and what you went through, and how you continue to accomplish such amazing things in your life. I always knew you were destined for greatness, since we were kids sharing stories amongst piles of quilts in your living room, backlit by an amazing Christmas tree, or squealing over boys in chorus class, or an early morning canoe ride I will never forget. You are so strong, resilient, inspriational, and have always been a large force of creative energy in my life. I read your blog and am ever so proud to know you and to have shared such special memories with you. :)

    love,
    Rachel

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  91. this just one more reason why you're special and unique (and I suspect your guitar skills may still be superior to mine..) xo

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  92. You wrote with such grace, honesty and perspective. Thank you for this. The many tender comments show we all have a hunger to be real yet a human need to hide our vulnerabilities. A need to be assured that, should disaster hit us (SUV or whatever) that we just might be able to endure and embrace the outcome in time.
    Your tale touched us all. We cried.

    "Community is built by touching each other's wounds"

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  93. The photo's were hauntingly beautiful. Your spirit illuminated. The light and the dark of this experience.

    It is interesting that the human mind fills in the blanks. Because of your intrepid attitude and not hiding your hand. It isn't something that people ever notice... even if they have known you for a long time. You are whole because your perception of yourself is whole. Your comfort with yourself makes other people comfortable around you. Your experience of pain and trauma helped you to become compassionate instead of the bitter old lady you didn't want to be. You made the harder but right choice. You would have lost more than fingers by your bitterness.

    I can learn from you.

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  94. Thank you for sharing your touching anniversary story. You already seemed such a cool person but it's now 100% confirmed.
    Best wishes from London.
    Jo

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  95. I have never had to endure anything near what you probably went through. Even though I don't know you, I'm so incredibly proud of your strength; because as easy as it is to do what you said - pit one's self - you'll be missing out on living, which is far more important. You are a hero.

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  96. This is beautiful...your transparency makes your writing all the more alluring. Its your openness to be vulnerable amongst many eyes that makes you attractive and pleasant to "come away with" as I read your blogs. Never change, never conform, but be transformed by the beautiful things you have been given in your life. Thank you for allowing us to venture into your life, your blog is always something I look forward to! Blessings:-)

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  97. Ive read your blog for quite a while now, and you never seem to let us down!

    Beautiful photos. Great great story.

    One of the best parts of my summer was getting a post card from you!

    -Luke.

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  98. I'm proud of the intimacy of this post and
    I honer all the things that make you distinctive. The outpouring of support from your readers is trul heart warming, but most of all...
    I miss holding that funny little hand.

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  99. You are so brave. I am in awe of this post because we all have our little struggles. Some more than others. I wish I could talk about mine and though that in recognizition of your bravery I would be a little pseudo brave here. So here it goes. No apologies for all you to see. I struggle with an acute form of manic depression and no one really knows which makes me see how especially how brave you are.

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  100. I want to hug the above anonymous person. There is hope.

    Amy, You make us want to be present and gentle to everybody.... cuz everyone of us has our own "skeletons in our closets".

    What is one of the most remarkable things about the way you write and live is that you make us see that we can share and face our challenges without having to apologize for ourselves or play pity party.

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  101. Hello Amy,

    You are very brave to share something so private...especially without any fuss or drama. More importantly, you are brave to continue to weave a little wonder with this blog of yours for people like me to enjoy.

    Here's to brave people like you who inspire a million others with their bravery, simplicity and creativity.

    Cheers!

    Savitha

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  102. Yes, definitely closer now. Thank you so much for sharing, you wrote that so beautifully and your pictures are so gorgeous and your hand is beautiful.

    About 10 years ago I had to have a big piece of my left lung removed. It's totally changed who I am, and I still get upset talking about it (depending on my mood), but I wouldn't change anything. It's taught me so much and it continues to teach me so much. I'm completely and utterly grateful.

    And this is why I love your blog. So honest, beautiful and engaging!!

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  103. So beautifully shared Amy, the words, the photos... just perfect. You really are an inspiration.

    My husband who I've been with for the past 14 years of my life was born without those fingers on his right hand, actually just his thumb and half an index finger the rest just didn't form. Amazingly, he does pretty much everything with no problem, I often completely forget about it, but like you said it's one of the characteristics that makes him unique and I find it beautiful.

