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.
I heard a car pull in the driveway. I hoped it was Aimee. I wanted to give her the two, five dollar gifts that I bought for her for our three-year anniversary. The gifts were small, one a belt buckle with RV's on it and the other a fake vintage watch. A while back we agreed not buy anything for each other and instead put it towards traveling, put it towards the Westy and future road trips.
A minute later, I heard her putting her key in the front door. I went over to greet her. She opened the door and told me to close my eyes. She led me down the driveway and told me to open my eyes. I did. Leaning against the house was a brand new custom surfboard. My jaw dropped.
I said I only got her a few cheap trinkets from a second hand store. She said that she didn't spend any money.
And that's where the true surprise comes. The board was a gift from someone I have never met, nor spoke to. The board was from a local shaper, Ryan Siegel, who read my story back in April and read that I surfed and wanted to do something nice for me, to give support.
During the next few months, Aimee and Ryan got the dimensions down. They asked my friend Nick McPherson if he could draw something up for the board.
This is something that I will never forget. In a time when most of my family no longer speaks to me, in a time when I have never felt so alone and so frustrated, this happens. It makes me happy to know that these people are out there, not only for what they've done for me but what they will do for others.
Thanks Ryan, thanks Nick, and thank you Aimee. I am fighting back the tears.