Saturday, January 17, 2004

Today my neighbors were all riding frantically around their land in their 3 and 4 wheelers. They all rode in and out of the woods at what I would call "high speed" because that's what neighbor Bob likes. But Bob doesn't like helmets and as he says to me, "What's the worse that could happen? If I die, I die." Now, I introduced Bobby to his new wife Cathy because I felt they were both looking for the same thing. Fun without too many rules, love without games. Bob's daughter Janine was on the 3 helmet....thru the trees, bouncing on the lumps in the snow. I stood at the door, watching, and thinking how ironic it was that Jon used to say, "What's the worse that could happen? If I die, I die." He was talking about seat belts. I watch Janine, that sweet eyed, bright young girl, driving thru the trees without a helmet, without a clue. What's the worse that could happen? Come on down to Lake Katrine, I got a couple dozen people you should meet... bring the family. They won't. They don't want to know that being stupid has a price, that being unlucky has a price....
Well, I guess they were lucky today.
I want to live on 15 acres without neighbors, without all terrain vehicles. I want to fill my life with art and music. I want my boy to dance again.
Jon was driving to work in Prescott four days after his 26th birthday when an oncoming pickup truck hit a patch of black ice and slammed into the front of Jon's VW van. Jon was thrown thru the windshield and suffered "traumatic brain injury" That was 3 years ago.People tell me I am too focussd on "negativity" and that I should do something positive. So I have made a series of ceramic masks that show the emotions I have felt and the emotions I think my son must feel. I write a lot. This is the first time I have written about Jon to the general public. Until now I have only vented to a group of TBI caregivers online, people who know what is going on and understand the frustration and pain.
Jon was a happy kid, loving and giving and really good. He wouldn't want me to bring people down, but I am not him, and so sometimes I mull over depressing truths. If you don't wear seat belts or helmets or otherwise take care of yourself, sometimes you send your best friends, your father, your mother...your best friends....down into a pit of Hell. And there isn't much you or anyone can do to rescue them.
The thing is, people with TBI can be saved, sometimes. It takes money, and people, and time. The trouble is, I have $30 in savings, there aren't enough aides at Lake Katrine to give full featured therapies, and time sometimes seems to be running away from me. The work I have done, my art, since Jon was hurt, has been the best I have ever done. Sometimes I think it's really good, and I am a hard critic. So I have that going for me. I just wish that somehow I could turn what talent I have, such as it is, inot a tool that would help my kid. But I guess time will tell. It's late, I'm tired, my back hurts. I should stop writing.

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