Tuesday 16 Aug 2016. I work with a man who is in the Army National Guard. He has had several tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. His name is James. He has seen and been through a lot in those tours, but nothing could prepare him for what happened this month of August 2016. He received a phone call that one of his troops had been in a horrific car accident locally. He is 30 years old, married and has a two year old child. There was a terrible rain storm. His vehicle had hydro-planed, and he had lost control and violently slammed into a tree. James told me the details of his condition after visiting him in the hospital. He told me it was one of the worst moments he had been through. When James arrived at the hospital his troop’s wife and parents were there sobbing. Their lives would never be the same. James explained to me that his troop was put into an induced coma. His hands and wrists were fastened to each rail of the hospital bed with carefully folded sheets. They had to restrain the young man because he had been flailing about in excruciating agony. They had to heavily medicate him and put him into an induced coma it was so bad. His spine had been snapped in two places, and one of his lungs was punctured. He also had brain swelling. James went on and explained how he had been in the waiting room with the family. They all were waiting for the doctor to come out. The doctor finally arrived with a not so good look on his face. James said he knew instantly this was going to be bad. He began to get up and leave out of respect of privacy to the family. The family called James back though. They wanted him there because they knew this young man worked and toured with James for several years. The doctor just came out and said it. He will never walk again. He would be paralyzed from the waist down. He would only have movement in his arms and head. This past Friday they operated and place a steel rod in his back in the hopes to allow him to sit up. The operation would be a problem though. In a good scenario it would be like fastening a rod against a pole. In this case, it would be like fastening a rod against a wet noodle. His spine is so jacked up there is hardly anything there to fasten the rod to. When the doctor finished saying what he had to say, James said it was one of the most awful things he had been through. The young man’s wife and his parents and other family members were completely shattered. Uncontrollable crying and sadness had filled the room. He said it was the most darkest and mournful moments he endured. James told me this young man is a good man. He was strong, athletic and had faith. His life and his families lives have been tragically ripped to shreds now. He will need constant care the rest of his life. He will not be able to run with his child or do the normal things we take for granted. The hospital bills will be insurmountable. His life will not be what it once was. There will be a “Go Fund Me” account established. This story had a profound effect on me this past week and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Any problems you may perceive pale and are minuscule in comparison. The next time I feel that I think my day isn’t going as expected, I am going to stop and think of this young man. I just had a compelling desire to paint something for him. I’ve been on this painting kick for the last several months. I don’t know what it is, but I went over thirty years without painting. Now I feel compelled to paint. I can’t paint just anything though. I have to have a real feeling about something first. I made this painting for this young man this weekend, and I am giving it to James to give to him at the appropriate time. Again, I don’t know why I just wanted to? I just feel I want to do something in addition to giving money. I will find out this coming week if his operation was successful. Since he has been sedated and in a coma, it’s unclear if he knows yet that he is paralyzed. I can’t imagine the pain he and his family will endure. It’s beyond comprehension to me. Bless this man and bless this family. I pray for all of them.