At 2am this morning, we slept through the 35th anniversary of Bobby's wreck.
I was reminded again this holiday season of what a horrific time that was for his family.
We deal with the daily grind stuff that is now routine and "normal" to us and unthinkable to others and the occasional bumps in the road.
His family? They went through horrors that I would not wish on anyone - That am phone call, the ER doctor's blunt "He is alive, but will never walk again.", the medical mistakes, the emotional roller coasters. I cannot imagine my senior year of high school being disrupted by a sibling's accident. I cannot fathom at the age of 12 watching the older brother who constantly picked at me and called me "his little monkey" go through heart-wrenching experiences (This Christmas she talked about the moment she was informed his traction devise actually went through his head). I simply cannot comprehend how hard it was to be the younger brother (who is very different from his older brother) and suddenly feel the weight of expectations that had previously been placed on both brothers, to be the older sister married and not living close by.
We often talk about the fact that many people in his condition wind up in nursing homes because families either cannot (financially or physically) look after them, how many feel or are simply abandoned. Our situation is different. Bobby's current physical condition is a direct result of the consistent and wonderful care-giving from his family. His parents who tag-teamed EVERY SINGLE DAY for 20+years; his siblings who stepped up to the plate and helped out (and still do in emergency situations...along with their spouses) are one of the main reasons why his health is as good as it now.
Unlike some SCI families, we neither mourn nor celebrate this day. It's just a day that was and is - one of those defining moments that forever marks a life as before/after.
But I will say this: the Bryan family was tried with fire...and they're still shining.