I don’t know a better way to describe the only two emotions that I have felt this week. Up until this past Saturday, many of you know that I have basically been camped out at the ICU physician’s conference room since I was informed of the accident. I first started to slowly venture out from my brother’s side, Thursday night to escape to Taco Mac for a little bit, with a few friends and my wife/rock, Michelle. It was the night of the Ga. Tech game and it was packed, but we were able to figure out a way for us to sit and for me to wind-down for a couple hours. I was out of the hospital physically, but mentally wasn’t. I was sad to leave hospital, but happy to be with friends to recharge a bit. If you saw me you could tell that I needed it.
The next day, Friday, I again left the hospital that afternoon, but this time to venture home for a bit. Michelle and I had basically lived in the hospital for 142 out of 144, and we were both emotionally and physically exhausted. The only thing that was keeping us going we friends, family and the people and nursing staff that we met throughout those 6 days, so Michelle and I decided to go home for a few hours and recharge again. My father had to start doing some half days at work, getting up at 5am, then taking my mother and aunts by the hospital mid-day and staying until midnight. By Friday, he was exhausted and needed a little more sleep. In my fatigue, I wasn’t aware of the struggle and sacrifice he had made, and was irritated that they showed up later than normal. Once I found out, and they got to the hospital, I felt like a complete jerk…
By the time Michelle and I left, it was rush hour and we got home after an hour. I knew I was tired, but I wasn’t expecting to not even make it to the top of my bed for a nap. Again I was sad to leave my brother’s side, but happy to see my house, see our pet, and take a needed nap. By the time we got back the hospital, it was 11:30 and my awesome father was passed out on the couch. I knew my parents were tired, but this is the first time I realized and saw it. They hide it well.
Saturday was another sad and happy day for me and more likely Michelle. As we all know, Glen is a UGA Bulldog through wins and losses. This week’s game had a bit more significance since they were facing Auburn, Michelle’s Alma-Mater. Glen always called Michelle, his “Neme-Sis”, because he saw her as an equally competitive person, and also his sister. This game would’ve been the first time they watched together and actual family, and they both were looking forward to it since the season started. Michelle had her Auburn gear on and Glen’s friend, Stephen, let Glen borrow a UGA jersey, and other UGA gear to decorate his room. It was tough to watch the game knowing that I couldn’t hear Glen yell the UGA fight song, but was happy that the Bulldogs ended up winning the game for Glen, and by one of the largest margins in their rivalry. Trust me, Michelle didn’t mind one bit!
Michelle and I decided to finally try sleeping at home for the first time, and boy was it rough for me. The next day, Sunday, was Sandra’s 30th birthday, and I couldn’t sleep knowing how much Glen wanted to make it as special as possible. I woke up the Sunday morning in the dumps, and realized that I was not in the hospital. I realized how weak I have really been and how strong everyone else had. This was the first time I realized what my parents, family and friends had to do, and drive to the hospital to see Glen and Sandra in the condition that they are in. In the hospital you forget you are there sometimes and what is around you, and I had been stuck in my little room, knowing that in an instance, i was right by Glen and Sandra. The 30 minute drive hurt a lot, and knowing that my niece and nephew will see their mother for the first time in over a week, and that Glen couldn’t be with his family, had me in tears. By the time I parked, my best friends, Drew and his wife Meghan, were right beside us and we walked in together. These two have been nothing but heaven sent, and Drew was right there for a shoulder to cry on. As we got to the room to celebrate Sandra’s birthday, I was able to hear my niece and nephew laughing and playing, and I could barely keep my composure. I was able to get a hug and a kiss from both, before walking out and sobbing in another room. As I have said many times, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through a day without friends and family. In my time of need, I was surrounded by one of Glen’s many friends, Eric Rader, and Drew who helped me make it down the ICU area to see Glen. This was one of the first times that I had “lost it” in front of others, and needed help to get my strength back. Getting back to Sandra’s party, I finally, realized that I can’t do this alone, and that I need help and feed off of the positive energy, prayers and support from everyone. Seeing Sandra and Glen fighting hard and seeing all of support, and especially help has been amazing. Albert and his wife Kristen, have been one of hundreds of people visiting, helping, supporting, laughing, crying, and cheering the Walkers and Meekers through this. It puts a smile on my face as I type this, knowing that I am not alone to carry this tragedy and that together we all can help Glen and Sandra fight.
We have put up a strong fight and made it through week one. We will have many more to go, and a lot to learn, but with each other we can do it. Keep the prayers and support coming, and let do this together. We are suffering through and very sad time now, but all of our happiness will come in time. If you doubt this, look at the pictures posted earlier and look at Sandra and the kid’s smiles upon their reunion.
(I don’t think I have typed this much for a class paper! Sorry for the length, but this is therapy.)