Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reason To Live

Tonight I am writing and I am so elated and grateful and so very exhausted. We just accompanied Matthew on his move to his own room on the 10th floor. He is out of the ICU! He is out of the woods!!!! Everyone's prayers have been answered, reminding me of the awesome power of a universal intention, a belief in something larger than ourselves, a whirlwind of energy that moves us forward and gives us strength in the midst of such tragedy.

My brother was much more aware of his surroundings today and was able to speak with ease. He recalls his entire accident. He remembers the sensations, both physical and emotional. He remembers feeling and hearing his pelvis crush. He remembers feeling his left leg crush and thinking, "Well, I just lost that leg. I hope my other leg is still ok." He remembers the thoughts he had and describes the accident as "the longest five minutes of his life." He is aware of the extent of his injuries because he recalls the paramedics talking about them. Matthew shared some amazing things today. He spoke about the thoughts that kept him alive. His story is testimony to the power of determination and will to live. I shared with Matthew today how scared I was the day of the accident. I told him that I ran to Aunt Nancy's house when I found out and through tears told her, "I've always been so afraid of losing my brother. He's my only brother and life would just feel so lonely." Matthew said, "I know, I know." He said, "I was so scared, beyond anything. I thought, 'this is it,' and then I was worried that Mom wouldn't be able to handle it if I died. I was thinking about my life and how happy I am with Amber and how much I love you and James. I was looking forward to us all hanging out together and I could picture my future with you guys. I couldn't believe this was happening and I thought, 'Why now?' There were so many moments I could have given up, but I said to myself instead, 'Just stay conscious for one more second. You stayed conscious for the last second, just make it through one more.' The one thought that really helped me through was this: 'Now you can't just go around making people sad. There are people counting on you.' So I kept trying and I didn't give up."

He wanted to live for all of us. He was worried about us and he was worried about the effect his death would have on us. I can't imagine a more selfless act. In courage and in strength he kept himself alive and not even for the sake of himself. I feel that we are all so connected as human beings. We live for one another. We live for the communities in which we were raised and for the communities we have created for ourselves as we move into adulthood. We take the positive aspects and we make them grow. But we lose sight of this. Our busy personal lives serve as a microcosm of our busy society and reflect our neglect of the collective consciousness. We so easily forget the meaning in each of our relationships and the impact we have on each other and on this Earth. We distract ourselves with mundane tasks, about which we complain and use as vehicles to compare our lives to others' lives and wish for something more. We are taken away from the bigger picture, from the meaning in our lives, from the sweet smell of life, whether it be the fragrance of a beautiful rose or the smell of sweat that comes from a loved one alive in a hospital bed. I am convinced we must take the time to attend to these moments, to recognize the connections we have formed with so many others in our world and to recognize how blessed each of us is, to have breath, to have life, to have love.


  1. Finally a true sigh of relief! I can't wait to see my Matt Kelly and meet you finally Erin. We have our's to the long road ahead. Thank you so much for writing Erin!

  2. I have the biggest smile on my face and I'm so very happy to read this.

    Matt you're the MAN!!! Today is going to be a great day.

    YOU RULE ERIN and thank you for the updates. Please give a big hug to your Mom and Dad for me.

  3. I am so thankful to hear the news.... I love you all so much.

  4. Now My tears of joy can race down my face. Mathew got lots of prayers and he is surrounded by lots of love and most importantly, God is watching over him!
    Wafa K

  5. Wonderful news! What a testament to will, love, and collective prayer. Through this, I know that none of us can realize the potential of Matthew's continued progress. You are an amazing family. Your are held tightly in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for letting us all walk with you through this. Debbie

  6. Erin! I can't see the screen for my tears. To say we're all happy is such an understatement! Bless you for sharing it with us. Please cover Matt with kisses from us all.

  7. Erin-
    This is Kerry Redmond. My brother has been keeping me posted about Matt. We have been praying for you a lot.
    This is a gorgeous post. I will keep following. Please rest on our prayers for all of you.