I Am (alive)

I was commenting on a friend’s blog this morning, and when it posted, the date was July 9th. Car accident day. For the last few years, the date has been unremarkable, and in Cambodia this morning, it’s actually July 10th. My brain and body went through the entire day yesterday with no physical or emotional hang ups.  But somehow when I saw the date in print this morning, I got a tiny bit stuck.

I never did my I AM on Sunday, so how about I do it today?

I Am (alive)

I Am a cup of instant coffee in 2013, and at the same time, a travel mug of some kind of cheap brew in 2004 on my way to work. I am ice chips in the ER, hand-fed soft foods by my mom for a week, ice cream in a motorized Wal-Mart shopping cart, and a month’s worth of home cooked meals, with a qdoba or two thrown in there.

I Am on Coliseum Blvd, headed toward the Boys & Girls Club on a happy, sunny Friday. I am recklessly propelled forward by something outside my control. I am underneath the giant wheel of a semi, one foot on earth, the other resigned to inevitable afterlife. I am laying flat as the wheel rolls over my car and I am wrapped around a tree when it’s over. I am in an ambulance, then in the hospital, then in Indy, then at Bec’s. Six weeks later I am back at work.

I Am they guy who saw it happen and thought I was dead. I am the first responder and the paramedics and the jaws of life cutting me out. I am the nurse handing me the phone with my mom on the other side. I am my best friend’s face as we both realized what could have been. I am her parents on the other side of the curtain, and my boss and coworkers waiting for me outside. I am the friend who hosted me on the ground-level for the amount of time it took to be able to climb the stairs to my own apartment. I am Michael Gray, mid-seizure, and I am the two kids in his backseat. I am my lawyer the day he told me Mr. Gray died. I am the Insurance agent who got fired for negligence, the Anthem agent who took cash from the settlement for medical bills, and the Nationwide agent who claimed the rest for reimbursement.

I Am “It’s okay” and “You’re okay” and “I thought you were dead” and “The defendant died.”  I am “You’re alive.”

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Late for 2010. Early for 2011.

**We realize this never made it out to some of you. We don’t know why. It’s okay to put 200 stamped letters in your mailbox with the little flag up, right? I don’t really know about mail etiquette. But here is. A little holiday update. You’re drooling. I know.

Happy Holidays! Jeff and I want to take this opportunity during the season of Thanksgiving to express our sincerest gratitude for all who have planned, helped, participated, and celebrated the last 6 months with us. We were blessed with a spectacular oil-free wedding in Destin, FL and a gorgeous rain-free reception in Beloit, WI and were able to visit with many of you during those gatherings- although not for as long or intently as we’d have liked!

We also want to give an update on the life and times of the brand new Hartmans, including our relocation to a new city and new jobs- which we request as justification for how late (or how not at all) this thanksgiving has arrived in your mailbox! Please?

Following our honeymoon in Breckenridge, Colorado, Jeff returned “home” for the first time to Indianapolis, where Brooke had moved three months earlier to begin as a Social Worker at a downtown hospital in the Emergency Department.  Prior to the wedding, Jeff accepted a unique position as Physical Therapist in the same Emergency Department and began on August 2nd. We have been working across the hall from each other for about three months now, and the Social Work department has seen a sharp increase in printing activity, as the printer is located in the PT office.

In addition, Jeff continues to work part-time as the Stateside Director of Operations for Hillside Healthcare International in Belize, and Brooke works part-time as a Behavior Consultant for developmentally disabled adults through the waiver program and a therapist for emotionally impaired kids through a state grant.  Jeff would like you to know, he is not one of Brooke’s clients.

Jeff also continues to mourn the loss of Madison, but we’ve added the Big Ten Network to the cable line-up and he’s discovered an iphone app (yes, Jeff has an iphone!) that allows him to tune-in to the Madison radio talk shows. As we embrace our first winter in Indianapolis, Jeff asks things like: does water freeze here? And Brooke is rolling around in winter coats and boots she hasn’t had use for the last few falls in New Orleans or Belize. Somehow we’ll adjust.

Until this week, we’ve been living downtown Indianapolis on the Canal, but we close on our first home together in the Arts & Design District (spoken with an English Accent) in Carmel, a suburb north of Indy. We put those qualifiers on the Carmel home for the local friends who are standing by with Carmel jokes. We will be in Old Carmel, two blocks off Main Street, and we bought the house from the friend who set us up in the first place!  Given that she introduced us and sold us our first home, we are considering an advanced order for kids. Kidding.

As we reflect on this past summer, we want to thank you (yes, you) for making 2010 the best year ever. Thank you for the gifts, cards, fellowship, prayer and celebration!  Please accept this thanks, albeit a couple of months late, as sincere and heartfelt.