As I sit here on the eve of the 13th anniversary of Nicholas’ accident, trying to think of something profound to say, I’m having a difficult time finding anything coherent to write because I have one million thoughts and emotions, but they are not about me or my family, for once.
Last year I wrote about being in a good place regarding acceptance, lessons learned and perspective gained since my big brother fell out of a tree and sustained a traumatic brain injury. I wrote about a desire to do more through volunteering as a way to give back in honor of all the people who helped me thrive. And volunteer we did. Jon and I both volunteered more last year than we ever have before. The total numbers of hours volunteered is not a stand out amount, but I’m not going to be hard on myself for that. It is what it is and I’m letting myself off the hook. I hope to do more.
So here I am, 13 years later and all I can think of is SHIT, I’m right back to a place I’ve been before. A place I know. I worry that a true reveal of my thoughts at this moment will over expose my dear friends as they deal with a life altering event, so I will choose my words and depth of reflection carefully.
If anyone has been paying attention to Facebook, then you know that on Nov 6 my dear friend Leo suffered a massive stroke as the result of a fairly routine procedure while he was in Arizona for work. He is medically stable and undergoing rehab here in Colorado and the road ahead will be difficult, bumpy and long…they always are.
I was not physically present with him or his wife, my sweet friend Dani, during their days in the ICU, but I know. I wasn’t with them on a private flight back to Colorado once Leo was medically stable for travel, but I know and my parents really know. I wasn’t there on the first day at rehab when they were told there would be less monitoring around the clock, but I know. I wasn’t there the first time Leo was dressed in his familiar clothes that are now too baggy and hang the wrong way, but I know. I’m not a parent to two young boys, so I don’t know. But I am the sister to a brother whom I miss every day, so to Leo’s sisters, I know.
Leo is just beginning his rehabilitation. There are a million tricks and interventions to throw his way. I have said every day since his stroke that I’ve never seen a miracle up close my life and I have room for one, even if it takes time.
I don’t want to know, but I do. It’s a fact of life. So help me if someone calls it a silver – freaking – lining. Nope, no room in my life for that load of bull. It’s simply a coincidence and, as a result, I will take what I know and try to do my best for Leo, for Dani, for their family, for our tremendous community. I have dug deep to find a jar of cautious optimism that’s been sealed up for a while, because I need it. We all do. That’s all I know.
The purpose of this post was not a fundraising campaign, but if you feel inclined, financial freedom WILL help: https://www.youcaring.com/daniellepatnode-1010725