Home & Healing


After two days in the hospital we are home. I’m encased in a back brace which is a hard shell cover that makes me look like a turtle. 
I will wear it 24/7 for three months. 
It took me a few days  to get used to being totally dependent on other people. Our daughter flew in from Alaska and worked pretty much 16 hours a day cleaning, cooking, playing with the dogs, washing clothes.  Our son was with us the first three days, giving up a long-awaited camping trip with friends. He’s been here every night.
Our president called me in the hospital and sent her love and support, telling me to take all the time I needed.
Until you’re in a position where you need that phone call and that support, words can’t describe how much it means. 
I’ve had  cards, calls and emails from the friends and colleagues on campus, the town and from around the country.  I never knew how consoling and uplifting those thoughts, prayers and good wishes were until now.
Some friends and a couple reporters (also friends) asked me if the accident, the near-death experience, changed me.  Certainly.  But more importantly, it has enhanced and given depth to everything I’ve always felt.
I’ve always believed in the importance of family over all else. Our kids, my brothers, my mother, were all here for us.  It helped physically in the day-to-day things, but it also helped spiritually.
I’ve always believed in Mansfield University and the borough of Mansfield.  The outpouring of love, prayers  and thoughts only deepened this feeling. 
Professionally, when I look back at all my experiences during the last four weeks –from the airlines to taxis to EMTs, nurses, doctors, and insurance agents– I judge those experiences by the way Linda and I were treated, the human interactions. No matter where these people were on the food chain, they represented their companies.  I never once saw an administrator. Transpose that to a college campus and you have a lot of answers to questions about PR, marketing, recruiting, alumni relations.  It’s all about human interaction, professionalism, sincerity, caring. . . .

*            *            *

Writing has been my life.
Writing this blog has been a way of sharing an experience, which is, of course, therapy.  So you have been an important part of my healing.  I do not say this lightly.  Every person who has read my posts has contributed to my recovery process.
As a writer I live in constant dread of being boring or irrelevant.  So with that, I end this series.
Life goes on and I can’t begin to tell you how much that phrase means to me.

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8 responses to “Home & Healing

  1. Dennis, I’m just catching up with my blog reading. So sorry about the accident. I wish you and your wife to get well soon.

    Take care and thanks for sharing your experience and lessons learned throughout this ordeal. It reminded me how things can change in a split second and how important it is to enjoy life and time with family and friends.

    Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for your note and thoughts, Karine

  3. wow, what an amazing series- a bittersweet feeling of good and bad, yet in the end everything is alright. I pray for a safe recovery…

    I don’t get it sometimes, but I like to say things happen for a reason and it’s biblical that God will never let you undergo any trials or tribulations you cannot handle- plus He’s always there for you too!

  4. thanks, throughHislens, for your comments, thoughts, and prayers.

  5. Glad to hear the end of the story and sad to hear about your misfortunes. Be patient and the healing and strength will come back with time. Praying for a speedy recovery, Dennis!

  6. Thanks, Brad. I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and prayers

  7. I am also glad that you’re on the road to recovery. Your family is in my prayers.

  8. Thanks, Susan. Every thought and prayer helps.

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