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I have spent most of my time here talking about me...

I want to spend this post talking about everyone else. It never dawned on me how much everyone else had to rearrange their schedules to take care of me. There was the person (names will not be released to protect the innocent...not really, but I forget so easily) that took care of my girls for the time I was in the hospital. Even when I was out, my girls were picked up every day religiously. Then, there were the people that brought meals so that my family (which has been known to devour a little food) could be fed. There were the countless people that gave of their time so that my wife could be with me. There was the person that took me to my appointments at the local VA before I got my license, then there was another person that took me to my appointments at the local VA. All of these people gave so that I could recover. They allowed their lives to be rearranged (although they would think it a small task) to make sure I was cared for.

Then, there was my parents and my brothers. They drove 600+ miles to be with me so that while I was recovering they would be there. My parents were in Knoxville for almost a full month, and then back again for my first Sunday back. My brothers Dennis and Dave drove from western Nebraska to be in Knoxville for 3 days. They were a real boost to my morale. They made me laugh, and it felt good to laugh in the hospital (there wasn't much to laugh about, so they joked about how much of my brain was taken out and what I could remember). My parents and brothers sat by my bed, and they shopped, but more than anything else they spent time away from home.

But, my wife is the real hero here. She sat with me through thick and thin. When the Dr. said that I may not survive the surgery, she was there; when the Dr. said that I might not wake up, she was there; when the Dr. said that I might not ever be the same, she was there, and when I finally walked again, she was there. She was there when she was not sure if I would remember her name; she was there for my fever; she was there every agonizing step. When I finally got released, she was there. Now that I have to take medicine every 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. she is there. When I have to go to the VA for follow-up appointments, she is there. She is there in the good times, but she is also there in the bad time - she sees me struggle with things that used to be second nature to me; she sees me when I am weak even though I used to be strong; she sees me when I am emotional, even though I never used to be emotional. The truth is that she has been faithful to me even when I did not have the capability to be faithful for her. She is the true epitome of the phrase "in good times and bad" in the marriage vows. Without her, I don't know if I would be where I am today.

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