My Rough Summer
2018 was rough for me. It was rough for my whole family. The girls had the wonderful privilege of spending their summer in Atlanta tending to Dad in the hospital. It’s not was I would choose at ten.
In memoriam, we had a party last week for the first anniversary of my accident. We served dessert for all the friends, family, and neighbors who helped us through the resulting needs. I didn’t even know they were helping since I was cozily comatose for five weeks (Hey! Cozily Comatose is a good name for a band!)
The party affected me unexpectedly. I realized, as in it really hit home, that a year earlier, my wife stayed late at the hospital while a trauma surgeon did his best to knit me back together. When he was done, he walked out of the surgery, grabbed my wife’s hands, and said that in 48 hours we will know “how this is going to go.”
My wife, made of steel and believing that it’s always better to know than to wonder, asked, “by know how this will go you mean whether he lives or dies?”
“That’s about it,” he said.
She came home from the hospital and retrieved our ten-year-old twins from the neighbors. She laid the girls down and took a shower. She got out of the shower, dried off, and gathered up the girls to sleep.
But they needed to talk first.
“You know your dad was hit by a car on his bicycle tonight. He had a race tomorrow and was out getting ready for that. He might not come home.”
“You mean, he might die?” one of the girls asked, teary.
“That’s about it.”
Six weeks later, I moved to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. I spent my first week taking tests and meeting with doctors and therapists. During the second week, they all met with my wife and, by telephone, my older kids. My wife had two questions.
“Will he walk again?”
The doctor hesitated. “Let’s have that conversation again after two or three years.”
“And work?” My wife continued. ”Will he be able to work again?”
“Let’s talk about that after he walks.”
“So, you can’t tell me anything now?”
The doctor explained. “He’s had a brain injury. We don’t know what to expect or how quickly he’ll heal. That’s about it.”
And I thought I had it bad.
This Guy Had it Really Nasty
I’m reading through Atomic Habits now, by James Clear, and I shook my head at the story he tells in the Introduction. In just a few paragraphs, he tells about getting hit in the face with a bat when he was young. He loved baseball and, well, it’s easy to imagine, that this derailed him. For several years. Here is how he concludes his accident:
“In a fraction of a second, I had a broken nose, multiple skull fractures, and two shattered eye sockets.”
This guy had serious injuries. Even with my rough year, I winced when I read his story, so thorough and debilitating were had injuries.
So, if you’re feeling bad about your life, remember, it’s all about perspective. If you don’t feel pretty or if the girl you like doesn’t know you exist. Or if you only have eight people reading your last blog post, or if you weren’t chosen for the promotion…it can be a lot worse. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. For me, I remind myself of three things: I’m alive, I’ve walking, I have a family that loves me.
That’s about it.
For more Perspectives go here.
Thanks so much for reading. Can you think of someone else who would enjoy the post? Please mail it to them or share with your favorite social media using one of the icons below. And won’t you follow me? You can do so in the sidebar or when the pop up…pops up. Thanks again! And feel free to comment!