Just Another Day…Or Not
Well, here we are. One more year gone by since the crash that took my sight and, chances are, led to our acquaintance. Back in the day, this day was commemorated with a depressive episode of cheap bourbon and loud Pink Floyd. Not any more. Now, it’s just another day. Not something I really pay much attention to. It’s there, sure, but I don’t pay much attention to it-kinda like bugs on the windshield. There, a little annoying, but you work around it.
Today, though, was a little different. See, I’m currently working with a videographer to put together a new demo. It’ll be way cool when it’s complete, but now we’re just in the gathering phase. We’ll have to show a little background to the speaking biz and this includes pics of yours truly in the hospital.
Time heals all wounds. Maybe, maybe not. But I know it’s dulled my memory of those horrible times. Then, as Marvelyne and I flipped through stacks of old pics, I begin to remember the awful pain. And more memories of that pain. While she quietly flipped through the stack and whispered descriptions, there is one that stuck out-describing blood on my pillow. My left ear was nearly ripped off my skull and it took forever to get it healed. Not fun, not fun. And the blood on the pillow.
This was the first time my wife has seen those photos. Yesterday, we celebrated our 100 day anniversary, but I know this was a whole new side of Marcus she was introduced to today. Probably not a welcome sight, either. No matter how many times she’s heard the story, no matter how much of this story she’s edited, there’s still gotta be a certain scalding reality that comes with seeing a snapshot from my hospitalization.
And know what hits me more than anything, even more than her brief description of blood on the pillow? The people around me. The bit of my Dad’s arm in one of the torso shots that showed off my trachea. The pictures of my family in the waiting room on the first day. The signs and cards from friends laying around my bed.
I look back on those times almost as an observer. Hell, that couldn’t have been me, right? No human being can take that kind of pain! But it was me. Yet, it never really feels like me now. In fact, I hurt for that kid – not for me, but that 18 year old kid. That kid I know is me, but I don’t feel like it was me. Make sense? Probably not.
All the while we’re looking at these shots, it made me humble. Humble and grateful. And sad. Not for me nor my loss nor the pain-that is all in the past. But for the people, again. Nobody should have to look on someone they love they can’t recognize. No one should have to wonder if their loved one will be brain damaged. And my peeps did. I’m humbled by that and grateful to them for sticking with me – even when I was the irreverent, insulting ingrate.
This afternoon, after looking through that stuff, I sent a quick E mail to my plastic surgeon, Dr. Tim Jones of the Genesis Institute. I was pretty well overcome with gratitude. I mean, what other emotion can I have? He’s the guy who put me back together again. He’s the guy who I owe a significant amount of my life to. He’s the guy who turned me from this monstrous swollen faced freak into what I am today (which, if you believe my wife, is a hottie). Still, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him. He, my parents, my sister, my friends, my nurses-they all carried part of that load. I hate they had to do it. Hate it. But they did. And they’d do it again. And I would for them. And you call that love.