Sunday, August 9, 2009

Big Shoes

Let me tell you a little story...

My younger brother has always been the kind of guy that guys want on their side and girls want on their arm. Extremely handsome, athletic, intelligent, a little hot-headed, but very loyal. As he neared thirty he finally met a woman who calmed his party-boy ways. She brought out the absolute best in him and we all loved her for that. They were perfect for each other: she loved cooking and he loved eating; she loved working out and he had always taken pride in keeping himself in perfect shape; they both loved going out and having a drink but equally enjoyed staying in with a pizza and a good movie...the list goes on. We were all ecstatic when we heard that he had proposed and she had accepted, but our joy was short-lived. Only a few weeks later, while driving home from her apartment, my brother was hit head-on by a drunk driver who crossed the center line. The other driver was killed almost instantly and although my brother's life was spared, he was left with two legs that had been completely crushed. Doctors told us they didn't know if he would ever walk again. Let me stress a point here - we aren't talking about some couch potato here but a guy who participated year round in a variety of men's leagues: soccer, softball, basketball, bowling, etc...a true jock.

With the wedding only 10 months away my brother vowed that he would walk down the aisle with his bride. For the next ten months he endured multiple surgeries to reconstruct his legs and extruciating physical therapy. My parents lived with him for months, helping take care of him and drive him back and forth to appointments, and his dedicated fiancee never left his side. I hate to skip ahead because it really is an amazing story worthy of telling, but since this is a blog and not a novel I'll tell you how the story ends.

Not only did my brother walk down the isle but he also shared a first dance with his lovely wife. I will never forgot how proud of him I was on that day; not because he had walked against all odds, but because he hadn't let such an unfair tragedy ruin his life. He was happy. Truly happy despite the pain I knew he was feeling.

Now, almost 2 years later, they just welcomed their first child - a healthy little boy. As I sat in their house today holding little Paul Sherwood Wright, III all I could think about was the big shoes that little guy had to fill - not because his Dad had once been a great athlete, but because his Dad is a great MAN.

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