First off, you have to watch this video.... and then come back. I'll wait.
Just some quick background. Brian is from NewYork but moved to Utah about 4 years ago to enjoy all the wonderful outdoor things that we have to offer. This past June he was mountain biking when he had his accident and is currently paralyzed from the chest down.
Here's the deal. I have a good friend that I have "known" for quite some time. We met through blogging (back in the day was blogging was cool) and have stayed in touch via facebook, email etc.
He contacted me and another mutual friend, Abe, here in the SLC valley and asked if we would be willing to help him out. He is a family friend of Brian's and wanted to do something special for him. He hatched a plan to bring him some cheer and motivation. This dear friend sent money to both Abe and I with some instructions. Abe was to have his 1st grade class write some get well cards. I was to find a pair of cool running shoes that Brian could have to look at and motivate him in his therapy.
When the mail came, and the funds were in my hand you bet your knickers I toddled off to Wasatch Running Center. With Darrell's help, we were able to get him some shoes, shorts, socks, a water bottle, and a WRC shirt and hat. I was particular on the shoes. They had to be red. Knowing that he was a Utah transplant I had hoped that some Ute blood had gotten to him and that he was a fan. The shoes are sick! (that means cool for you old people)
This evening Abe and I made the jaunt up to the hospital to meet Brian and to give him his presents that our mutual friend had provided.
Can I just tell you that he is quite possibly the coolest person I have ever met? Upbeat, happy, cheerful, and inspiring. He's quite sure that he will get his legs back. In fact, by the time, we left, he had me convinced. Just seeing the progress he has already made, and watching his grit and determination - the dude will meet and exceed his goals. He's someone that while I only spent about 30-40 minutes with, will remember the rest of my life. His amazing spirit is etched in my brain and on my heart. Our mutual friend who provided this opportunity? Has my undying loyalty and love. He is truly one of the best human beings that I have ever not met in real life.
The shoes got a little cut off, so his mom retook the pic
There they are - Mizuno's. And the coolest part of it all? His new wheelchair that he ordered with the Drew Brees donation will match the shoes. Very cool!
Of course, we had to include Ellen and Drew in our pic
As most people know, I've been dealing with my own health issues and some chronic pain for over a year now. I had neck surgery in March, still dealing with some pain and as of Tuesday, there was discussion of perhaps another surgery. It's been a year of a lot of miserable day's. More pain than not, and a roller coaster of emotions. However, when I was getting ready this morning and again grumbling about my pain, I had a moment of clarity: At least I could feel my pain. I am standing up, I am walking, I can run (even if my doc doesn't want me to). I can shower by myself, I can play with my granddaughters, I can do just about anything I want to. And while pain sucks.....at least I can feel it.
Best wishes in continued progress and improvement to Brian. I plan on following him closely.
Thanks Abe for coming with me - it was a great experience.
To my anonymous mutual friend - I love you. More than a fat kid loves cake. Thank you. There are not enough words to express my gratitude.
To my Heavenly Father - thank you for providing some clarity and perspective to me. I needed it.
PS - If you ever doubted that God puts people in your lives for reasons you may not understand right away? Stop doubting. Heavenly Father knows exactly who you are, what you need, and provides it all for you in sometimes the most unexpected ways.