Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jesse

I visited my friend Jesse today. Jesse is at University Hospital recovering from a motorcycle accident. I was a little apprehensive. Afraid I might say something wrong. I heard he was in good spirits and I was afraid I'd put my foot in my mouth and change that.
Jesse lost the lower portion of his left leg just below the knee. I thought about how I felt after dislocating my ankle a few years ago and how helpless I felt. My injury was nowhere near, and can not compare with what he must be going through.
Jesse was watching the football game last Sunday as his pre-teen daughter was sitting on the front porch at home waiting for the ice cream man to come by. He went out and told her he'd take her to the store if the ice cream man didn't show as soon as the game was over. The game was near it's end when Jesse went out to take his daughter to the store right down the street. Wearing her helmet, Joyce climbed on the bike behind her Dad and they headed out to the store. Cruising down the street an oncoming car decides to turn left at an intersection at the last moment, giving no warning, and slams into the motorcycle severing Jesse's leg and throwing Joyce into the air. Jesse can see his lower leg feet away as the car speeds off. Concerned for his daughter, Jesse crawls behind and around the bike and finds Joyce a little banged up but OK. Fortunately there was one witness and the driver of the car has been identified.
As I entered Jesse's hospital room he smiles and calls out my name. An old buddy of his was there as was his older daughter, a student at UT Austin. I was pleased Jesse was in good spirits and positive. He recounted the story and said he was lucky because it could have been worse. He was thankful for the fact that he was alive and Joyce was OK. And how he must and will continue to be there for his family. Jesse spoke about what he would do after getting a prosthetic. I told him he had to get two! On for normal activity and one for running!
Jesse had come to me recently and asked for advice on preparing for running a 5K in Austin. His older daughter had urged him to run with her and she eventually wanted to run a half marathon with her Dad. They were able to run that 5K last week and his daughter said it was him pushing her to the finish.
To my surprise, Jesse said he would run again. He looked forward to getting back at it. And He said he will.
As I left from my visit with Jesse I felt he made the visit easy, for Me. Jesse's job requires him to be on his feet. Life will change for him. He will have struggles. But I am happy that he has such a positive attitude. And I look forward to running with him in the future. I told him I would.

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