    Also, your sister mentioned missing holding that "funny little hand" and it made me realize that I don't just like to hold that funny little hand because of the way it just seems to fit right into the palm of mine so perfectly. There's also a trust and an intimacy implied, beyond what you get with just holding any old "normal" hand, and that's pretty special. So hey, now you have that to give as well :)

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  104. Tell us about your ring, should you wish to share. It looks as if it has a story too and is well loved.
    That is... if you have any time left over from reading all these heart felt comments. You absolutely and for real, touched our hearts!

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  105. Wow. As a musician, this was so hard for me to read. I crawled under my desk for a second, no joke. But also so beautiful and centered and gracious. Thanks for sharing your story: you are one lovely, lovely lady.

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  106. Ames... so very nicely done... you really are a remarkable person.. my favorite part of the story was the counting on your fingers bit.. when you realized mid count that now you were now working outside the decimal system.. working in a new & creative math form... your humor and grace in dealing with the injury is an inspiration to your family friends and followers... really an inspiration to us all... keep strong... love'ya kiddo!!

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  107. Blogging can be so anonymous. I think part of why so many people love you blog (myself included) is because it is not anonymous at all. You put yourself out there, make your personality known through your writing. You have a truly unique voice. You are full of quirks and we are so lucky that you share them with us.

    Thank you for your honesty.

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  108. Thank you for sharing! You are a very brave girl indeed!

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  109. Reading this gave me that odd buzzing sound in my ears and made everything exept your words dissapear, it was so raw and honest and so very beautiful and as everybody else has said, you are truly inspirational. Your blog is my absolute favourite, and its odd to feel so close to somebody you have never met and i feel sad when i think i never will. Its very hard to express myself and it makes me realize how brave you were to through out this story in the world, such an intimate part of your life. Reading everybody else's comment was lovely too and so many people obviously understand how grand you are Amy! xxx Estelle

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  110. P.S I returned today from a week in a country side with no internet and first thing i did on the computer was to pay your blog a visit. xxx Estelle

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  111. Thank You for sharing something so personal.. The pictures are beautiful

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  112. I love reading your blog; I love your point of view, and now I understand you better. Great stuff, and a big thank you.

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  113. Can I be shallow for a moment here and tell you that I love your dress? Great color, I always loved brown and felt that it was so overlooked, unless it is just a trick of the light and it is really plum, which I like as well just not in the same way...much like honesty, I always thought it was so humble but always beaten down in favor of doubt or embarassment. Thank you for being you Amy.

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  114. This is one of the most honest and heart rending blog entries I have read.
    Thank you for your honesty on what must be,
    an extremely painful memory.
    Thank you for sharing.
    I'll be back.
    x

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  115. i'm trying to find a clever way of saying that you are a very excellent 7.5 fingered flower designer...

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  116. Thank you for sharing this. Kind of a 'lost and found' story. I tend to view Blogs as an on-line magazine. Your site is so polished and such eye candy. Because of your honesty, this post was like meeting you for the first time. Thank you for that.

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  117. Thank you for sharing this beautiful transparent story with such courage! ;) I am touched and this is the first blog I've read on your site! It touched me so much because so often we feel that we must 'cover the Real' to be accepted but the truth is when we are 'Real' it is such an invitation to others to be Real also! I am blessed to be here now, and want to say God bless you for sharing! ;) My mom lost a portion of her finger before she had me in an accident, but growing up I never even seemed to notice, for she was beautiful to me always and her loving hands and hugs were perfect! That's what being Real to me is 'Simply Loving as We aRe!' hugs, Sharmila

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  118. must add,. I'm a little curious too.. if there is a sweet story behind the ring? that's interesting someone else mentioned ;) you're a natural storyteller.. hugs, Sharmila

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  119. Happy birthday dear ! You're so brave !

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  120. That must have taken a lot of courage to talk about this. You didn't have to share, but you did. I thought this was a wonderful post.

    Thank you.

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  121. It seems life sometimes throws unfair tragedy at people. It always refreshes my spirit to see how these circumstances can help put someone's life in better focus of what truly matters. I bet, in the process you became more aware how strong and beautiful you are than ever. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.

