Monday, October 22, 2018


Survival Day 2018, 13 Years Forward

So, thirteen years ago, on this date, by this time of night I was probably being loaded on to Life-Line, if not already in the air on the flight from the Walmart in Greencastle, IN (it was the closest place to the rural accident scene where the helicopter had room to land) to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  My long nap was just about to start and medications had already been administered that, in addition to keeping me relatively calm and helping to dull the pain, probably had some impact on my lack of cohesive memory of what occurred after the initial impact.  While I was about to go to sleep for almost six weeks, the real world nightmare that my family and friends endured was just starting.  Recognizing this day annually is as much a testament to them and those who supported us all during that time as it is a celebration of the day I didn't die.

I am still here.  Though greatly changed physically (bi-lateral above the knee amputations, prosthetic legs, additional body mass...really long hair), emotionally (far less tolerant of trivial complaints and far more accepting of the differences that make each of us unique), mentally (can't come up with an example...but that in and of itself is probably indicative of how I've changed in that area), and even spiritually (far less questioning and more grounded in my personal faith), I am still here.

Thirteen years makes a tremendous difference in one's life.  I'm married now and Step-Father to several brilliant individuals.  This past year saw my 18 year-old Step-Son, who has lived with us for the past two years, graduate from high school, start college, and move into the dorms...I'm regularly amazed by the young independent adult that he is becoming.  This past year also saw a change in custody and my two youngest step-kids (13 & 15) now live with us full time.  In addition to those big changes, we also purchased a new home.

Renovations at the new house to make it accessible enough for me to live their, including a new master suite, are well underway and we are hoping (fingers crossed) to be fully moved in by Thanksgiving!  Renovations are also underway at my old house to get it on the market as soon as possible.  As a result of this I've been blessed to have a lot of time with my dad as we've been working on various projects...most of them involving both houses.  I've also been blessed to spend more time with mom, as she comes by regularly to check on our progress and ensure that we are eating lunch or at the very least stopping for an afternoon snack.

With all of this going on, it's no small wonder that today crept up on us like any other normal day.  Last night, as I was getting ready for bed I decided to check my calendar hoping that I would have nothing to do today, as I really needed a rest.  Shortly after midnight was when I became aware of today's date.  My immediate thought was "wow, that's today."  I would've missed it completely if I hadn't looked at the calendar.  Irena sent me a message shortly after her work day started asking why I hadn't reminded her of the day's significance.  I replied that "it's just a day"...a day that I prefer to do as little as possible and interact with people as little as possible, but it's still just a day.

That said, when she asked what I wanted for dinner I didn't hesitate to ask for a Vampire Slayer Pizza from Just Wing'n It.  The kids aren't big fans of that particular restaurant, but that's what popped into my head when she asked the question, and as step-father to this many kids my opportunities to get what I want are few and far between, so I figured I better take the chance while I had it!  It may be just a day, but it's still my special day, and I aim to enjoy it!    

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