Wednesday, April 8, 2009

20 years ago today

As many of you know, on April 8, 1989, I was in a serious boating accident that changed my life forever. At the time of the event, I could not have imagined anything as horrific occurring in my life. I almost died, I almost lost my leg, I'd never be good at baseball again.

I could not have made it through without the great support of my family and friends. Many of those friends have reconnected with me on Facebook, and for many of them, their first question is, "How's the leg?" which always makes me smile.

I was overwhelmed with visitors to the hospital, sometimes up to 10-15 at a time, watching movies with me, bringing in Chinese food from Cantons (my favorite), care packages sent from far away or people just sitting with me talking for hours to create some sort of normalcy.

Sometimes it takes something horrible to learn how loved your are.

Since so much time has passed, I actually go days, even weeks at a time without thinking about the accident. Its become a part of who I am, what I have gone through and after the initial shock wore off, I just learned to deal with it. As one friend said recently, "I am glad you have found peace with it." She couldn't be more right.

As I told my children this morning about the anniversary, they seemed surprised when I said that if I had to do it all over again, I would have still gone water skiing that day, that I would have still been in that accident, and gone through all the pain and physical therapy it took just to walk again. You may be surprised to hear that as well.

The events of that day and the years to follow changed my aspirations from baseball and sports, to band and creative writing. It led me to the University of Missouri, a place I would have never considered going before. I would have never met my wife, never had four great kids and never felt a such a strong connection to so many of you that are reading this now.

And for that I thank all of you and ask that your memories of that day, of the accident be positive. I know that it has been for me.


linda said...

Beautifully written and felt.
Love you!

Garity said...

I should tell you that every once in a while (usually when someone is making fun of how gullible I am) I think about how much fun you had with me, testing my gullibility. I believed you every time you'd change the story about what happened. I don't think I actually knew what happened until the end of 10th grade. (I didn't know you before 10th grade so I was a newbie to your humor)

I am so glad you didn't die that day because I don't know what 10th grade band would have been like without your humor and friendship (you made being targeted by those "you know whos" bearable!) I was so happy to get back in touch with you after all these years and see your amazing family, not to mention the kind of man you turned into (thank goodness you are Conservative too!)

Vivi said...

Hey Josh,

I have always believed that the choices we make and the things that happen to us are all for a reason.

But I do have to giggle a little, because I remember years ago when I asked you once about the scar on your leg. You told me it was from a shark attack.

Congrats again on numero quatro!