Where, oh where did my summer go? As I sit here in the middle of August, wondering just how many times I'll have to cut the grass before Fall rolls in, I'm realizing that this particular summer was a mere flash-in-the-pan, a carnival ride that took us from zero to 100 and back again in an instant. Simply put, the events of the summer of 2017 redirected the lives of my family forever.
It started out on the calm evening of May 20th. I was about to go to bed. I had a busy Saturday ahead of me, helping get Nick moved to a new apartment that was closer to his school. The phone rang and it was Nick's friend Tyler. Nick had fallen while attending a concert at Red Rocks and dislocated his left knee. My wife and I are no strangers to late night ER meetups with one of our three kids, not that they're particularly clumsy or anything, it's just that shit happens. Well, what we thought would amount to a couple of months of Nick wearing a leg brace quickly and unexpectedly escalated to the possibility of him losing his leg! An artery in his knee had been severed and the next week was a vigilant effort to reestablish blood flow in his leg. In the end, all efforts failed and Nick, with us at his side, made the tough decision to amputate his leg above the knee. The procedure went well and after 17 days in the hospital, we brought our 21 year old baby boy home (Nick is the youngest, so he'll always be baby to us). So there we were at a crossroads. A quote attributed to Yogi Berra rang true at that moment, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!" What other choice does one have, right?
Through the month of June, Nick started conquering all of the new challenges that his situation presented him with. His mobility is increasing daily, as he patiently waits to be cleared to start prosthesis, but for now he has to accept living with Mom and Dad again and start improvising how he accomplishes daily tasks. A positive attitude is what is required to get around with a walker and a wheelchair. Fortunately, positivity is Nick's biggest asset and he continues to inspire us with his fortitude everyday.
July brought us to a long awaited joyous event, the wedding of our daughter, Samantha! So much planning went into that day, 7/7/17, and it went off without a hitch. Samantha was the most beautiful I had ever seen her and her groom was ever so dashing in his bow tie. The night went by far too quickly, as parties tend to do when you're the host, but fun was had by all and we went to sleep that night with a very real sense that everything was gonna be OK.
So now, here we are in the middle of August. Samantha, now Mrs. Crowe, is approaching the start of her career as a teacher, Adam and Lauren are planning a move to Denver soon to continue chasing their dreams together, Nick is preparing to get up on a new leg and get back to school to finish his Bachelor's degree, Maura began watching twin baby boys daily at our house, and I found new purpose in getting up everyday and doing the job I love and have been doing for nearly 30 years. All of our lives are very different than they were back in May... and it all happened in the blink of an eye.