Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Down, Seven to Go

Fred sent out the note below with the title of "Two Down, Seven to Go" to everyone he works with, and I really appreciated hearing his side of the story, so I thought I would share it with those of you that read this but don't work with Fred.

Many of you know that I have now returned to work on a part-time basis but I wanted to send out a message to say hello and provide you with some information about my recent “vacation”.

The first thing I want to do is say thank you to everyone for all the tremendous support and good karma that you all sent out to myself and my family during the past 3 months. I was a bit taken back by all the good will that was being sent our way and it really left a lasting impression on me about what a wonderful company we have. The values that were established early on in Mercury’s history set the standard for the manner in which we conduct business and represent ourselves in the community. It is only during the tough times when an organization’s values are truly revealed and once again the values of the people that make up Mercury have shined brightly.

From the time that I was initially visited in the hospital by some dear friends, up until yesterday when I read through some old birthday well-wishes, I have continuously been impressed by the generosity and good nature of all of you. That helped to keep me motivated for a quick recovery so I could return to work ASAP, and I sincerely appreciate that! The monetary donations that were collected significantly helped to ease the burden of the day to day expenses that my wife was faced with and the value of that cannot be understated.

I would also like to mention that up until this point we have been pleasantly surprised by the coverage and treatment that we have received from our benefits providers. It goes without saying that it will be quite some time before all the obligations are fulfilled but so far it has gone better than I initially expected. Terry Moore and the rest of our HR team deserve a lot of recognition and appreciation for the time and work that they have invested in evaluating our benefits providers. Say “cheese” ladies!

Since my return to Durango I have had a chance to talk to many folks but I there are still a lot of folks that I have not caught up with. It seems that everywhere I go I’m still running into folks who want to hear more about what happened and/or how I’m doing. So let me take a moment to offer few details so you have a better understanding of what it means for my work status.

Overall, I have had an amazing recovery considering the serious nature of the Traumatic Brain Injury that I sustained (“TBI” to those of us in the biz). TBIs are a bit of a crap shoot in terms of the short-term and long-term effects that they can have. Statistically I appear to be beating the odds and my doctors and therapists have been quite amazed by the speed of my recovery. I feel very fortunate to be back to nearly 100%, but the reality is that I am still fairly early on in this process and I am not yet at 100%. For this reason, the doctors are currently limiting me to 24 hours/week at work and I do have some dietary and physical precautions that I have been advised to follow. I’m afraid I just have to stay away from ladders while I’m here. Fortunately, I expect the limit to my available hours here to be eased in about 2-3 months.

Those of you who know my history know that this is my second major close call and that this is also my second TBI. In the past few months I have heard a lot of folks comment that it appears I have nine lives or that I might actually be a roach. Personally, I prefer to think that I am actually related to Keith Richards and I take comfort in the fact that my wife now knows that she can’t kill me for the insurance money. But all joking aside, I want to take just a moment to pontificate about these life experiences (while listening to Exile On Main Street-of course).

While I am somewhat reluctant to start preaching the merits of wearing a helmet to everyone, I do feel that it is well worth mentioning that there is no way I would be here, composing this email, had I not been wearing one when I crashed. I’m not going to pretend that there haven’t been times over the years when I didn’t leave the helmet at home because “I was just going for a quick valley ride” or because I was only riding around town. I did however, make a conscious decision over the past couple of years to always wears my helmet, for my wife and daughter’s sake, and I am very glad that I took that responsibility seriously. Now that I have witnessed the disparity of injuries and effects that are sustained by folks with and without them first hand, I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a helmet (and having your kids wear one) for each and every activity that merits one. It only takes one unexpected accident and a lifelong disability is not something that would be very easy to accept when you know that it possibly could have be avoided.

It is unfortunate fact of life that very few of us get through it without facing some significant challenges and/or personal tragedy. Simply put, life is a pretty delicate matter. While it is often easy to get caught up in our own personal drama, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize and acknowledge the challenges that the folks around us may be experiencing. Likewise it can also be difficult to remember to appreciate all the fortunate circumstances that we experience over the years. When life presents you or someone you care about with challenges, I sincerely hope that circumstances will allow you to meet them as strongly and as successfully as possible. Perhaps more importantly I also hope that when life is going well, you are able to recognize it, and appreciate it to the fullest extent.

Now I’ll be quiet and get back to work already…


  1. Very well said! I am proud of Fred for opening up and sharing his thoughts with his co-workers!

  2. We like to think that you have used two of your nine lives and will keep the rest unused. It is nice to know that your company has treated you so well. No doubt you have earned their respect and appreciation.
    Love ya'
    Mom and Val