20 years ago today.

About this time of day, 20 years ago, I was helping a friend move something out of her dorm room. I heard a siren and thought, I hope that’s not Jim.

A while later I got a call from my Resident Director, Pat. He told me to grab the other RA from my floor and come down to his apartment. He told us that Jim had been in an accident and it was serious.  I told him that last I saw him he was with our friend Heather, on my motorcycle.  Pat made a few phone calls, so did the rest of us.  All we knew was that Jim was being airlifted to Indianapolis.  We weren’t sure what was happening to Heather.

A few of us jumped into a car and headed south.  We got to visit Jim in the ER.  He was fairly conscious, bloodied, and scrapped up.  We knew he had several broken bones.  The thing that got me, was on the way out of his ER room I notices blood dripping off his gurney into a puddle on the floor.

It was the longest night of my life.

Eventually his parents arrived.  Jim was already in surgery.

At some point, I can’t remember when, I talked to someone that told me that Heather had died.

Jim survived. Barely.   He had so many surgeries I can’t remember.  He was in the hospital for weeks.  I visited him as much as I could for about a week. I postponed my internship so I could stay longer.

Jen and I travelled to London, Ontario, Canada where Heather’s funeral was.  She had a gorgeous wood casket.  We all wrote on it.  She’s buried in a beautiful plot, on a hill.  I was honored to be a casket bearer with some friends.  It was a good goodbye.  As best as can be expected.

They were on my motorcycle.

Jim had a long road ahead.  He is a miracle.  At every turn he over came adversity.  God seemed to have is hand on him.  He can walk, he’s married, he has 3 beautiful kids, a house, a couple dogs.  He’s been an electrician, a pastor, a coach, a brother, a friend. He’s alive and I’m grateful for him.

On May 10th I often wonder who Heather would have become.  Where her heart, sense of humor, and care for others would have taken her.  Who knows.

So Jim, I’m grateful I still have you.  Heather, I miss you and I’m sad you’re not still with us.  It isn’t fair.   The world is a little less bright than it could have been with you in it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be uncommon.

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