I hate motorcycles. And I really, really hate motorcycle accidents.
I went to high school with a girl whose husband had a motorcycle accident a couple of days ago. They have nine children together, and share a deep love for one another.
I always love looking at their family pictures on FaceBook because their huge crew always looks so happy together.
Right now he is in critical condition with a grim prognosis. And it can't help but bring back memories of my own childhood.
You see, the summer between my sixth and seventh grade year, my father was hit by a drunk driver while on a motorcycle.
He flew nearly 30 feet to the air, and landed on the left side of his head.
He and my mother were in the process of filing for divorce at the time, but she was called to come down to North Carolina to be with him as he died, and went at a moments notice.
I will never forget the moment that I found out. I was at a sleepover with one of my good friends. We had just sat down to eat stuffed peppers, a dish that I still hate to this day.
The phone rang, and I felt a chill race along my skin.
Here it is more than 20 years later, yet I still can remember feeling that settled over me when I heard the news, as if I had come unmoored from everything I knew.
By that point in my life, I had already become very familiar with loss and uncertainty, yet this was loss and uncertainty on a whole new level.
I was losing someone who, even though he was flawed and our relationship was problematic, still embodied all the strength and excitement of my childhood.
Stunned doesn't really capture the sensation, although that is part of it. So is unhinged. Bereft. Numb. Deeply empty.
I think the truth is, the English language doesn't have the words to truly capture that sensation. The sense of falling and slamming into something at the same time.
That was the summer I lost the ability to cry. My choices were to cry all the time, or to kill that need to cry, and I had a younger sister to be strong for.
In fact, it wasn't until Sterling was born that I learned how to cry again.
But statistically, we were lucky. Through all the dire predictions from doctors, the coma, the brain aneurism, the loss of his left eye and most of his cognitive abilities, my father survived.
We took him home months later, after working with him to relearn how to tie his shoe laces, how to use a stove, how to remember to turn it off after he started a fire at the rehab facility, and how to tie together basic speech patterns.
Today he is independent and fairly self sufficient.
He still has a severe head injury, still is blind in his left eye, and our relationship is still problematic. Yet I think that he survived because his story was not yet finished being told.
He still had living left to do and a will to survive that outmatched any predictions the doctors could give.
The will to live is something that western medicine cannot predict, cannot account for. Repeatedly, we were told by doctors that he would likely not survive, only to completely to reverse their prognosis a day later.
So I pray for Sarah and JT. I pray that JT walks out of the hospital one day to join Sarah and their 9 kids.
Because clearly, his story isn't finished being told.
Whether you know them or not, would you please take a few moments to send some hope their way?
I find that hope is an incredibly powerful thing, and they have an incredibly tough road ahead of them, so every little bit of hope can only help.
Because those kids need his strength. And his fun. But most of all, they need him.