Obviously lawyers got involved. There were arbitration hearings, and ultimately a substantial liability payout. Most unusual in cases like his, there was also a written apology, and an admission of guilt and negligence by the institution involved. All of the above is to be expected (OK maybe the lawyers and the payout are, but the apology and admission of guilt and negligence? Maybe not so much). But wait: that's not what this is about.
Going over it all, the details, the hows, the whys, and the wherefores, don't serve his purpose. What's knock me on my ass inspiring about him, is how he lives his life these days - not in spite of what happened, but regardless of it. And yes there is a critical difference. It's a subtle distinction. It's all in where he comes from.
My term of endearment for him is "Mr Majestig". It's not a typo. It's from "Majestic", but it's "Majestig" with a "g" not a "c". He's of Italian heritage. His surname ends in "ig". So it's "Mr Majestig". He calls me to drive him on errands: to the store, to the post office, wherever he needs to go. I love driving him. When I do, he plays CDs of what I describe as light Italian operetta arias. Although I speak not one word of Italian, I sing along with him, loudly, the two of us tenors in unison as I drive, startling anyone parked next to us at traffic lights if their window is open. "WAKE the DEAD!" he yells, enjoying their surprise, turning to me, laughing merrily.
The most telling insight I could share, into who he be's (that's what this is all about, really), is in what I find when I look for him in stores when we go shopping - at Trader Joe's, for example. I assist him getting out of the car and onto his wheelchair, after which I go my way to do my shopping, and he goes his way (he can move himself around) to do his. When it's time to meet up again, I walk perpendicularly to the aisles at one end, looking down each one ... and there's Mr Majestig: always surrounded by people. The man is a people magnet! However it is he be's, attracts people - a lot of them. Was he this way before the amputation? I haven't had that conversation with him. But I'll bet good money that in all likelihood, how he's chosen to deal with his situation, and his resulting way of being, has a lot to do with it.
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