Friday, November 27, 2015
Ten years ago, through the actions of another person whose decisions were out of my control, my life changed in ways that, at the time, I perceived as horrific. Yes, that change brought about many long term challenges that will impact my life until the day my physical body ceases to function, but through those challenges many amazing, new, and wondrous opportunities have come my way. All of these things, coupled with my life before the accident, have changed me into the man I am today; a man who has finally reached a point in his life where he is ready to allow all of those challenges to become secondary to realizing his dream of shaping his own family.
I thought loosing my legs was the biggest change that I would ever face in my life, but in July I initiated a change that is far more impactful by asking Irena a simple yes or no question. I'm so Thankful that she said yes and that her children have opened their arms to me as part of their evolving family. I'm also truly grateful for all the blessings that I have been given...to have a loving family and a safe warm home and amazing sustaining food and to live in a nation where, for the most part, I can go anywhere I want and have the support to live an inclusively independent lifestyle, and soooo much more!
I'm thankful for the amazing souls who risked their lives to save me on that traumatic night, and for all of those who work in the medical and emergency rescue field. This past year I've met three more of those individuals...a firefighter who just happened to answer the phone when I called the Greencastle Fire Department to research information for an upcoming speech...who also just happened to have voluntarily fought the fire that consumed my legs nine years before. Then, just after the ten year anniversary of the accident, I was reunited with the Nurse and Paramedic who had kept me alive during the LifeLine Helicopter transport from Greencastle to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. I finally got to experience a memorable helicopter ride over the city...a fitting memory to fill the gap of the $10,000 helicopter ride that I've never had any memory of, but certainly saw the bill for in my insurance paperwork. Irena came with me on that ride, which I saw as a beautifully symbolic way for the two of us to move forward from all that we have both faced before our lives finally came together.