Today marks my anniversary. It is the Sunday before Memorial Day. Eighteen years ago I was an 18-year-old who was about to break his neck. Tying it to a day of the week and a holiday makes it feel closer than a particular date. It helps you remember and colors your memories with context.
Being able to share this series of posts starting on this day is one of the major reasons why I wanted to start this blog. My dad has told me for years that I should talk about this as a way to help others. Maybe it was his incessant nagging or maybe that my own ego has got to such a prodigious size that I think my own story told through my perspective is important. I think that a true story means more when you know what comes next. It isn’t a story while you were living it. Maybe the story has aged enough and it is as good a day as any to pop the cork.
I am going through a little bit of a midlife crisis. After 18 years as a quadriplegic am I more a disabled person or a injured able bodied person? It is a time for me to ponder what could’ve been and also to recognize how futile that exercise is. It is time to be grateful for the health and opportunities I have been given. It is a time to celebrate the things that I’ve been able to accomplish so far in my life and to imagine what more I could’ve done if I wasn’t so damn lazy. It is also a time to contemplate what I should do with the rest of my time and how lucky I am to be able to legitimately ask that question.
I hope that this story will provide a little bit of understanding of what cannot be understood for those who are interested or are now in a situation where they need to know more. Please do not assume that my experience is like anyone else’s. I realize it is presumptuous and egotistical to assume I’m a good enough storyteller to transfer any of this to you. I also realize that telling this story is a dirty writer trick because the content is so raw that it makes it impossible to critique. You will have to say you liked it! The story is graphically honest- which is the only way I can tell it. Over the next few weeks you are welcome to come on a journey while I remember what it was like to be me the day I fell through the door to my new life.