Faith Fills The Void
First and foremost I would like to thank a loving higher power who, in my darkest hour, took me in his loving arms and allowed me to live.
My friends in NA. Before I woke up, and when all indications were that I never would, they held meetings in my hospital room. They kept me in their prayers, and went under the assumption that even if I could not respond, maybe a part of me would hear and be encouraged. When I first woke up I was unable to even sit up, much less go to a meeting. They brought a meeting to me in the nursing home that I was in. I was having anxiety attacks as a result of the TBI and withdrawal from the narcotics they had used to induce the coma and control the pain. I was so afraid that I was going to spend the rest of my life there. Their support gave me a focus to stop the madness in my head and hope for another day. A special thanks to Larry who never gave up. To Angela who, though new, found the strength to come and visit in what had to be a difficult situation. Your courage has really inspired me. To Todd who brought me music and a portable player. I still listen to them and they were so helpful in the middle of the night when I couldn't quiet me head. A giant thanks to Russ who has been my sponsor and brought me program tapes that have continually reminded me that we all have difficult times. Don't give up and quit five minutes before the miracle happens.
I would like to give a special thanks to Marian. Although things didn't work out as we hoped and I eventually moved back to New York, she was a very special part of my life, even if for a short while. The things that irritated me most were some of the very things that helped the most and helped to bring order to the chaos that my life became. As it said on the card, you had my back, and I'll never forget that.
Words cannot express how much my family has come to mean to me. My sister and son flew out to see me right after I was hurt and my sister says I didn't look too bad. Just looked like I was asleep. She flew out with my brother a couple months later and that was really hard. I was still in a coma and my weight had dropped from almost 220 down to around 150. I know that it was really tough on Marian to see me wasting away before her eyes, and it was tough on family too, being 3000 miles away and feeling so helpless to do anything. Probably the darkest time in my life.
To all the friends and co-workers at Tulalip Casino where I worked. I always kind of took our health insurance program for granted. After all, I was in good health and didn't have to use it. Boy did that change. Between the airlift, hospital stays and treatment, our insurance paid nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Obviously this would have been catastrophic otherwise. There were so many people who made such a difference. All the people who signed the card that hung over my bed when I woke up. Michael Wolfe who did a blessing over me in the hospital and made a dream catcher that stayed with me all through my hospital stays. There were so many people who sent cards, said prayers and visited when I was not awake that I probably will never know some of them, but am humbled by their love and compassion never less. I wasn't always the best employee and certainly wasn't afraid to say what I thought, but in spite of my arrogance, when the chips were down, they treated me as if I were family. It was a privilege to work for such an outstanding organization.
A final thanks to all the people around the country who kept me in their hearts and in their prayers. I was placed on prayer chains all over the country, most of which I will never know. So many people from so many places have played such an important part in my recovery that I am left in awe of the love and caring that has been poured out in my behalf. I will be forever indebted to their kindness and compassion.