Daily Archives: November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Eddie

Do you believe in the concept that “things have a way of working out in the long run”?

Even when an event seems like the most terrible thing that might happen to you?

We are big believers in it because we have seen it in our personal and professional lives, , , many, many examples.

I also believe that a lot has to do with your mindset and how you look at things. For example in past posts and articles, I’ve mentioned the idea of looking at a glass as “half full” or “half empty”.

Our son Eddie turns 34 today. Forty days after turning 16, he had a terrible auto accident. He was driving the car by himself (thankfully) and driving too fast in our neighborhood. His inexperience caused him to lose control of the car when he entered a sharp curve too fast.

The car flipped and he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Eddie’s life and ours changed dramatically in those few seconds and continues to impact our lives on a daily basis.

Some would say, “Oh my, what a tragedy!” or “What a loss!”. Certainly, Eddie can’t do some of the things he did so easily before the accident. And if you know of his story, you know he has had to relearn everything all over again.

Things like learning how to drink and eat, , , how to talk, , , how to walk, , , even how to sit up in a chair on his own. Dorine and I remember the day in the hospital when he was able to put a baseball cap onto his head by himself. It was a major breakthrough.

Bigger yet was the day he was being observed by his Neuropsychologist, and I asked him to throw a wadded up piece of paper into the waste can. Eddie picks it up slowly from his tray and flips it toward the waste can. She was ecstatic and explained how complex it was for the brain to hear a command, recognize it, and then actually respond and do what was asked, , , especially with a brain injury as severe as Eddie’s.

Today, Eddie’s communication skills are very good. He can do many things on his own but he will always be with Mom and Dad for the support he needs. His hand/eye coordination is excellent, , , he wins Solitaire and Wii games much more than Dorine or I can. Being able to watch a baseball game with him and discuss it intelligently with him is such a big thing, , , it was many years before we were able to do this.

The big issue is that he’s happy, , , and so are we because he is still with us. Doctors told us he wasn’t going to make it and if he did, he would be a vegetable, , , not able to do much of anything.

Boy, did they miss that one !

I tell you this story for the positives that have come out of it, , , not to make you feel sorry for Eddie, Dorine, or me. The point is that a terrible thing can happen to you in life, , , but how you deal with it and what happens after is still up to you and what you make of the situation.

In our case, we kept looking forward and thinking how great it was that Eddie was able to put that baseball cap on his head by himself. Little things became big positives to build upon in our lives in those early recovery days.

My Dad was there that day and it broke his heart I was told later. You see, he was focused on the negatives of the situation and feeling sorry for Eddie while Dorine and I could only see the positive progress that had happened, , , all about how you look at a situation.

There is another reason I wanted to share Eddie’s story. If you have teenagers who are learning to drive, you might want to share his story. More details are at www.eddiesisco.com. When we are young, we think nothing bad can happen to us, , , but that’s obviously not the case. Eddie was a very mature teenager, always did well in school, liked by everyone, , , but he made a mistake while driving that car on January 2nd, 1993 that almost took his life and certainly changed his life forever.

We would give anything if the accident had not happened, but we are so thankful we have Eddie around to make life interesting and fun. He is very funny and takes no prisoners, , , if you have a weakness, he finds it and exploits it by jabbing you, , , all in fun and with a positive sense of humor. He definitely likes picking on Dad, , , and we are all so thankful he can.

The biggest gift of all is that Eddie makes everyone around him feel good because he is such a positive person, , , a real inspiration we think.

Tonight, we will all go to dinner with friends to celebrate Eddie’s big birthday, and I promise it will be a fun and memorable experience.

Look for the positives in life and try not to dwell on the negatives, , , hard to do at times, but the results of staying positive and looking for the possibilities of what can happen can be pretty amazing.

So, , ,