This I Believe

Cara - Corona, California
Entered on October 24, 2007

My Friend Mark.

I believe that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Whether it is physical or mental, somehow you will become stronger. A friend of mine was driving to his friend’s house one night. He was in his car alone, and his friends were in a separate car following behind him. On the drive down the unfamiliar road, he made a last minute sharp turn. His car slid and flipped off the side of the road.

His friends witnessed the accident and called the ambulance. He was taken to the hospital and fell into a coma. Friends and family were devastated, but still hoped for the best, and tried not to think of the worst. Doctors told his family he had no chance of ever having a normal life if and when he wakes up.

Friends, family, and teachers of this very young man, only 20 years of age, were so upset that this happened to such an amazing man as he was. He was smart, a very talented saxophone player, and very friendly and warm to everyone he met. Distraught, we could only hope he would wake.

He came out of the coma. Words do not explain the emotion that overcame the people that knew and loved him.

As people came to visit him, he would become too excited, and get his heart rate too high, the doctors ordered that he has no visitors until he is in a more stable state. Lying in bed, all he could do was think. He spent hours thinking of his old life. Going to college, being with his mom and brother, spending time with his closest friends, and playing on his saxophone that he made sing like the most beautiful songbird ever. Those were the happiest memories he held in his heart. He wondered when he would get the chance to relive those memories.

A few weeks went by and the doctors allowed visitors to see him. He was so thrilled to see how many people were there to give him their best wishes. Seeing all the visitors inspired him to work hard to get back to normal. Physical therapy began and trying to stand up was difficult for him. He knew a long road was ahead of him.

One day, a very close high school friend brought him his saxophone. He picked it up and found that he could barely even make a sound. That was the very second he realized how much he took for granted. He thought back to one simple mistake that nearly cost him his life and sat back and thought, “I want others to think of me as an example of how one mistake can change the course of your life. But on the other hand, I want to be people to see that when a challenge is presented you can overcome that challenge. I know getting through this made me mentally disciplined.”