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  • Writer's pictureMariska Venter

My story- “Time does not heal”

Updated: Jan 4, 2019

I was born and raised in the most beautiful, most perfect family. My mom and dad were high school sweethearts and I was the youngest of two older brothers.

We were a very active family, constantly outside swimming, running, cycling, working and playing in the garden. I took part in netball, athletics and cross country. I was blessed to have avid sport genes pumping through my veins.

I also started with runway modelling at 5 years old and I loved every second of it. We were such a happy family and perfect through my eyes.

And then in the blink of an eye I lost almost everything I have always loved. After an amazing family holiday we were on our way back home when a car overtook a truck and crashed right into us and caused a head to head collision. I woke up to find out that I had lost my daddy and my oldest brother and that I had broken my back and would never be able to walk again - or feel my legs. I was only 8 years old.

Now its 14 years later and not a day has gone by where I don’t miss them and miss my legs. Tears still flood my eyes whenever I think back to all those perfect happy memories together.

Time does not heal anything!! Whoever told you that has never truly felt the heartache of trauma. Time only makes you get used to feeling incomplete, makes you used to missing them, makes you used to feeling a stab in the heart whenever your thoughts are filled with the memories. You learn to live with the pain, but it never goes away and it never heals. I know it's brutal but it’s the honest truth.

It does not get easier with time- that’s another lie people tell! It only gets harder. That is why the only thing one can do to survive is to surround oneself with loved, and pursue all your dreams and passions. This enables your heart to continue even though it has a piece missing.

I still have my mother and brother and I still have the ability to be independent and if what happened to me taught me anything, it is to love and cherish every second you have with loved ones and to appreciate every muscle and every sensation in your body and use them to the absolute best of your ability. You never know when it might be taken away.

Now I am 22 years old I live in my own apartment, drive my own car, I do my own cooking and cleaning and shopping. I am a full time professional athlete that have travelled to 17 different countries around the world by myself. I have my diploma in Beauty therapy and am currently studying BCOM Marketing. I am a full time model embarking on a journey to break every stereotype in the industry. I have my scuba deep sea diving license, I have done parasailing, horse riding, quad biking, I have competed in marathons and have gone hot air balloon riding and so much more.

I can do anything I want to do, my wheelchair is not limiting me. My wheelchairs enables me to be independent and is helping me achieve all my dreams. I am a big dreamer and am always busy dreaming up my next adventure. I never allow my dreams to just be a dream but I make sure I do everything I can to make my dreams a reality.

Yes, I will forever be incomplete, because my perfect happy family has been broken, but I will forever keep going, until I have faced and overcome every challenge and until I have broken every stereotype set upon women/men in wheelchairs.

I owe it to my mom who is the strongest person I know, who has sacrificed so much for me, I owe it to her to be successful in life.

And I owe it to my two Hero’s looking down on me , to make them proud and keep their memory alive in everything I do.

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