Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How one moment can make a difference

I received an email yesterday from our development's Board president. She was sending out news to the other board members, but also sent it to me, knowing I'd want to know the news.

The update is about a man who had fallen near our pool this summer. The lifeguard, M and I helped him and I called 911 to assist him. It bothered me that someone was hurt and alone. I even called twi nearby hospitals to see if he had been admitted. Basically, I was trying to see if he was OK. He wasn't at either of the hospitals, so my search continued by asking residents on any news. No one really knew of him, just that he lived in our development by himself.

I remember he didn't have any family or friends to help him that day. If I fell, I'd want someone to call M right away. If he was not in, I have 2 brothers and their families, my parents and loads of friends I could call for help in an emergency. He had no one other than us that day when he fell.

I found yesterday his out of town relatives reported in he is still in the hospital since June 29. He has an inoperable brain tumor and he will probably not recover.

This news hit me really hard. Since that Sunday in June, I think of him every time I walk down that hill. Every time I keep thinking we'll hear he is OK. I even imagined meeting him again in a residents meeting in the winter – hearing his story. But I don't think that will happen. I don't know what to do – do I try to contact him at the hospital? "hi, it's me – remember me? I'm the one who said 'you're doing the right thing and that you'll be OK'". But he's not OK.

I can't get it out of my head how quickly someone's life can change. M and I are in the midst of doing our wills. It really upset me thinking of life without him. It is my biggest fear of all. And the odds are it will happen, too.

Last night, during the Republican convention, there was a story on Ronald Reagan. He was quoted on the day after he was shot, saying "when I woke up, there was Nancy by my side. I pray I will never have a day where she is not by my side." I hope this, too for M and I. And I hope that the man at the hospital since June 29th feels someone is by his side, too.

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