Friday, March 16, 2007


The turning of the years

As some of you may have noticed last Tuesday was my birthday. March 13th 2007 marked the beginning of my 32nd year. As my birthday approached I experienced a roller coaster of emotions. Every year around my birthday I find myself reflecting on the past years. What's changed, what dreams have I achieved, what direction is my life going in? Thoughts like that start going through my mind.

Last year, as my birthday approached I found myself thinking wow, I almost didn't make it. This year I went from one extreme to the other. Those of you who know me well know that I want to be a husband and a father someday. So, one of the more depressing thoughts I had was, "Is this it?". With the loss of my legs had I also lost the opportunity to find love and raise a family? Was my life now about the struggle to live with a disability, instead of striving to live a full life and leaving behind the legacy of family?

In the middle of my self inflicted emotional confusion about my upcoming birthday I had a conversation with a friend about faith. Faith is not having to worry about whether your future is bleak or bright. Faith is knowing that ultimately what's supposed to be will come to pass. Faith is knowing that our struggles in the here and now will be rewarded in the future. The conversation was meant to help my friend with the issues she was struggling with but I walked away from it feeling relief from the weight of my own internal issues.

The weekend before my birthday I spoke with another person, a new friend, who asked how I was dealing with all of this (the loss of my legs and all the struggles that came with it). I told her how the most difficult part was being single and wondering what impact my disability will have on my romantic future. She reaffirmed my earlier realization about faith and positive thinking.

The fact is that, as a result of the accident, I've met some wonderful people that I would never have known. When I was in High School I taught martial arts and was in great shape. Then I went to college, found beer and wine (I even had classes about them), started working, and got out of shape. Yes, my work at the Walden Inn got me into better physical condition before the accident but it took the accident to get me into a regular exercise program (pilates). My point is that if you look back at the turning of the years, the connections are inspiring, and that as the years continue to turn the connections build in positive ways, even if we don't see it at the time.

A year ago, when we first started talking about the C-legs, Mom and Dad kept saying that I was going to have the best legs possible. I asked Mom how they could be so certain when the expense was so high and we didn't know if insurance would pay for them. Mom said that she didn't know but that we would find a way. Then, with no prompting from us, my Fathers co-workers have come up with a cookbook and a benefit concert.

I have felt strange about publicizing fund raisers that are for my benefit. Something about it just gives me a creepy crawly feeling but, I've come to realize that both the cookbook and the concert are ways that people can help and get something in return. In one case people will get a fantastic recipe book that many of you have helped to create. In the other case people will be treated to an evening of beautiful music. I'll be talking more about the concert in the next blog. Let me end by saying this, your support is more proof of the power of faith.
Thank you.

Jeremy, your strength, spirit and recovery since your accident have inspired so much faith in so many other people. I have no doubt God has incredible plans for you! Not only have you faced challenges, you are also so generous with sharing your true feelings about those challenges. Your special lady will not be ordinary - you deserve so much more than that. I have confidence you will someday be dancing with your bride on those new c-legs! I went through a period of time in my own life when I kept saying "but it wasn't supposed to be this way." The closing of the movie Pleasantville had a lasting impression on me ... as the mom distressfully told her son that life wasn't supposed to turn out that way, he said to her "yes, this is the way it is supposed to be."

We make the most of the journey we are on, and even though you have your down times, you are on a remarkable journey, and you've touched so many lives along the way. And ... the best is yet to come!

Happy Belated Birthday. Fran
I have to believe that there are wonderful things in the future for a wonderful human being such as yourself. Some are given every advantage and still end up "lost souls". Others have obstacles thrown in their paths and still come out "on top".
I'm not sure what God has planned for you as yet but, I am sure, you will come out "on top" and you will not be there alone! I believe there is a special someone out there for you and God will put her in your path when he feels you are ready. As an example of God's wisdom in timing - I have told my children many times "if you were created at any other time during my infertility trials, you would not be YOU".
All in God's time, my cousin, all in God's time!
Let go and let God.
I don't know if you remember or not but I did ask you to marry me...although I think Neil would object at the right moment (or at least I would hope he would).
Happy Birthday, time is not standing still my friend, get out there and make the most of being 32, I remember those days.
The journey you are on is a road of many adventures, you have only opened up the book, wait till you get to the next's pretty good!!
I thank God everyday for you my friend. You have touched me with your remarkable strength and determination, wait till you can teach your kids that as well.
Take care of yourself, and yes I will plan something soon.
I love you too...
Hey there Jeremy. It was GREAT to see you today, although better circumstances would have been prefered. I will most assuredly be in touch! Tell me more about this concert....classical, rock, ????...which direction will that be headed? I'm a musician. I MUST KNOW!
A friend, a neighbor, a caregiver, a coworker, a writer--you have been and are all of these things. Add Teacher to that list. Thank you for teaching us all. And Happy Belated Birthday!

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