Think it to Achieve it
He awakes in a daze. He can’t feel anything but the tears from his mother falling on his forehead as she reaches down for one more grateful kiss that her son survived. He just wondered…why? Never did he think this would happen to him, and neither did anyone else. Champion member of his high school wrestling team, and accepted on a full-ride scholarship to Florida State University for his notorious slamming moves. But, what was he to do now?
Derrick (pseudonym) looks back on his life-altering day that left him in a wheelchair. It all started with a ride to his favorite Asian restaurant with his then girlfriend driving. Everything was fine until their ill-fated journey home. An argument ensued, one too many, that put Derrick over the edge and led him to break-up with his girlfriend minutes after leaving the restaurant. It was only a 15-minute drive back to his house, but that is not what his now ex-girlfriend had in mind. Overcome with emotions she yelled, “If I can’t have you, nobody can!” She jolted the SUV’s steering wheel into a quickly approaching tree at a little over 40 miles an hour. His seat broke and he flew into the back seat where his head hit first and body quickly followed. He lay paralyzed from the neck down. His first memory after he awoke was EMS workers whispering to one another, “I don’t think he’s going to make it.”
Despite the results, Derrick was still his goofy, fun-loving self. His doctors and nurses loved him. They remember him to this day – ten years later. He cracked jokes, even on the operating table. A nurse never left the room without a smile on her face. He would comfort those who visited him rather than the other way around.
Although they said he would never walk again, Derrick’s spirits have led him to a spot on a wheelchair rugby team, a job he loves, friends from all over, and I saw him walk! Yes, unstable and clumsy, but still I saw him walk. A wise man once said, “If you think it, you will achieve it” – Earl Nightingale.
It’s days like these that people reflect back either wishing they could take it all back or realize this was the momentous event that made them who they are today. Derrick inspires me to look at every day as though it’s my last, to live without regret, and to always look on the bright side.