Sunday, June 01, 2008

Reality Check

Part of "Figuring Things Out" in life is realizing that you are not in control of everything. We try hard to create a feeling of control, but in the end, there are things that happen where we cannot manipulate the outcome that remind us of how small we are in the universe.

Sometimes these are minor events and then there are those incidents that hit you hard.

This week has been difficult; my dad is in the hospital, my favorite aunt passed away and one of my best friends was hit by a drunk driver (he is okay).

. I live 2000 miles away, and feel helpless.

My father is my greatest hero. He is a regular guy who lives a regular life, but has lived his 93 years with a clear picture of his moral conviction and dedication to his friends and family. I can think of nobody who I more want to emulate. From my point of view he discovered how to live life with little stress and high levels of contentment.

My aunt was a fun lady who often took care of me when I was a little kid. What I remember most was how she would humor me when I was three-year-old by setting an extra place at the table for my two imaginary friends, Chucky and Margo, and would always have "real" peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a plate for them.

My friend was minding his own business at 3:30 PM when his car was hit at 65 MPH by a drunk. While he and his passengers have only minor injuries, it was still too close for comfort.

I share this on my blog not because the events of this week have helped me "figure things out", but instead as a reminder of how easily distracting real life can be sometimes for everyone. We set goals and head down the path only to be forced to face a reality check.

The good news is that the bumps in the road of life tend to make us stronger and help us develop our character. We also learn much good about the people around us who seem to make the tough times easier with a smile, a hug, a prayer, etc....

As I look at all the things on my calendar that I should be doing this week, they suddenly do not seem as important as being with my dad, honoring my aunt Catherine at her memorial service and catching up with an old friend.

Have A Great Day.



James T. Parsons said...

Hey Thom, sorry to hear about your Aunt and hope your dad and friend continue on the mend.

I figure it is always nice to have people send you positive thoughts and prayers and I will send you some now.

For your friend who was hit by the drunk, I have some experience with that. I was hit by a drunk in my first year of law school about a week before fall finals. At the time I had only "whiplash" and as a doctor's kid didn't give much credibility to soft-tissue injuries.

However, for the next 15 years I have had problems (albeit relatively minor most of the time) with neck pain. It, however, tends to interplay with my tendency to reflux issues since the nerve endings of the back and neck are shared with the thorasic cavity. While I didn't try to sue for some settlement at the time and passed the SOL before I knew how it would impact me, I might suggest your friend at least get some sort of settlement even if they seem fine at the time. While what damages might occur might be hard to predict, it is probably at least worth seeing what they might get - if they are showing ANY signs of soft-tissue injuries.

Take care and hope your next weeks are better.

Chris Hyde said...

Wow...I'm really sorry to hear all of that. Hope your dad is doing better. And is this a friend I know?