I can remember writing a heartfelt blog post this past fall about our son, Ben, heading off to his first year of college. It was a bittersweet time for me… I was mournful about sending our first born away from home, yet excited about all the opportunities he was likely to encounter. I was also worried about his health and well being. He had knee surgery (replacement of a torn ACL) a month before he left. He needed a good six months of intense physical therapy as well as training and conditioning once the repair is mended.
At that time, I felt that life had treated him a little unfairly. He is an avid soccer player and was asked to be a member of his college team prior to getting injured. The injury caused him to be red-shirted (taken off the roster for his first season). He was extremely upset about this, but managed to maintain pretty good spirits through the first semester of school. He worked hard, made friends, went to all his team practices and games without being able to participate, and managed to keep up with his physical therapy.
Then came his second semester. He could see the light at the end of the tunnel, with just one month left in his eight month knee recovery. He was beginning to gain some muscle in his atrophied leg and starting to train with the team. Then, on February 2nd, he and two friends were crossing the street in a school crosswalk when all three were struck by a car, which threw them several feet through the air. All three lost consciousness upon hitting the ground. All have concussions. One student has significant head injuries with both staples and stitches, while another has a broken nose.
We thought Ben came out of the accident the least injured… until we brought him to his knee surgeon. An X-ray revealed the displacement of some bone. Then an MRI showed that the new ACL has been compromised due to the impact of the car, meaning that another ACL replacement surgery is necessary. Ben now has to withdraw from the semester in order to have the surgery, which will require another six months of intensive PT and it’s unlikely that he will be ready to play for a second year of college soccer.
Oh, and did I mention that he came down with mono in the middle of all this? But apparently that was the least of his worries.
Now, believe me, we all feel incredibly blessed that all three kids are expected to fully heal and we certainly know that it could have been much worse. The driver did not even hit the brakes until he hit the kids, so the potential for more life threatening injuries was certainly within the realm of possibility. But it does seem to be an awful lot for an eighteen year old to handle. I know there will be silver linings, even if they are not readily apparent at this moment. There can be much learning and growth from this kind of adversity. But it’s difficult to convince a passionate soccer playing teenager that any good can be found in this particular situation.
I’m only hoping that he can muster the strength and determination to work hard on his recovery and keep his spirits up throughout the process.
Thank you for listening.
Until next time,
Red Barn Artworks... A small company with a big passion to create meaningful art from everyday photos.