Mostly, I'm thinking of my brother. Eighteen years ago, he got into a crippling accident, with one of those ATCs -- all terrain cycles. The steering mechanism failed, and he crashed through a fence, severing his spine at the second and third cervical vertibrae. I was eleven at the time; he was eighteen. He was in a coma for about six months before coming to, but even then, he was never the same. He required a respirator to breath, and was paralyzed from the neck down. Further, he suffered severe brain damage, resulting in short-term memory loss, among other mental problems. I took care of him for many years after he finally came home. That, I think, is when I discovered both the best and worst about myself.
He's really doing well these days. He's in a center in northern New Hampshire, and is being taken care of in a way that the family simply couldn't. I guess after so many years, we were truly burned out. Recently, he went to a concert with several members of the facility to see Twisted Sister, his favorite band of the eighties. I think he's happier now, really. I miss him greatly; I think I'll go see him next week.
Its strange. For so many years I was so disheartened at losing my brother. When he came to, he was not the same person; he was very, very different. Nowadays... I can't imagine him being any other way. I guess time does that. I realize now that I do truly love him, though I was too young, and after so many years of taking care of him, just got so burned out. Still.. I feel very bad for some of the things I've felt and done. Really, I think I need to forgive myself, but that's not something I find easy to do.
Rick, I know you're out there. You even have the internet now, though I doubt you'll ever find this page. Maybe that's for the best, as I'm just so scared of things right now. I just hope that your spirit knows how much I truly care for you, and how sorry I am for the things I've said and done over the years. I know you've forgiven me, and I'm grateful for that. Still, I've not yet forgiven myself. I barely remember now, when I was eleven, but one I do remember is just how strong you were. And over the years, you've always been a fighter. If there's anything I really needed to learn from you, it's the strength you've always had. I love you, bro.
*falls down, crying*