When it happened, Zachary (on the left) had no idea what the big deal was. When he heard the DJ call for him over the PA system, he just figured it was another Zachary they were calling for and kept on skating!
When they finally found him and brought him to me, he was totally chill. Even seeing the paramedics roll me onto the backboard and then lift me onto the stretcher and roll me out to the ambulance didn’t seem to faze him at all.
We were worried he would be traumatized, but when Amber got to the skating rink to take him home, he was just annoyed that he lost out on the chance to skate more!
We FaceTimed once from the hospital, and he was happy to see me, but he was just as happy to hang up and go back to playing Roblox with his brother.
Honestly, I was really glad how well he was taking it, even if he was being a little bit of a jerk!
I don’t think it was until I got home with my back brace and walker that he realized just how injured I was. He asked me if I would ever be able to walk without the walker again. I told him most likely I would. He asked how long it would be, and I told him it would probably be about three months. I watched a roller coaster of emotions wash over his face.
I asked him if he felt guilty over what happened, because if he did, he didn’t need to because it was not his fault at all. He said, “Oh no, I don’t feel guilty. I told you not to go out there skating!” 😳🤯🤣
Finally, after about 5 days of this insanely sarcastic and downright, hilariously rude treatment, he came to me, a bit teary-eyed and said, “Dad, I’m really sad. You wouldn’t have fallen and broke your back if I didn’t want to go to the birthday party that day. It’s my fault you broke your back.”
I hugged him against my turtle-shell, and we both cried for a bit. I told him it was ok, and we all feel guilty for things that are not our fault sometimes. But I told him again that it was not his fault that my back was broken. I was the one that decided to go skating, not him. I could have sat or stood on the sidelines. I took that risk, not him. Of course, I never imagined falling and breaking my back, but no matter what, it wasn’t his fault. Ever since then, we’ve been quite a bit better.
William, (on the right) on the other hand — who had been going through a season of defiance prior to the accident — has been a little angel from the moment I got home. Well, he’s had a few devilish moments since then too, but for the most part he’s been incredibly kind and thoughtful.
He’s always checking on me to see if I need anything, or if he can do anything to make me happy. He’s the one that said “I can’t hug you. I don’t want to break you more.” As soon as he found out how he could hug me without hurting me, he hasn’t stopped. I think he’s hugged me more in the past two weeks than he has in his entire life combined.
He’s hell-bent on planning a party for me for when the brace finally comes off. He talks about it nonstop. He says it’s going to be the “most epic awesome” party ever. I’m pretty sure he wants it to be Roblox themed though, which is of course, the most epic awesome thing he has ever seen. 🤣
I was worried that spring break being this soon after getting out of the hospital would be rough, but it’s been great getting to spend time with them and them getting to see me start the recovery process.
But, then again, William did pee on the floor tonight, so maybe my wife would disagree. 💀💀💀
I continue to be amazed at how awesome my friends are. Thank you so much for supporting me and Amber through this by giving to the GoFundMe and helping out with the MealTrain.
I can’t tell you how amazing it has been not having to worry about what we were going to cook at night when we were already exhausted by mid-afternoon.
I’m still a bit terrified at what the hospital bill is going to end up looking like, but your gifts have already made a huge impact to help alleviate that fear.
Thank you all so much for your kindness and generosity.