Friday, April 3, 2009

Life and Death

Today was a day of feeling close to death, but then being reminded of the life and energy of 7th graders.

Mike He-Man drove me down to Racine today to pick up my bike so he could bring it back to the shop and provide an estimate for insurance.

Mike, Crankdaddy's chief mechanic and manager, told me earlier that in the case of vehicle/bicycle collisions, he always declares the frame a total loss because you never know what kind of internal stressors in the frame might cause the bike to fall apart at inopportune times!

After the crash, a guy told me the bike was okay. But last night I dreamed that when I picked up the frame, it fell apart in my hands.

I felt nauseous when I saw the bike today. Since Mom reads this, I won't go into details or show pictures. But the frame was in pieces. It was ugly.

I felt deeply grateful I am still alive and that I only have a broken femur from the crash. If you look at the frame, you would assume I had died.

He-Man drove me up to school so I could see the kids. I can't tell you how much I miss them. They all crowded around the wheelchair to see the scars. I only showed them a portion of the thigh laceration because parts of it are too gross for them to see.

As typical kids, they would say, "ooo, gross. Can I see it again?"

Many kids asked me if I cried. I told them I was in too much pain to cry, and I did a lot more screaming.

I wanted more time with them, in small groups, to hear about their lives and what had been going in the last three weeks. In three weeks, kids could start a couple of new relationships!

It's a cliche for sure, but today I realized how close I was to losing those kids. I'm grateful for the time with them.

And when I go back after Easter, and one of them is driving me crazy, I'll try to remember this day, and be thankful I'm around for him to bug me.

Finally, today Mom went back to Eau Claire. She spent the morning cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, worrying about me. She can tend to be a bit "motherly" and want to help someone with everything.

But she's been amazing here. She's let me work through learning how to use the walker and crutches, how to get around, she's even around when I'm doing my workouts and feeling all the pain. She's kept me company, and listened to me.

I will miss her a ton until I head to Eau Claire so she can take care of me there. I'm a lucky man to have had her take care of me these past three weeks. Thanks, mom.

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