Bellefleur essay contest finalist Kibby B.
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We are overwhelmed with emotion with all of our entries to this month’s essay contest. We laughed, we cried and had an incredibly tough time picking a winner! We want to thank all of you that took the time to write for us!
We’re sharing our 5 finalist essays from our contest. Today we will be sharing a beautiful story from “Kibby B.” This sorry touched us deeply. It is a story about overcoming obstacles. We see so many women in the shop come in after going through a life-altering experience like Kibby’s accident. We are so grateful to have the chance to work with Kibby and that she told this incredible story. We are so thankful to have met this beautiful, strong and inspiring woman. Thank you Kibby, for sharing your story with us.
The Magical Power of Lingerie
By Kibby B.
I stepped out of the office for a lunch time run, a daily ritual that I adored. It had been raining, which made it even more appealing because it was, and still is, by far, my favorite kind of weather to run in. There’s a certain solitude to it, versus sunny beautiful days that draw more people to lace up their shoes and hit the pavement. I had my favorite baseball hat on, my iPod was on shuffle and I was ready to find my stride and leave behind all of the stresses that a work day can bring. It was my hour of moving meditation. This day’s route took me through tree lined residential streets and beautiful parks. I climbed hills and ran down trails, splashing through mud puddles and smiling to myself imagining the backs of my legs looking like a Jackson Pollack painting. As I headed back towards work, I got stopped at a light waiting to cross a major intersection. I took a moment to breathe and stretch. As the light changed, I stepped off the curb and headed out into the cross walk, mid street and mid-stride, I looked up and saw a car coming towards me, not stopping. I had a weird split second of thinking, I’m going to get hit by a car.
The next thing I knew, I was catapulted up through the air and tossed into the intersection. I somehow rolled onto my back and looked up at the clouds and things were eerily quiet and it felt like time just stopped. Then, WHAM, time sped up, snippets of memories…a man kneeling down applying pressure to my head telling me to keep still… sirens… police officer saying an ambulance was on it’s way… someone upset and saying they were sorry and me saying it was ok, it was an accident… EMTs asking questions - What’s your name? How old are you? Do you know who the president is? Can you feel your legs?… being loaded onto a backboard and into an ambulance… As the ambulance took off I remember listening to the EMT talking about me to the hospital like I wasn’t even there, “45 year old woman, head trauma, 10 minutes out.” Then the panic set in, I couldn’t feel my legs and I was going into shock.
One year later. The anniversary of my accident. It’s been a year of struggle physically and emotionally. I had a good friend ask me early on, if I ever got sick of people commenting on how lucky I was? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because I feel like that’s such a trite thing to say to someone. No, because it’s true. I was hit by an SUV estimated to be traveling 25-30mph and I survived. It has been a year of overcoming fear and facing truths. I never in my wildest dreams would’ve imagined being afraid of crossing a street, or that the sound of skidding tires and sirens would send me into the fetal position on the floor, no matter where I was (in my cubicle at work, at a friend’s house, out walking my dogs). I wanted to honor this anniversary in a meaningful way because I was tired of feeling “broken.” My husband suggested I kick fear in the ass and honor the day by running the exact route where the accident happened. I thought he was insane for even suggesting it. I had started to tentatively run again nine or so months after the accident, when I was physically able to, but it was all trails, I hadn’t been able to bring myself to street run. Running wherever you wanted was a freedom that had been stolen from me, or so I felt. I had become a prisoner of my own fear. The more I chewed on the idea of facing this overwhelming fear the more I knew I had to do it. So I did it. The whole run leading up to the intersection I dialogued with myself about how it would be ok, to feel whatever I needed to feel, when I got to the intersection - if I needed to cry or angrily scream out or whatever emotion I needed to let go of, I was giving myself permission to do what I needed to do. When I got to the intersection, this moment I thought would be so cathartic, I felt…nothing. Then the light changed, I crossed the street and when I made it to the other side safely, tears started streaming down my face, finally a sense of relief and release.
Skip ahead three years. The anniversary of my accident. I’m frustrated and sometimes disappointed that I still find street running terrifying. I logically know that trauma is a weird animal and that it doesn’t follow a linear timeline, it weaves in and out and the journey with it is not a direct path to healing. So, on this anniversary I faced how to honor myself in a meaningful way that involved a gentler approach - less kicking ass on fear and more of a feel good about where I am at in my process. I started to think about what would make me feel special, beautiful, vibrant, whole. What would be something that I wouldn’t normally do for myself ? That is how I ended up on Bellefleur’s doorstep. It was my first time to visit. I had the whole shop to myself as I was the only patron in the store at the time. I tried on so many beautiful things and I truly was treated like I was special by the woman who assisted me. I am reminded every time I wear one of the gorgeous pieces I purchased that I am beautiful, vibrant and whole. Thank you Bellefleur for the magical thinking that your beautiful lingerie inspires in me.
- Kibby B.
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