Last Monday, my daughter-out-law's brother was stacking wood outside his home in Amherst, Massachusetts, in preparation for the big storm coming their way. The portable basketball hoop was in the way and as he tried to shift it, it toppled over. The backboard smashed into his face, breaking every bone except his lower jaw.
He got to the garage, where he'd left his cell phone, and called 911. Then, with great presence of mind, he staggered across the driveway and planted his broken face in a snowbank until help arrived.
Since he never lost consciousness, the hospital didn't admit him. Instead, the next day, his wife took him to a surgeon, one of two in the Boston area who specialize in facial reconstruction. They discussed various options, including removing his face, rebuilding the bones, and then stitching it back on. No biggie, said the doc. By February, no one will know there was ever anything wrong.
They set a surgery date for Friday.
This surgery was to be done on an overnight outpatient basis. Under this plan, following the 7-hour procedure, he would stay overnight to be released early the morning, with less than 24-hours of hospital stay.
At the time of surgery, the doctors decided to leave his facial skin in place and do all their work through his mouth. At some point during the surgery, they had to intubate him. He came through the surgery fine, but, due to the tube, was placed in intensive care and didn't go home.
He was doing fine, he was conscious, talking, he was fine, and then, early Sunday morning, following a pain shot, he stopped breathing. And, shortly after, stopped being a resident of this dimension.
He was 42 years old. He leaves a wife, two children, a mother, a father and three sisters. He was to have been my grandkid's guardian, should anything happen to Phinn and Harper's moms.
He leaves a man-sized hole in the universe, and one far larger in the hearts and lives of those around him.
God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're working our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway
When in fact we're slip slidin' away.