Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Well, here we are in are winter wonderland. West Jordan is now blanketed by a good 6 inches (at my house anyway) of snow. I’ve always loved freshly fallen snow – the way it hangs on the trees and houses, the sensation of your ears and nose losing sensation. It is winter now.
As we get ready to lay another year to rest, I find myself in reflection of the events that have occurred. For me, I think this was a landmark year. I believe I have changed and changed for the better.
In the early part of May, I was involved in an accident at work. It was an experience that has changed the way I am viewing life, refocused my mental filters, if you will. We were taking down an event and I was struck on the back of my neck by a falling speaker stand (luckily NOT the speaker, an 80+ lbs. object). I blacked out long enough to not remember how I came to be laying, face-down, under a fallen projection screen. I couldn’t feel my feet, a sign that could mean a potentially dangerous injury. The paramedic crew carefully rolled me over (it took four of them and another four of my co-workers), restrained me to a backboard, fitted me with an extremely uncomfortable neck brace and I was whisked away to a waiting ambulance. My supervisor called my wife and explained the situation to her and informed her of the hospital I was to be taken to. Because Marcee works less than ten minutes from that particular hospital, she arrived before I did, which added to her worry because the emergency room staff had nothing to tell her. After I arrived at the hospital, I was subjected to the usual barrage of emergency medical tests for suspected spinal injuries – x-rays, having people push on your feet, try to figure out what the guy next to you is in for (it’s a mental test). The woman conducting the x-ray was a 5’2” Hispanic woman who, from what I could gather, had failed Gurney Driving 101, 102, and 103. She hit every wall, doorjamb, other gurneys. If I wasn’t seriously injured from my accident, this woman would ensure that the emergency room staff had plenty to do.
I spent a total of five hours strapped to that backboard and confined to that neck brace. In the end I was OK, nothing serious, nothing but a massive purple and black bruise and a VERY sore neck. I could have been paralyzed or worse. Marcee was OK as well.
As I’ve reflected on this experience, I’ve come to realize that, yes, our lives are very short. You never know when it’s going to be taken away or forever altered. You could be driving home tomorrow, get hit by another driver and spend the rest of your days peeing into a bag. You could be diagnosed with cancer or have a huge melanoma lump grow out of the side of your head. Life is too short to be bitter about little junky things or afraid to do what you want, because of what others might say. Quit complaining about things you can’t change and get off your butt and change the things you can. Teach your children that they have more potential than they will ever know, but only they can utilize it. Get over yourself. Live your life without looking back. Enjoy every day of your life.