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  122. I'm so glad you shared. Your blog just gets better and better every day. I love how open, honest and sweet you are, and I love that you say you wouldn't change your hand now if you could. That is truly impressive. I'm glad you came out of that accident mostly in one piece.

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  123. I think there are stages to mature through and it's really best to not push the ready point. I doubt your story was ripe before this moment. I am blessed by your grace and beauty in the telling. Thank you.

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  124. when i was young and lived in florida i had a beautiful old neighbor from puerto rico . her name was luisa and she had some fingers taken off in a mill accident as a child, I've never met someone so happy and loving as her ( she sewed,cooked, laughed and talked really fast in musial and slightly broken engish) her hand was just another story to tell me in the shade of an orange tree. i thought she was so strong ,and i think the same of you =)

    -peace meghan

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  125. External, right? Doesn't touch the inside, which is clearly *whole*.

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  126. I work with a team of hand therapists and regularly counsel people who have lost fingers, hands and upper limbs, so I've seen the feelings of loss and devastation my clients must process first-hand.

    I wanted to say what an encouraging story you have, and that it's wonderful you've come out on the side of having grieved a loss, rather than 'feeling unduly sorry for oneself', as your father so eloquently put it. I see much greater suffering with the latter choice, and it's wonderful to know that you're a young woman who has great gumption as well as great style!

    Thank you for your story - it was truly heartening for me. And I wondered whether you would mind my occasionally showing your post to my clients? I think, perhaps, it may help some (particularly young women) who need to know that there is 'another side' to the mountain of grief and a way for them to move forward in their lives.

    Also, your photos are beautiful!

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  127. firstly, you amaze me with all of your creativity and handiness. i love this website and your work on design sponge.

    it took a great amount of courage to tell your story. i hope it gets easier with the passing of time.

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  128. Hi!
    I thank you for the positive message you gave me. Throughout the blogosphere I have the privilege to know special people who I'd probably never meet in real life. Probably it's sounds weird or patethic, but in real life, for my experience, these awesome people live somehow hidden, they protect themselves from others' glances, looks and judgements. They prevent people from entering in their life. I mean, these are people who do not "merchandise" themselves and their own life; they are shy, or quirky or demure: I like these people the most. Now, obviously I don't know you and I don't read your blog everyday, but I feel you're one of these special person who I'd love to meet in real life. And my opinion obviuosly does not depend on the accident you unfortunately have had years ago, but your fierce and smart reaction to that accident surely confirm my opinion on your bright personality. Yes, you're right when you say that you have been lucky enough, thinking about what else could have happened, but I personally know people who give up all because of events way less relevant than those that have occured to you. I am one of those people, too: I give up "living" because of a sad story I go through almost two years ago; now I want to confess too, but I know it's fairly nonsense, this is not a support group, by the way your post speaks loud to me and pushes me to reconsider my position toward life, even if I don't think I'm smart as you are. Anyway thank you, em..I hope I have not been offensive or extremely pathetic.
    Sorry for the neverending comment, and sorry even for my weak english, I'm italian and I do not know english as well as I would to express my opinions better.
    XO
    S.

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  129. Amazing and touching story to share.

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  130. hi dear emerson ~
    i'm not sure where i've been, but i am glad to be here today to read and take in this thread in the tapestry of your life ...
    you have shared your story so eloquently ... and you are living with the results so graciously ... and yes, my dear ... you are and always will be beautiful in every way ... i love your images ~ they just shed more light on how special you are!
    we never know what a day will bring and who knew how that day would bring new light to your life in the way it has ...
    sharing your experience as you have is undoubtedly a gift in many ways ...
    shall i open a bottle of red ... or white?
    hugs,
    prairiegirl xo

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  131. you are such a lovely lady, thanks for sharing!

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  132. i think the best part of you was well preserved. thanks for sharing and glad you are alive to share your life with such grace and beauty. thankyouthankyou.

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  133. this whole thing just makes you even more fascinating. just be glad you don't live within 100 miles of me, or else I'd be knocking on your door all nosey nellie style, taking you out for coffee and asking you a hundred and a half questions.

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  134. You're a brave girl... and if I were your mother, I'd be terribly proud!

