This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.
You take a shot to the head and next thing you know you have a head shot on the cover of a paper. The article came out Wednesday and now 161,000 copies are strewn throughout the county at gas stations, outside liquor stores, and inside newsstands. For two days now, fear and anxiety has paralyzed me. I read the story over and over again. I wait to see the comments and I hope they are kind. My anxiety seems to be all for nothing. People I have never met, people that live across the country, leave words of encouragement and support after reading. They use words like 'inspiration' and 'brave'. Words that have never accompanied my name before. Some share their tragic stories, others just give me their support. I didn't see any of it coming.
When I woke up from my induced slumber, I saw the outpouring of emotion. I heard about neighbors coming by to get updates. They gave us baskets of fruit and nuts. Most of these people I hadn't said a single word to, maybe just gave them a wave as they drove by. The response is similar since the story came out but this time, it's from people I don't know, have never met. It's sad. It's taken these comments and well wishes to once again see how amazing people are. I want to learn how I can hold on to that knowledge. And while they say I am inspiring, that seems to be the only word that I can use when I read their words. Here's one of those comments. It brought tears to my eyes when I read it. "I never do this, write to somebody about something that I have read or anything that I see on the web, but not today, today is different. I felt the need to express my self to you, it was rather difficult and painful to read your piece in The Reader today.
I was in a car accident 13 years ago, I was wearing my belt that's why I am alive today, my friend who was driving, wasn't wearing her belt and did not survive. I still live with some pain from that time, but you make me remember how important life is and how delicate we are!"
This is what I hope to take from this. This is what I need to live by. It's becoming less about recovery, and more about new beginnings and it's about time.