As a community, we’ve had two freak accidents that have put a former student and a current student into the hospital in the last four months.

Elizabeth, a former student, was hit by a car riding her bike from piano lessons last May.  She was put into a medically induced coma to help the brain swelling that took place, and quite honestly, people didn’t know what to expect when she regained consciousness.  What has happened is nothing short of a miracle.  She’s had some movement issues on one side, but much of her memory has been regained, she’s alert, she’s communicating, and wants to come back to school! Her mom and dad update a CaringBridge site, pretty much on a daily basis about her progress.

Chase, a current student, during football practice suffered an injury that caused a blood clot which resulted in a stroke.  He has surgery to relieve brain swelling, and yesterday was transferred to a rehab center where he will be doing occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy daily.  Updates are being given on a YouCaring page.  He’s written his name, is starting to eat small amounts, and the hope that’s projected outward by the posts are awesome.  His mom has been with him the whole time, his dad doing home with their kids and hospital duties.

Now, to top things off.  We’ve missed seeing our college friends and their families the last three years due to the fact our lives have gotten busy.  A family from Illiniois hosts and we travel from Iowa and my college roommate and his family come from the Twin Cities.  These are people who we love dearly, and we just seem to pick up with regardless of the amount of time we’ve been apart.  We don’t have many friends like that, and it’s been hard not to get together that weekend.  Our daughter is a swimmer, and the first meet of the year, the last three years, has fallen on the weekend of Labor Day, which just kills things as it’s a 5 hour drive.  Anyway, this year’s swim schedule came out with NO meet this weekend, so we were quick to get things scheduled.  Last night, I got an email from my old roommate’s wife: he’d not felt well on the way to work, so pulled over to throw up, passed out, and fell out of his car.  He damaged two vertebrae in his neck to the point where he required about four hours of surgery and will be in a neck brace for the foreseeable future.  The friend from Illinois emailed that “he was being awfully dramatic trying to get out of this weekend” but I know she was shaken as well.

My point of all this, life’s too short.  Find those people who mean something to you, and let them know.  Kevin, my old roommate, is like a brother, and while we may not always keep in touch, I know he’s got my back.  Julie, who lives in Illinois, has always been a close friend and the three of us just bonded that first year of college and haven’t let up since.  They mean the world to me, and I’m not always good at communicating that.  No more.  In my last blog, I talked about wanting to be more in the moment, these three things, freak, uncontrollable horrible accidents have shown me that goal has to be reached repeatedly.  Too many times we think to ourselves, “I’ll make that call tomorrow”, but what is today is it?  Make the call, write the letter, stop in, whatever it is.

But do it.  Give those people the hug you want to give them, and tell them they are important.

If you don’t, they may never know.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend.  Be happy. Be safe. Be you.