May 7, 2012
I knew I would marry a hero.
I’ve always been drawn to inspirational men. Men who have a story. Men who have a passion…
Men who want to make a difference.
It’s Monday afternoon and my sweaty husband just came home from painting one of my parent’s care homes. Not because he was told – but because he volunteered. He does that often. He volunteers to take pictures for a family event, to barbeque at someone’s party or to chaperone kids while swimming. He’s a man’s man. He enjoys funny jokes, a good movie and a heated political conversation.
He’s my husband, David Casler. The father of our three sons. A former Marine. And a car bomb survivor.
Exactly seven years ago, while working as a Private Security Contractor in Iraq, David was in a Tahoe SUV along with two other convoys. In an instant, a suicide bomber drove his explosive-filled car into the convoy in front of him. A large explosion lodged a piece of shrapnel into David’s brain. In shock and bleeding, his colleague, Mark, pulled him out of their vehicle and led him to an alley before their convoy also exploded due to heat, oil and grenades. David was taken by his team who commandeered an Iraqi police truck to the International zone where he blacked out the moment he reached the military hospital. He was airlifted to Germany where he endured his first of six brain surgeries.
David re-learned how to walk and talk again. In addition to his depression and unrelenting seizures, he also dealt with a difficult divorce. In 2007, a few months before we met, he finally received a cranioplasty to correct the symmetry of his skull. In this period, he began to write.
One day in September 2007 I decided to network with more nonprofits on myspace. While browsing, I saw a comment by a handsome man. I clicked his profile and went directly to his blogs. In his writings I immediately sensed a deep, prolific and profound human being. I didn’t know his history. I didn’t view his pictures. I didn’t even check if he was single! I just subscribed to his writings without adding him as a friend.
Two weeks later, a stranger left several comments on my blogs. After much questioning, I realized it was “the poet” I had subscribed to earlier. From that moment we spent sleepless nights talking, sharing writings and dreaming about a future together.
This is an essay written several years ago, by a man I adore, love, honor and respect.
“Observations of Life by a Person with a Traumatic Brain Injury” By David Casler
It wasn’t that long ago that I was running for my life. A distance of time and space. Or maybe running towards my new life. “Time waits for no man.” The phrase is almost uncanny. Did you ever think that a life without regrets would be so scary? A life with no regrets is said too quickly.
It requires you to actually think of the future, the possibilities and uncertainty. I think people say it in reflection with no projection. That would require understanding of every path that life is going to take them. Life is too beautifully uncertain. Where you stand right now, is a sentence in a paragraph of a long story with no ending.
My observations are of life. Life, is the many people interacting and the effects that resonate from that interaction. Without life there would be no observations to observe. Here we are. The effects of everything we do have consequences. Are you prepared to except the consequences, good or bad, of life?
President Truman once said “No man is an island unto themselves.” Some people feel like islands in that they want to be left alone. Others, in that they think that they have effected no one. They think their life is meaningless, it is not.
You were born. You were one of a million that could have been born. The fact that you WERE, makes you the strongest. Whether you think it or not, you are. You fought with life and you won the race to be here. Please, never take that for granted. If you are saying, “Well, my life sucks, great prize I won!?” I ask you to consider one thing. The beauty of life is that we feel. We love to feel love. We hate to feel sad.
When you feel angry, sad or depressed, use it to your advantage. Use it to give yourself strength. When we are mad, there is a lot of power we hold in our bodies. When I would get angry at trying to learn how to walk again, that anger gave me the strength to challenge myself harder. When I felt good, I would meditate on my foot that wouldn’t work, I would close my eyes and see and think of my brain making connections, and then I would try to wiggle my toe. It stressed me out when I didn’t see the gains that I wanted to see, but I kept on. Now I walk, now I run.
Sometimes life is not about us. The joy we get from helping others, helps us. The light bulb was not invented because people needed it. It was invented because the inventor got irritated at reading the paper in the dark. It had more practical uses as time went by. And here we are. The effects, no matter what the reasoning, are here. They will expand in time, past our understanding, past our life.
So, what is life? In my opinion, life is but a thought. Simple. A thought derived by a feeling that expands infinitely. The momentum of that thought travels faster then light through our bodies. It brakes itself up into rays that continue to grow and split the farther the thought travels. That thought, is you. Ever growing, ever expanding in knowledge of the world and most importantly, yourself…..