Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Smelly, Big Brother



Well, he's not really smelly, but what sort of little sister would I be if I didn't call him that?
This is him and his daughter, LeAnn, on her wedding day in November of '07.  She, by the way, just announced that she has little "keiki" in the oven.  She and her hubby have just moved back to the mainland after several years on Oahu.  Bummer.  
I digress.

My big brother is 9 years older than me.  He and my sister, NJ, were mostly all grown up and moved away by the time I really paid any attention to them.  I don't have a lot of memories of us all living in the house together.  I do remember my mom telling him, that if he wanted to ride a motorcycle that he'd have to move out. He moved out.  Surprise. 

Like all folks that ride motorcycles, it's not if they get in an accident, it's when.  I'm sure he was in a few scrapes over the years, but he had a pretty big one where he tore up his knee.  Surgery and rehab followed.  I gotta tell you, that folks that ride bikes, will always ride bikes.  He rode again and "when" caught up with him.  A woman turned left in front of him on his green light in early 2004.  By the grace of God (and a helmet!), he survived, but one of his legs did not.  

He amazed us all by being good natured about the entire thing. He was just glad to be alive.  He had Pearl make him his first prosthetic leg---a chicken leg, because we had our first batch of chicks at the same time he was having a real prosthetic made.
His good nature remained when his employer found a loophole in which to fire him after he lost his leg.  His job required him to work on his feet for 8-10 hours a day.  Some people can be so thoughtful, huh?  
His small (and I mean small!) insurance settlement allowed him to settle in and get used to his new life while he kept and eye out for a new job.  He finally found work doing the same things he was doing at the previous job.  Back on his feet (foot) for hours at a time.  

It turns out that the leg from his first big accident was his right leg.  He lost his left leg in the second accident.  His right leg has taken a beating.  First, surgery and rehab, and it has been his only support over the last 5 years, despite having a prosthetic leg.  It finally gave up.  Yesterday, he had his one remaining knee, replaced.  It was a long time coming and he has a major rehab program ahead of him.  He will be off work for 3 months.  He made it through surgery, but I didn't expect anything else.

I am confident that this will just be a bump in the road for him.  I wish I had his ability to always find the silver lining in things.  He's had many ups and downs in his life, but always manages to smile.  He has a great faith in God and those people that love him.  He knows that it, whatever "it" might be, will work out.
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Grace In Small Things, #7
(these are pretty big things, actually)
1. Big bro got his knee replaced.
2. He smiles in the face of adversity more than most.
3. He will be able to take 3 months off work, instead of two.
4. He has a great wife.
5. His baby is having a baby!

8 comments:

  1. Dangit - just left a long comment and Blogger told me a "duplicate action" error was performed and -poof- my comment disappeared.

    What I wanted to say was something along the lines of... Wow - your brother has had some amazing challenges to face, but what an incredible smile he has. And a grandchild - will it be his first?
    I'm wishing him a speedy recovery from his knee surgery.

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  2. He sounds like a great guy! I hope his recovery is quick.

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  3. Oh motorcycles have always scared me to death. I never would allow my kids to get one and thankfully none have decided to do it as adults. In fact just a couple of summers ago my daughters friend had a motorcycle accident and lost her right leg above the knee. She was a hairdresser and it took many long months for her to be able to return to working a full day. So sad.

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  4. Well, as you know from my blog, the Farmer had both his knees replaced recently. Not as tough as having one knee replaced and not having the other leg however! But your brother sounds like the kind of guy that will nake it work.

    Loved the picture of him and his daughter on her wedding day. I'm sure he's excited about going to be a grandfather.

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  5. Thanks for all the well wishes.
    Danni, no. LeAnn's baby won't be his first grandbaby.
    Vonda, my brother lost his leg below the knee. I guess it's much more difficult to recover and get used to the prosthetic if it's above the knee.

    I'm still amazed that they do double knee replacements. Seems like an awful lot to ask of a body. Glad Farmer John is getting around.

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  6. Eeeeekkk. Just reading this makes my knee and leg ache horribly.

    I feel so terrible for him. What adversity he's had to face. I know I'm very blessed, but gosh, I can't help but feel so frustrated every day that I can't walk on my own and I can't even bend my knee without pain.
    I'm so incredibly bored. Bored of being in bed, resting, reading, TV, the computer, knitting, sleeping, eating, life.
    I'm irritable. I want to move on my own again. I want walk, take care of myself, cook, clean, play with my children and animals.
    It' so easy to have a pity party some days. It's been 4 weeks and it feels like it's been months, yet also just yesterday since my surgery.

    I'm totally amazed that your brother will be going back to work in 3 months. I'm so far from that point right now.

    But it could be so much worse. And I see that in your brother. He's an inspiration and he doesn't even know it.
    Except the reminder that he went back on his back and he got injured a second time, just makes me sad and scared that I still want to get back on my horse and ride again.
    But I never want to go through this experience again.
    How does one go through life, trying to live a full and joyful, adventurous life....without being afraid?
    Do we just sit on the sidelines and never do the things we love and dream about....just so we can be safe?

    Oh. The dilemmas.

    Congrats on your forthcoming future as a Great Aunt again. :)

    ~Lisa

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  7. Aunt Cee Cee (or should I say Great Aunt Cee Cee!!) This blog was really sweet. I'm sad I didn't get to read it sooner! Dad is a tough guy and attempting to quit smoking through all of this will be even tougher than getting the knee replaced I'm afraid. Keep your prayers strong for him, he needs them. Thanks for posting my daddy's sweet look on his face watching me as a bride, this picture is one I haven't seen and I love love love it!

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