Same Stuff, Different Day

Dave: “Hey! What’s going on?”
John: “You know. Same stuff, different day”

It was a normal conversation, on a normal day between two old friends. The conversation went on, well, like normal. Work is not what he wished it were but John was making it. John has been working on fixing up the house. The Steelers won though. “Go Steelers!” But overall: “Same stuff, different day”. The two thiry-somethings hung up like normal. “Catch ya later” rather than “I love you” – because that’s not what guys do, right? Even though they’ve known each other for 25 years, they don’t say it.

Two days later, Dave gets a call. John has been in an accident. They don’t know details right now, they’ll let him know.

One month later: John friend recognizes Dave’s voice but can’t see him. The doctor’s hope his vision returns. John’s motor skills are impaired. He may be able to swing a hammer to work on his house again – in a year or maybe never. They’re just not sure of the extent of the damage. Something is not quite right with John mentally. He asks the same questions over and over “Where am I?” “The hosptial? How did I get here? What happened?” They tell him, he cries and gets upset. Twenty minutes later, he asks, “Where am I?”. They’re still running tests and doing the best they can for John but there seems to be a lot more questions than answers.

As Dave leaves the care facility, drained from putting on the brave face for John and his loved ones, he thinks of how fragile life is. He realized he and John had lived their life day to day, taking for granted the simple things like the ability to walk, to write, to watch the Steelers, to work and the ability to do simple chores or fix up the house.

As Dave wipes a tear from his eye, his phone rang. An old buddy from college. “How you doing?” his friend asked. Dave started to give the pat answer, “Same….” He paused. “Life is good! I’m vertical. I’ve got my health. How are you?” The two caught up. They hadn’t spoken in months. His buddy finished up, “Well, it was good to talk to ya, man. You take care.” “You too, man. ‘Love ya.” The friend paused. “I love you too, man.” They hung up. He’d said it. He broke the “guy rule” and said it. No matter what else happened, he said it.

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