How Your Life Can Change in an Instant

31 07 2009

I really struggled if I should write this very personal post, but I came to the realization that if I could connect in any way with at least one person, it would all be worth it.

I just became a parent of a 17 year old – overnight.  My youngest brother was in an alcohol related accident that left his passenger with major head trauma.  We don’t know if this young man is going to make it.  My brother is not physically injured, but his life is forever changed.  I won’t go into all the details, but parents are not mentally nor financially able to take care of my brother, so custody has been granted to myself.  I may only have him for a short time since he has been charged with a felony.  We don’t know what the future holds, so we are taking things one day at a time.

I usually have a very zen outlook on life – everything happens for a reason – there are no mistakes in life, just lessons to be learned – certain people are just meant to come into your life…..I’ve studied psychology and human behavior for many years and I’ve always been the person who has all the answers, I’m the one who provides guidance to others……now it’s me searching for answers.

How am I going to help my brother stay strong?

How am I going to pay all these legal and medical bills?

How is this going to affect my family?

What can I do to make things better?

I guess I’ve concluded that there are just some things in life that you have absolutely no control over – that’s just the way it is.  Instead of looking back on events and asking ourselves – why did that happen to me?  How about we focus on the things that we can change in our lives….

Are we treating everyone in a fair and respectable manner?

Are we doing something every day that makes us happy?

Are we accomplishing the goals we have set for ourselves?

How does all this relate to the future of Naturally Bamboo?  Believe me, I have a tremendous amount of responsibility resting on my shoulders and thoughts of running away from it all have crossed my mind.  But for some reason, this path was chosen for me and I cannot veer from the trail.  I truly believe that wonderful days lie ahead.  Many people are counting on me to appear in their lives – from my future employees, to local bamboo farmers, and the communities and organizations I hope to give back to someday.

Do not feel sorry for what has happened…be inspired to go out and do good things, follow your passions, and be happy for cripes sake!!  Because you never know when your life could change in an instant.

ADDENDUM (8/31/09)

The passenger from the accident was released from the hospital with broken jaw, ribs, foot and fractured skull.  He’s got some healing to do, but he’s going to be just fine – whew!

We admitted my brother to an adolescent inpatient treatment facility for 30 days and are crossing fingers that he makes steps in the right direction.  A pre-trial court date still lingers ahead, but we hope with a successful completion of the treatment program, that some of the charges will be dropped.   I am working with a school here near my home to make sure he can complete his senior year and graduate on time.  He wishes to enroll in the military next summer, which I think is very admirable goal…..Thank you for all your support – he really is a good kid, just kinda lost his way for a while.

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2 responses

31 07 2009
Canoelover

Wow…I’m sure you’ll handle the situation with compassion and grace. Prayers for you are forthcoming.

19 08 2009
Brock Foreman

April, this is an amazing post! It’s rare to read something so personal and deeply moving, especially on the Internet. Your decision to write from your heart and share this story about your family with the world must have been difficult. I’m glad you did. You’ve inspired me with your courage and sense of responsibility in both life and running a business like Naturally Bamboo.

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