Over the summer I was able to make two trips home to see the family. Unfortunately, while there certainly were happy moments about these trips, both took place under tough circumstances. The first trip home had been planned for awhile prior to my departure. Since I was planning on spending time with Cade in Denver during his last week there, I decided to make a stop for a few days in Indiana before continuing on to Denver. Then, the night before my flight, I got one of those middle-of-the-night calls from my father telling me that my younger brother, John, had gotten into an accident and was being taken to a hospital in Indianapolis. Needless to say, that was a difficult few hours and flight getting home. Thankfully, my brother has made an amazing recovery and is planning on picking his life (work, school, etc.) back up very soon.
The second trip, about one month later, was made in order to spend time with my family after John had been released from the hospital. While this trip was difficult (John was still very much in recovery and missing part of his skull), it was comforting to talk with him again and know that he was going to be okay. We also got in a lot of time picking on Mom, making jokes about how John’s brain might explode if he got too angry. Being able to tease him and team up against Mom showed me that he was going to recovery being his same ‘ole self. I also got to spend some time with Cade’s family during this second trip, which didn’t get to happen during the first trip since we spent the entire time in the hospital. One of Cade’s younger brothers even took me on a campus tour where he’s going to college.
One part of the trip that really moved me was seeing how caring John’s friends are. Not only did several of them come to visit at the hospital, some multiple times, they pulled together to make shirts to sell (see in pictures below) and organized a carwash to help my family with expenses. It just showed how you can be surrounded by so much love by the people in your life.
Reflecting on this now, it’s crazy how you take the people in your life for granted, thinking that they’ll live forever and that you have all the time in the world to spend with them. Along with John’s accident, over the past few months, between both Cade and I’s sides, we’ve lost three family members and another found out he has cancer. Tough times like this remind me of how important family is and has allowed me to change how I prioritize my time with those most important in my life. It’s almost impossible to imagine a life without my little bubby in it, and luckily this wasn’t his time.