My 27 year old cousin, Nathan, is in a neuro ICU in Colorado after a mountain biking accident. We don't know really what happened because he was biking alone but he was found...not sure even how long he was down before he was found...on a trail he'd ridden a hundred times before. It took some time to get word to his parents because when his cell phone was discovered, they didn't know who to call. They ended up getting in touch with his ex-girlfriend who was able to track down his fiance who took it from there. He was wearing a helmet but had a head injury on the left side. Either he hit right at the edge of his helmet or his helmet hit so hard it pushed into his head. Initial reports were not good. He had a brain bleed, was put on a vent and has a broken clavicle but no one really knew anything in the beginning. Three days later, he's having some issues with short-term memory loss...he knows the year, the season and recognizes people but he's having to be restrained because they took the vent out and cannot keep him as deeply sedated so he's waking up without knowing where he's at and why he's there. Every time they tell him what happened, he calms down pretty quickly but it's clear that patience is going to be one of his biggest hurdles. Ironically, and I guess thankfully, his fiance is finishing up her final semester in occupational therapy and from all reports has done an amazing job staying on top of everything while still very lovingly caring for Nathan. They're starting to look at inpatient rehab facilities but it's unclear how long rehab will take. Although we didn't spend much time together as children-we lived on opposite sides of the country before the facebook era, he's my cousin and I'm so thankful that he was wearing a helmet and has a good prognosis.
I had already planned on writing a post about Nathan and it probably would have been a bit more preachy when it comes to encouraging people to wear helmets because to be honest, I doubt he'd still be alive if it weren't for his helmet but I woke up this morning to read a status update on facebook that stopped me.
Sometimes, it doesn't matter how safe you are, accidents still happen. Last night, my dear friend's two year old princess was pulled out of a pool by her older brother. She was limp and incoherent in his arms. By the grace of God, life came back to her and she began breathing. That little girl, her parents' and siblings' lives will forever be changed. All the little things in their life have disappeared and just about everything in comparison to their children is a little thing.
I'm holding my children just a little bit tighter today and taking the time to remember the little moments like this morning when our boy sat in bed with me and our princess and made up an elephant song for her. I loved that moment and I'll hold onto that moment because we are not promised forever. We're not even promised tomorrow.