Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Saga of our Neighbors Part Three

It was the first weekend of Winter Jam in January, 2012. We sat down for dinner in catering when Brock's phone rang. "Hey Johnny!" I heard him say. Then, his facial expression turned grim. He walked out of the noisy room and I followed him. After the call ended, he looked at me and said, "That was Johnny, Billy's brother. Billy was at a party last night. Things got crazy and he fell off of the porch and hit his head. He died on the way to the hospital," and he quickly added, "but they were able to revive him!" "That guy has nine lives!" I said breathing a sigh of relief. "There's more," Brock continued solemnly. "Billy is paralyzed from the neck down." My breath caught in my throat as I asked, "Will it come back? Sometimes paralysis is temporary after an accident." Brock said, "They think he may regain some mobility, but he will never walk again." A few weeks later, Brock and I went to the assisted living home where Billy had been transferred. When we walked into his room, Billy was asleep. His bed was propped up and he had his head tilted back and eyes closed. I noted how different he looked. He was pale and frail, not the vibrant Billy I was used to. Brock gently spoke his name. He stirred and looked at us without recognition. Brock said, "It's Brock from next door." We both chuckled when Billy asked, "Who???" We chatted with him a while. He was heavily medicated and not very coherent. I told Billy the Lord must have something special planned for him because he had died and been brought back to life three times! After several minutes, he looked up at Brock and said, "I'm hot. Can you take off my shirt?" Brock Gill laughed and said, "Billy, you never did like wearing a shirt!" Then, he leaned down and carefully removed his white t-shirt. Brock talked with Billy's sister who is a Christ follower. She told him Billy got saved in the hospital a few days after the accident! I pray that's true. Every now and then, we take Johnny and go visit Billy at the assisted living home. The last time we visited, he had won a popularity vote and was teasing the nurses. He is back to the same Billy just a different place and circumstances. He will live at this home indefinitely. Now enter Johnny. He moved into Billy's house. I will tell you about him and his roommate tomorrow. It all leads up to last Saturday evening...