It was a six-pack's worth of years ago when I awoke in a ditch. Blood was everywhere. Worse still the red stuff was your's truly. Movement was out of the question. Good Samaritan First Responders pleaded with me, "Don't Move!" So I listened.
Getting struck from behind by a speeding sedan wasn't part of my Life Game Plan.
I was then on Day Two of a Ten Day bicycle tour in Montana.
Eventually, I was placed in a lower rib to chin brace for ninety days. Three Doctors declared my survival to be a medical miracle. As my paramedic buddy Steve Main once said, "Jeff! You must have landed just right."
I then had to deal with the physical and mental side of surviving a near crematorium experience. Yes, I was stiff, scarred and sore. I wasn't sure how I'd mend. On the cerebral side, I was suffering Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. My dreams (nightmares) caused me to jolt awake drenched in a clammy sweat. That sucked.
Three months to the day the brace was unceremoniously deposited in a dumpster.. A few days later, this slow moving walking wounded was on a plane to NYC for my youngest nephew's nuptials. Before the affair, I would be staying with my nephew Keith and his lovely wife Courtney.
At the time K&C lived in a swank high rise in Manhattan. (Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez lived in an adjacent building). A Doorman allowed me passage after getting the high sign from Courtney. Up I went in the elevator.
Upon exiting, I stiffly looked right and then left. Courtney was standing in her apartment's doorway. Her eyes were Full Moon wide open. Her right knuckles were clenched in her mouth. It was a look expressing many emotions at the same time. Most of all it said, "I'm so happy to see Uncle Jeff alive!"
For me, it made me realize there are people who would miss me if I hadn't woken up in that Montanan ditch. There are people who actually love me.
We then gave each other a long teary hug
So...what have I learned from this Readers Digest True Story episode?
First) Even a curmudgeonly sociable hermit like myself can be lovable.
Second) Pay more than lip service to your passions and dreams. Always be working on your Bucket List, even if the result maybe living in a van down by the river. Do what feels right to you. (Just so it's not harmful or hurtful to others.)
Third) Unless you foster suicidal tendencies, no one is certain on when they will feel the icy breath of the Grim Reaper or the sudden desire to be pushing up daisies. (Final photo) Play with passion. Life is finite.
Here's a few more anniversary posts, if this one wasn't enough!
Cheers and be safe out there!