October 30, 2014

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Challenge or Jeffrey 2.0?
Written by Bob Hyle   
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:53 PM

Over the years, many of you faithful readers have come to know my son, Jeffrey. He’s been a source of entertainment and amusement for hundreds of these columns. For those of us who love him, we have been pleased to see him become more serious - though still with touches of his own brand of maturity - as he took a partner and became a father.

Jeffrey found himself sorely tested a little over a week ago when a seemingly innocent accident took place that literally changed the way Jeffrey now sees things. Exiting his car as he arrived home from work, he dropped a bottle of home-brewed beer that his boss had presented him a few hours earlier.

The bottle exploded off the pavement.

Have you ever dropped a bottle or a jar? Unless you were on your knees when it happened, you probably didn’t worry about glass flying through the air and landing on the most sensitive part of the human body.

Which, in Jeffrey’s case, is exactly what happened. A shard of glass sliced open his cornea. The following morning, surgeons from University Hospital operated to repair the cut and were successful in doing so. Speaking with them afterward, though, they told us simply that they did not know the long-term prognosis.
As the days have gone by, we are more hopeful. It appears that he will retain his eye, but his vision will likely be impaired barring some miracle of science.

 Many people clutch for straws in these situations, but Jeffrey has been remarkably calm and collected.

“The minute they told me they were preparing me for surgery I knew I was in trouble,” he told me.

Since that day, I have thought a lot about how others deal with these stressful situations and I pray that Jeffrey will show the strength and courage that people like Harrison’s former football coach Dick Nocks has displayed along with the hundreds of injured soldiers who return home from war zones.

Fortunately, Jeffrey has one good eye for now. Depth perception and peripheral vision will be issues he has to deal with, but he will be able to resume his new life soon while taking extra care of his good eye.

Saturday I was at the mall when I walked by a woman sitting in a motorized scooter. A second woman also walked by and remarked to the woman on the scooter, “I wish I had one of those to get around, I’m tired.”

The woman in the scooter didn’t hesitate to respond to the insensitive remark, “You should thank God that you can still get around without being stuck in this chair.”

 If the scene hadn’t been so bizarre it would have been amusing. The woman who was walking may have learned a small lesson right there, but she bid such a hasty retreat that we’ll never know for sure.

How we deal with challenges is what defines us. For 29 years, Jeffrey has been defined as a care-free guy who made the people around him smile.

My wish is his new challenges can be overcome with that boyish sense of humor that I’ve always loved, but this is a new day and a new Jeffrey. As the technology people like to say, we are now on Jeffrey Version 2.0.

Bob Hyle, Bright, covers sports and writes a weekly column for The Register’s sister paper The Harrison Press.