So you know I never do this.
But the prayers? They are needed.
One of Joel's students, a young man he is particularly close to who was really refocusing his goals under Joel's mentorship, was seriously injured during football practice. His neck is broken. He's in ICU. He is currently paralyzed from the neck down, though he has regained sensation in the lower half of his body. The paralysis may not be permanent once swelling around the broken vertebrae subsides. This could literally be his body's way of saying, "Dude, whatever just happened? WAS BAD. I highly suggest you NOT MOVE for a few days until we figure this out." His injury sounds similar in many ways to the accident Stephen had in 10th grade when he fell from some scenery, though he never experienced the paralysis.
I suppose there is some comfort in knowing that of all the ways that young men in Queens wind up in the hospital, this was truly an accident. Without a doubt, the trajectory of his life has changed, and there's a hard road ahead. I've never seen Joel upset in quite this way, but there's a sense of steely peace in knowing that there are very real, concrete ways he can help this young man- tutoring, etc.
And as we sit together on the couch at 1 a.m., my phone rings. It's Kelly. For those of you who have been following her dog Asia's story on her blog, I'm sad to say the news is not good. At the moment, Asia is under the care of a wonderful veternarian. I've said before that because dogs show us their unconditional love without words, that perhaps they can know we love them, too, even when we can't be there with them to say it. Love to you, puppygirl. Love. Love. Love.
Faith makes all things possible. It doesn't make them easy.