Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do You Fear Death?

You never know what astounding story lies just beneath a person's gruff exterior. His name is Bill, but I didn't know anything else about him. I'd seen him driving around heavy machinery at a building site, but never engaged him in conversation until today. He's a stocky fellow, but mostly muscle. He was using a pick axe to add character to large trim board (I'm serious).

He asked me where my dad was, to which I replied that he left early. For those of you who don't know, my dad fell out of a treestand last year and crushed a vertebrae. It also turns out he has issues with his bone density. He's not made of glass, but the condition might have made the fall worse. Anyway, he doesn't always work full days on account of pain—it is surprising he works at all.

Bill said he had my dad beat. Apparently, three-quarters of his body is made of titanium. As a fourteen year-old kid, he was on a dirt bike and was run over by a speeding car. Bill was apparently so mangled that his face was unrecognizable, and they had to do a blood test to confirm his identity. He died three times, and was in a coma for a while. The woman claimed she thought she hit a raccoon. Needless to say, she was sued heavily.

The settlement (of which I did not ask the amount) paid for numerous plastic surgeries; a titanium skeleton for his left forearm and hand (which clicks); numerous pins, hinges, and parts that make up his back; and various plates and screws throughout so much of his body that I lost track. He has no feeling at all in his left arm (he welded his wedding ring to his finger once), and surprisingly, he has no fear. That's the most inspiring part. Many people would be afraid to leave the house, but he still rides dirt bikes!

He agrees that a brush with death can do one of two things: you're either scared to live, or you don't fear death. Which are you?
FEATURED MEDIA: Unbreakable - This is dull movie, in my opinion, but does have a wonderful yin and yang comparison between Samuel L. Jackson's character, a superhero comic aficionado whose bones are extremely brittle, and Bruce Willis's character, who was the only survivor of a tragic train crash. Good snack media, but watch it when you're wide awake.

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