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  135. Today was the first day I read your blog - your story caught my eye because I too ride a motorcycle - so I kept reading - what an amazing story. It hit home for me as I am a cancer survivor - head and neck - have a nice big scar across my neck from ear to ear. Of course many muscles and nerves were cut - had to re-learn how to shrug my shoulders, reach up to get a glass, turn my head and get to ride my motorcycle again (I ride a seafoam blue Victory) The thing that I do reflect on, is that I can't smile anymore - the nerves around my mouth just won't come back so when I try to smile my mouth kinda turn downward. I don't mean to complain, but it kinda sucks, but could be worse. Your words meant so much to me, at the right time....thank you for sharing.

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  136. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Wow. I've been envious of your blog, your cool photoshoots, your cool writer's life (i am a writer in her nascent phase), and how awesome that you are where you are and comfortable enough to share your hand with the world, literally.

    Go 'head, gurl. Get it dun! :)

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  137. I've been following ur blog for quite sometimes. honestly, your blog is so unique to me. you even manage to hook others' interest to even tiny things. your single sentence means a hundred of pharagraph to people's life. and i was thinking,"what makes this person so great & special?"...this post had answered it. You are the sun who rise after the dark stormy night.

    Hugs from North Borneo

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  138. As a fellow Believer in the ONE who sees the upper side of the cloth which is being weaved into our lives (as we see the under "uglys"), our faith is enriched in the fact that our lives are HIS to do what HE pleases. I have 33% of my body scared with 3rd degree burns and can handle just about anything (yes, even beaches), but pleeese don't force me to view the photos! We get numb to our own scars, until someone forces us to REALLY see. It is beauty of another kind. You are beautiful and deep and compassionate - it comes through. Thanks!

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  139. Your article is written from the heart and it triggers the heartbeats of readers too.

    I will never complain about my short little banana fingers when I play the violin.
    I will press on to work harder to play as well as I possibly can.

    May God bless you.

    Gan Chau

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  140. your story is inspirational in it's honesty....and to echo most of the other comments to this post, your photo's and you are beautiful xx

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  141. It's great to hear that when you took the photos of your hand, you were surprised, because you had forgotten the absence of your fingers. If you're not thinking about it, no one else will. My dad had only half of one arm and none of the other because of a childhood accident. No one thought about it twice--once, yes, but not twice, because he never thought about it. His spirit shined past all that, and so does yours. Best wishes this Christmas season.

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  142. most definitely, amy.

    most definitely.

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  143. Hi.
    I've just discovered your blog and found this really moving. I can't imagine what you went through, and think you've got a lot of courage to be able to write about it like this.
    Thanks for sharing it.
    sam.x

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  144. Hi.

    I stumbled upon your blog while browsing the net. I really liked the way you've penned down your thoughts here. You are very brave and courageous and BTW I loved your photos and the dress:)

    Wish you all the best in life.

    Abhi

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  145. This made me cry - although I cannot relate to losing fingers, I can relate to all of the feelings you felt after the accident. You are so lucky to be alive (I know you know this) - and so lucky to have come to terms with your accident in such a short time. Cheers!

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  146. thanks for sharing. you are beautiful. have a great trip with your sister. what a wonderful way to celebrate life. xoxo

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  147. thank you for telling your story. that is amazing and i am so very sorry that you have to deal with something so difficult. esp working with your hands. my best friend was also run over by a car and had to deal with a lot of stuff because of it and it is just so so sad. i hate that for you and hope that it gets easier everyday. thanks, again for sharing.

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  148. And you just got yourself a new fan all the way across the world....You are an inspiration =) Maybe one day i get to tell you why...For now, thank you

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  149. You're so unbelievably graceful. Thank you x

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  150. I randomly clicked on this while viewing today's post and I just wanted to say that your strength and conviction and honesty moved me. The accompanying photographs are lovely.. each and every one.

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  151. Words can not do justice to how inspiring and yet vulnerable this post is. It takes an extraordinary amount of strength to be this open and honest. Your words, spirit and being are beyond beautiful.

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  152. wow! Your openness reminds me of perhaps a rose which blooms to let others understand the essence of beauty.

    I guess what I am really trying to say is......you are truly a rare rose indeed!

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