I write this post with a sense of sadness; but also an overwhelming sense of joy and anticipation. In my last post I talked about the impending trip upon which I was about to embark. As I write to you this morning (both of you), I am packed, geared up, and ready to head back to DIA for my return flight to Texas and my beautiful family. And I have much for which to give thanks.
To describe the events of the past few days would be somewhat intrusive to the man I call brother and to his amazing family. Over the years, toying around with and (hopefully) becoming better at this hobby of mine called blogging I have learned a valuable lesson. Write about yourself. The people in your life have not necessarily asked to be subject of your musings. Although I know he would not mind if I took a few moments to lay out for you all the fun things we did, the things we did matter not in the grand scheme. That is because what we did is not nearly as pertinent as who we are. This man, this friend, this brother of mine is and always has been a godsend to me. In the all-to-brief time we spent together I had a chance to catch up with him. We hadn’t seen each other in over two years. I hope it won’t be that long before the next visit. But who am I? I am the recipient of his kindness. And that is all that matters.
I will share one vignette. Last evening he and I and his son walked over to the playground. While we were there I witnessed the most beautiful thing unfold before my eyes. I got to see him be the dad I used to be — you know, before the hell of spinal surgery and debilitation seized hold of my life and very nearly changed me as a person into something that I am not and do not ever want to be. I saw a man filled with love and an energy source that comes from God only knows where engaging with his little boy. I realized that they were doing — that he was doing — all the things I used to do with my own little ones. They ran, they roughhoused, they laughed, they shared a special bond. While it is true that I am regaining my strength at a remarkable clip these days, I know that full recovery is still a little ways off. But that moment gave me hope. It reminded me of when I’d come in the door from work and the kids would jump on me and I’d forget the troubles of the world and just be Dad. I love those times. It made me forget the moments where I had to tell my babies not to climb on me or to watch out not to get my bone growth device wet or that I simply couldn’t take them on a walk or push them on the swings yet. But that word “yet” seemed so close and within grasp now. In short, by him just being him, the Holy Spirit was inspiring me and filling me with true and lasting hope. This will pass and it will pass soon. I won’t delude myself into thinking that ten years from now I might not be in wheelchair. But until that day comes I’m going to be who I was called to be.
I don’t know that I could ever adequately express my thanks to him and his wife and their children. I don’t know that he would ever accept the adulation. He’s kind of humble. But I know that the three most important people in my life will understand what I’ve just written and I hope that they will appreciate that my brief time away might just have been a gift from God for all of us.
God bless any of you reading this and I ask if you could please continue to pray. Pray for me and my recovery. Pray for a safe return flight. Pray for my buddy. He’s a good man and those of us who know him are already blessed by his friendship.
As for me, I’ve already got visions of the playground dancing around in my head. You know, after I start physical therapy this week.