Saturday, January 21, 2012

a kick up the wotsit

Me and Sue were feeling a bit fed up and bored so we went on an adventure to Ikea in Nottingham.  We had a wander around and headed off to Starbucks for a sit down and a drink (and cake).
There was a young man sitting at the table next to ours, reading a book and writing a list.  When he put the book down I couldn't help but look to see what he was reading, it was "1000 places to see before you die".  He caught me looking and smiled.  So I said hello (well he was lovely!) and we got to chatting.  He told us some of the places he wanted to go and Sue and I had been to some of them so we chatted about those, I asked him how he would fund his trip.  (OK I am a Yorkshire girl and we are known for asking those things that no-one else would dare.)  What I was really asking was would he work his way around the world, or work here and save for his trip etc
The story the Young Man told us was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  He was 18, a marine serving in Afghanistan when he was involved in an 'incident'.  His vehicle was blown off the road, he suffered extreme brain injuries and was airlifted to hospital but not expected to live.  His parents had been flown over with a view to visiting him before his life support was switched off.  He twitched. He came back but spent the next three months in hospital.  His father campaigned to have him moved to a rehabilitation unit where he spent the next year learning how to walk, talk, feed himself and everything else we take for granted.  He had little memory and when he was told he was a marine he was disbelieving but so proud.  Age 19 he was retired from the marines.
At 23 YM's life is as good at it will be.  He slurs his words a little and told us that sometimes people assume he is drunk, I am ashamed to say I might too.  He wants to travel the world on his own so that he interacts with real people.  YM was handsome, cheerful, positive and happy to be.  His parents must be so proud of him. 

I am ashamed that I whine that it is cold.  That it is raining.  That I am bored.  YM has given me the kick up the wotsit that I needed. 


Sue said...

What an amazing story. Thank you SO much for sharing that - a bit of perspective is in order for me, as well, whining about snow and mud.

sweetypie said...

we are all so lucky, less whining, more sewing!!![meaning me]

sweetypie said...

postcards are great too!!!