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Bailey Kennedy

On 4th of July weekend I my husband and I were up north at my family's camp--Goose Pond. 

We loved it there. My Momma LOVED it there. So care free, camp fires, corn hole, our rooftop tent among all of the boujee campers ;) and of course floating on those inner tubes in that pond! I can picture clear as day my Momma running out of her camper with cocktails in her hands screaming and celebrating that we were finally there!

And then there was Lake Bonaparte... an amazing shallow lake where we would drive the 4-wheelers in a big caravan from camp to the lake... get out our camp chairs and just hang in the water. It's one of those amazing sand bar type lakes where you can touch almost as far as you can see! We also all really, really loved it there.

So on July 5th morning we got on those 4-wheelers... caravanned to Lake Bonaparte, did our hangin out thang for a few hours, got hungry so we ordered some yummy subs from the corner store, and decided it was time to pack it up.

So we took our last few group selfies and then... I blacked out.

I finally come to... and I am in the ER... my leg was jacked and I was surrounded by my in-laws... and not my Momma... I couldn't remember what happened (and thank the mother fucking universe I still don't) but sometimes you just know... and I knew in my soul...

My Momma and I were on the same 4-wheeler... it had started to rain... she perhaps overcorrected to miss the on-coming giant truck... and it was the wrong move.

In an instant... She was gone. We were both laying on the pavement when the rest of my family caught up to us... I still cry thinking of how disgusting and cruel for them to have to see that accident scene.

I was mercy flighted and went into a 14 hour surgery. They harvested a vein from my left leg in hopes to save my right leg... As you can see... It didn't work. I had an open-book pelvic fracture, head lacerations (yes I was wearing my helmet, but it flew off. If I hadn't been wearing it I would be dead! So quick little *wear your helmet PSA*), broken ribs, broken lower back vertebrae, and a big list of many other things. I am extremely lucky to still be here...

In a mere blink of an eye, I was now a 28 year old woman who lost her Momma, lost her leg, and honestly... lost her way.

Maneuvering my recovery and this new life without her? What a Fucking nightmare. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING TO ME?! But I was raised by that amazing STRONG, independent, BRAVE, beautiful woman, and despite the gut-wrenching challenge of waking up each day, getting out of bed, and still trying to kick some ass... I DO IT. I do it because I can hear her telling me to get up and Keep. Fucking. Going.

You see my Momma had MS. She had numb hands from the nerve issues MS brings on and she never missed a day of work as a hair stylist... where she used her hands ALL day. She never complained. She didn't let her disease define her. She is the reason I have the outlook that I do on this new chapter of my life.

And let me tell you... before July 5th I was on TOP of my game. Mind, body, and soul were as healthy as they had ever been. I was finally able to keep up with my trail marathon running, crossfitting, hiking, super freaking fit husband. Our life revolved around hiking and anything outdoors... and now? How would I EVER get back to that life like THIS?!

But I can promise you. I work every. single. day. to get back to the life I had before all of this. I do it because I know I can. I do it for my mom. I do it for me.

I choose to let my new imperfections shine. Why hide my beautiful body that legit healed itself and fought to still be here. Why let this trauma define my life? WHY take advantage of a second chance!?

I have a constant reminder with this amputation about the accident... and about the fact that my Momma didn't get to be as lucky as me... and it eats at my soul every day.

I THOUGHT I was living each day to the fullest... but boy do I wake up now and actually count my blessings. I take time to breathe in the fresh air. I take time to ask people how they are and actually freaking listen. I take time to say thank you and I appreciate you. I take time to put my hand on my damn heart and be thankful that I. am. still. fucking. here. I will find myself again. I will find the self love that I had prior to this accident.

Bottom line is that we can't let life pass us by. We have to be soaking up every single ounce of each and every day.

I know all to well now, more than ever that we don't know when it's going to be our last."

Stay connected and follow along with Bailey here: @baileyrkennedy


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