Friday, October 12, 2007

In The Blink Of An Eye

Normally I like to keep things rather light, or at least sarcastic, when I'm writing here. But this has been on my mind, so I needed to write about it.

Anyone who knows me or has read my blog probably knows that hubby and I are huge football fans. Now that we have a daughter in high school and she is part of the band, we attend all their games and cheer mightily for our beloved Wolves.

Last Friday night, all was normal. They played their first divisional game of the season, and squeaked out a 14-13 win. It was exciting. We cheered, we celebrated.

Then early on Sunday morning, on my way to work, I stopped at the coffee shop that my parents hang out at every morning, to visit with them before I headed to work. As I sat down, my mom was already pushing a section of the newspaper at me, saying "Did you know about this?"

The "this" she was referring to, was this article: Chandler High Star Hospitalized

I read with disbelief about how on Saturday afternoon, our star player had been at a teammate's house, when the group of boys had decided to siphon some gasoline out of a non-running vehicle in teammate's garage, presumably to put the gas into a functioning vehicle. The boys decided to siphon the gas with a vacuum cleaner. Yes, a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum caused a spark, setting off a small explosion that left Dion Jordan with third degree burns covering his arms, hands, lower legs and feet. He will spend a month in the hospital before he can even begin rehab.

Of course, the first reaction upon reading this (or at least mine was) is really? A vacuum cleaner? What were they thinking?? The answer, of course, is that they weren't thinking. They are 16 and 17 year old boys. As anyone who has a teenager knows, they quite often don't think before they do things. How many of us did dumb things when we were teenagers? Things that could've gotten us badly hurt or even killed? I know I did. And not just once, but several times. The only difference is, I was lucky. Dion Jordan was not so lucky.

And now, I am sad beyond words for this boy that I only know because I have watched him catch touchdown passes on the football field. My heart aches for his mother, for his whole family. I want to cry because tonight, while we are at the game, he will be sitting in his hospital bed, when he should be out on that field. I am crushed for a boy whose future held so much promise, and in the blink of an eye, his whole life changed. No one knows yet if he will ever be able to play football again. He was considered one of the top high school prospects in the state of Arizona. At this point, I'm sure his family is just praying that he will be able to walk again.

You can't help but compare someone else's situation to your own. All of us who have children either have had, have now, or will someday have teenagers. Teenagers do dumb things. They always have, and they always will. Parenting teenagers is like trying to guide someone through a minefield with a minefield map...only not all of the mines are marked on the map. You can warn them of certain areas, you can preach, and you can talk, talk, talk with them about sex and drugs and drinking and driving and all kinds of big and small dangers that teenagers may face. But no matter how much you warn and talk, things happen. Things that no one ever expects. Things that happen in the blink of an eye, and change people's lives forever. Things from which there is no going back.

I will be at the game tonight, cheering for the Wolves. The boys who are the team captains for this game will head out to midfield for the coin toss, carrying Dion's jersey with them. I'm sure I will cry. And I'm sure I won't be alone. I will be thinking of you tonight, Dion. We all will.


LIBSMOM said...

Honestly, sometimes I wonder how Logan made it all the way to 20 with only a broken in three places had to spend 3 days in the hospital has three pins in it ankle thanks to skateboarding.
My biggest fear is a car accident. He drives a very fast and very small (thanks Grandma) car.
Our head buyer at work set himself on fire over a girlfriend thing and was never supposed to regain consciousness but low and behold, he's back to full functionality. So, keep praying and expect the best. You just might see Dion back on the field next year.

3 boys 1 girl said...

How did it go last night? I would have been a mess. Did Chandler win?

I'm very scared about these teenage years.

Hang on Shelley, we are in for a bumpy ride.

Shelley said...

Pam - I'm surprised I made it to 25, really. I did some dumb things. I am hoping to see him on a college team somewhere next year. Hopefully that works out for him. About Logan and the driving thing - I'm about to enter that arena myself. Danielle can get her permit in 26 days. Yikes.

Jen - Chandler fought the good fight last night, and there was a time when I thought they had it, but they were kind of outcoached in the last 6 minutes or so and ended up losing 24-21. They played so hard, I felt bad for them. They were at Corona, and Corona did kind of a cool thing...they held a raffle and accepted donations as well, and they donated all the proceeds (ended up being around $1000) to Dion's family. I thought that was really nice.

3 boys 1 girl said...

How nice of Corona to think of Dion and family.

Marcos lost too last night.