Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Cousin Joe

I just got off the phone with my cousin Joe. He now lives in Florida but he was born and raised right here in Walker County. He has had a hard life. His dad left the family when he and his younger brother were kids and his mom struggled to to make ends meet. There were times when Joe lived with us for long stretches of time. We were very close as kids. I still love him like a brother but time and distance keeps us from visiting as much as we'd like.
In the spring he bought a used motorcycle against the wishes of his wife. He should have listened because he had a really bad accident on the way home. He broke too many bones to name. He survived, but doctors gave him little hope of walking again.
Joe has always been hard headed and he had made up his mind that he would not only walk, but he would go back to work by the end of the year. He has spent months in rehab and there were times when I talked to him, he sounded down. But he remained determined.
He called tonight to let us know he starts back to work on Monday. He is still using a crutch but he's been fitted with a new brace that will help him to walk almost without a limp. He is excited and I'm excited for him.
The day his wife called to tell me about the accident, I had been thinking about buying a motorcycle. Gas was high as a kite and I thought I could save some money. After talking to Janet, I decided that a bike was probably a bad idea for me. When I told Joe that I had decided against buying a bike because of his accident, he said "we at least there was something good that came from it."

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