365 days. That's how long it's been since everything in my mouth had DNA. That's how long it's been since I could sing without my voice cracking or whistle when I call my cat. That's how long it's been since I could say I'd never broken any bones. That's how long it's been since I could eat an apple without a knife. That's how many days the hospital bills have been trickling into my mailbox. And that's how long it's been since I was forever broken of the childhood habit of biting my fingernails.
One year ago today, a lot happened to me in a few seconds I still cannot remember. But better and funner and more important things have happened to me since. In the process of making myself relearn some old things, I learned to do them better. I try to gauge progress not by how far I have yet to go, but (most of the time) by how far I have come. I've learned to be thankful for what I can do instead of upset about what I can't do. Healing is a complicated process that's a little bit about the health-care profession and a lot about the attitude that family and friends and you yourself build to conquer the new challenges you face.
On every one of those 365 days, I've been grateful for how lucky I am. Not just in terms of getting past the crash, either. Truly stoked I am to be able to ride and race my bike (and others' tandems on my luckiest days), to learn continually from doing so, and to ride with good people who make the challenge exciting and rewarding. The fun I had in my two favorite races this year was simply off the charts; you do not get that kind of thrill or excitement or reward by sitting on the couch waiting to be 100% healed.
There are some funny things in English about healing. I cannot say "I'm good as new." But I can confidently say that, at least in some ways, "I'm better."