Seven Years Later

March 6, 2009 marked the seven year anniversary of a life-changing accident that forever altered the course of my life and I’m sure several others’. To celebrate my Rebirthday this year, I’m taking a multi-city trip first to Santa Rosa for our chorus retreat, then to Washington, DC to visit Karla and friends, and then to Chicago (where I am now) for College Summit Rap Director Training.

I wanted to share with you all a message and reminder that I got from Kristy last Friday, that includes an old email from me and an old post from Ryan about our paths and processes. Happy Reading.

With love,


hey guys,

today is our anniversary. our “re-birthday”, as rey calls it. i did some research, and found an old email from rey i wanted to share, as well as a blog post from ryan. i’m not the best writer, so i’ll let their words do the talking. i know that facebook can often be quite impersonal, but it’s been one of the best ways i know to keep in touch. i hope this email, today, finds you well and happy.


email from rey, 2004:
Remember two years ago?

Everyday, the scars on my face, chest and legs remind of a rainy March 6, 2002. There’s no longer any pain, other than the occasional ache, but if the body is able to feel the opposite of pain, that’s what I feel—I guess you can call it love.

These scars are devoid of pain and are instead filled with the love that I felt two years ago—and the love I continue to feel today. Whether it’s philos—the love between friends and family—or eros—the love between lovers—I still am holding on to the love you gave me, not for sentimental or nostalgic reasons, but because it reminds me everyday of what is important in life.

We almost died two years ago. Let’s not euphemize the situation—we almost died. But thanks to the grace of God, we are alive today.

I hope you’re living your life everyday as if you are fully alive. Not like you’re almost alive or like you’re almost dead. I hope you feel worthy enough to eat the freshest strawberries, juiciest pears, and creamiest cheesecakes. I hope you feel adventurous enough to climb the highest point you can climb—whether it’s in Idyllwild, on the Eiffel Tower, or on Mt. Fuji. I hope you are caring enough to look after a friend who’s sick (or hungover) or call up an old friend or family member for the sole reason of saying “Hello.� I hope you’re generous enough to feed someone who’s hungrier than you or to realize that there are people who are hungrier than you. I hope you feel silly enough to sing your favorite song out loud in public or make a funny face to a kid who least expects it. I hope you’re brave enough to do something different and challenging and not easy, like learning a foreign language or growing up. I hope you cry, laugh, punch a wall, hug someone, or show your emotions and your heart to someone, anyone, because letting that person into your heart is the first step to love.

I hope you feel like you deserve love—and not just any love, but the love that consumes your every muscle and bone. The love that makes you feel like you’re gliding in air. The love that fills up your lungs and when you’ve breathed in too much of it, you feel suffocated and fulfilled at the same time because of the intensity of it. You deserve love and happiness. As my good friend Cindy once told me, “You need to be ridiculously happy.� And if you’re not, ask yourself, “Why not?� And then change it. You deserve it. You deserve love.

So this is my present to you all on our so-called “Re-Birthday.� Take from it what you will, and, above all, take it as my love for you. Thanks for reading and God bless.

Warmest Regards,


blog post from ryan, 2006:

Well. I just realized that today was the 4-year anniversary of the car accident. It’s the first year not one of the passengers called or emailed. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t think the effects of the accident have entirely ceased in my life. For one, my back has been hurting worse than it has since the weeks immediately following the actual event.

It trips me out to think that my body went through that. What aggravates the problem is that I can’t remember any of it. Oh sure, I’ve reconstructed it a hundred different ways in my mind, trying to decipher what is truth and what my projection. I hope that when I get to Heaven I can watch some kind of angelic, slow-motion, mulit-angle replay of the moment of impact. What did my body actually go through? What did it do? What position was it in? Do you hear the preposition I use for my corporeal person? I’m referring to it as an It not a My? Even that further disassociates my own flesh from my Self (wherever that is).

The ethereal blackness. God am I dead?

And then to think that I was actually in the hospital when my parents were called around 1am. I can’t imagine how terrified they were.

I was out of it for weeks. I can remember that I didn’t find out what had happened to the other passengers until several days after the fact. I remember hearing of Reagan’s paralysis over the phone, I do not remember from whom. Everybody had been taken to different places after the crash like a micro-Diaspora.

My best friend Eli and his brother (and also my good friend) Josh were expecting me to come to Costa Mesa the night after the accident took place. There was some kind of volleyball tournament we were going to attend. Obviously I did not show up. They called my house asking after me and found out about the accident. They immediately came to see me. I was still asleep when they arrived. I seem to remember Shelvy was there as well. I was in my pajamas, three days having not showered or shaved. My jaw could hardly move it was so swollen from having been dislocated. Stitches across my eyebrow and forehead. Broken rib. Strained hip. Bruises and swelling all over my face. Vocal chords that hadn’t yet healed from being crushed against the window frame. Everyone was sitting at the dining room table when I limped out of my room and across the living room floor to join them. Nobody said a word; just looked at me. Yes, Shelvy was there because he gave me two burned CDs: Radiohead’s OK Computer, and Big Night Soundtrack. I finally broke the silence with, “I can have just been in a horrible accident, haven’t showered, busted bones, cut up face, bruises, and have just woken up and I’m still the most handsome bloke at this table.”

Here’s to four years of becoming.

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