A Thick Skin and an Open Mind...

The ship went down, in sight of land.

This past Monday – August the 22nd, 2016 – I took a good tumble off of my stoop. It’s about a five foot drop, straight to the sidewalk below. I fainted, mid-conversation with a couple friends of mine, and just went over the edge face first. I hit the ground limp and unconscious, and my face broke my fall. They – Nat Padgett & Justin Wood (my brothers) – told me later that I was out cold for around two minutes before I moved. I don’t recall any of the fall or the following conversation with the EMS. I well received a concussion, some lacerations that later required stitching, and few facial fractures and broken bones. All in all, I managed a pretty good fall I suppose.

I could remember my name, when talking to the EMS, and that I had been shot when I was 17 years old, but I could not remember what day it was or who the president was. This is something I was told later, as I couldn't recall having any interaction with the Paramedics at all. It wasn’t until I was in the ER some time later, that I “came to” and became aware of my surroundings. Talk about being confused as fuck… I’ve never felt so dazed in my life. Save one Summer day about 8 years ago, but even still, it was different.

With time, and rest, I started putting pieces back together. It was all a very strange experience, to say the least. Yet, one more significant eye opener on this journey here. If I were to say that everything has gone back to normal, I would be lying to you. Things like this change you, and this is the second time in my 25 years here that I’ve experienced something so traumatic, life threatening, and other worldly.     

I’m not going to drudge on about this, but I do want to say that I sincerely, whole-heartedly appreciate and love those who were there to help and those who showed their concerns – my mother, mostly, who stayed with me until I was able to get back on my feet.  She’s a trooper, man – the best of the best. Without this woman, I’d be lost. She’s a marvel.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the incident, as well as previous incidents of the same nature. If there’s one thing to take from it – one thing that I can maybe put back out there for others – it’s this: Do not EVER, for one second, take ANY of this for granted.
You are granted nothing here, or there.   
A thick skin and an open mind is undoubtedly something you'll want to equip yourself with. 
Sooner rather than later. 

Keep your chin up out there,

-Jared C. Shumate