This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making.
Resuscitation, organ donation strongly suggested, an intolerable life promised, driver never prosecuted, all possible life-threatening complications, lock-up in hospital because “we don’t want dead people in our yard”, the question by a qualified rehab nurse beside his bed asking “would it have been better had he died?”.
Traveling back to Route 6A, Main Street Brewster, MA; inspiring the An Saol Foundation, giving it its name, logo, and purpose; employing his own care staff; going to concerts, cracking jokes, enjoying food, drink, and good company; voting for the Dáil and opening bank accounts; caring about others with great empathy.
Using his switch, the “bleeper”, Pádraig today told us that he remembered the day, month, and year of his accident; he told us that he enjoys going to An Saol; and that he is very much looking forward to his upcoming holidays. Is he happy? Yes, four out of five.
Having that conversation with him in the garden and remembering what happened this coming Monday, nine years ago at 3pm in Brewster, was nearly unbearable for me. Time does not heal.
Going back there after 10 years. Fulfilling the dream of going to Alaska. Making people happy. Something to look forward to.
I now walk into the wild.