On August 26, 2017 I married my best friend, my lover, the love of my life. Hence my jessymunch826.com, my motocross race number also was 826. This date holds significant importance to me. And to be honest I didn’t think it would ever happen. Before our marriage we had our fair share of struggles and learned a lot about ourselves and each other. But we had love and we made it work and I couldn’t be happier. Our marriage is not perfect, there is no such thing, but it’s pretty great and we have honesty, openness and work through any issues that arise. Exactly how it should be in a committed marriage. I am also so thankful I took the 826 and made it my race number, email and more because after such memory loss with TBI, 826 stood out and I can remember my wedding date. Winning.
Little did we know that just 10 months into our marriage, while still newlyweds, our marriage would suffer one of the most challenging things a marriage can experience and go through. But looking back on it now, 1 year and 11 months since the day our life would change forever, I would change forever, the woman who Chris Married, I can say that marrying who I did was the right choice. He has proven how amazing he is, how dedicated he is to me, my son, himself, us.
I don’t think you ever expect something horrible to happen. I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared for it. I don’t think most people who we know truly understand what having a brain injury is like for me, for us, our family and our marriage. It’s not something that just goes away. I know, it was almost 2 years ago, so why am I not over it yet? Why am I still talking about this? How annoying, right? Yes it’s very annoying. We live with this daily. We are affected by this and so is our family daily. Our life, my life was forever changed. The brain is a very powerful organ, you don’t want to mess with it. I wish I just broke a bone or my back again, I wish I didn’t break something that affects all of you and your daily life, who you are as a person and all that you do on a daily basis. But what’s done is done, I feel so lucky I was doing what I loved, that my life wasn’t changed due to a car accident or something else. I fully knew the risk I was taking racing that day. I also had on the best gear possible, and my helmet saved my life. It wasn’t cheap, it had special protection in it called MIPS to hopefully protect me from much of what happened to me. I’m thankful I invested in my head, I came out of this accident pretty dam good and I don’t think I could say the same thing if I had been wearing a cheaper helmet without the added protection. I had a 10% chance of ever waking up, and if I did it was likely I would be in a vegetative state. That’s the odds for a Diffuse Axonal Injury like I had.
Taking marriage vows is serious. Despite them being serious, there are times when the marriage is not right for you. I had been married before and although it lasted a long time, it wasn’t right for me after a certain time and point in my life. I had grown apart from who I married at 23 as I grew up. I feel like my current marriage definitely challenged me and I am surprised we made it to the marriage part. We grew up a lot since we met, we had battled serious issues. But we battled it all, we battled it together and made it through. Looking back at all my husband endured through my traumatic brain injury, and how positive he has been throughout it, how strong he has been and how he maintained his sobriety through it all is impressive, it says a lot to me and really shows me I married the right person. Equally though, I have been there for him through some tough shit. I didn’t just walk away when things got tough. I was there every step of the way, supportive and encouraging.
He has told me since my accident and since we could talk, that all he cares about is that I am still here. He sold everything he owned and worked hard for, for me. I honestly don’t think all men would do that. I would hope so, but honestly losing everything totally sucks. I’m glad he proved to me how mature he is, how responsible he is and where his true priorities are. Not only did he lose material things, he also lost people who we thought were true friends. He also lost his dog, which was like his baby just a couple months after I returned home. So much change, so much loss, but he kept a positive attitude and maintained his alcohol sobriety which isn’t an easy thing for him. As he has told me, it’s all replaceable and I am not. We will rebuild, we will get back much of what we loss and some things we will choose not to. This accident changed our perspective for sure, it really opened our eyes and mind to what’s truly important in life. It’s definitely not toys and material things. It’s true friendships, family, each other and financial stability. It’s waking up every day being grateful for all that we do have and all we can do. It’s being happily married and working daily for that happy marriage, it’s open communication, it’s learning from all of our life experiences. Finding the reason in everything and trying to find the positive in it all. We said till death do us part, I tried to rush that along just 10 months into those vows, but it sure taught us so much and it sucks if happened, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy but we truly are stronger because of it and it has truly changed our life and our marriage and made us better humans.
And Happy 35th birthday to my younger, amazingly selfless husband, his birthday was yesterday. I’m so thankful to be here celebrating another birthday with you.