Letters: Christmas 1998

Christmas 1998

Merry Christmas Everyone,
       It's amazing how time seems to dilute all my feelings. If I were writing this five months ago it would have an entirely different tone. I am doing this today though and my attitude has changed considerably. No longer am I angry and vindictive. I have accepted what has happened to me and I just want to get on with my life. The following is what 1998 brought to me:
       Not much occurred during the beginning of the year. I continued processing radioactive waste at EMC. In March I gave my Mom a ride on my bike which really scared her even though I thought we were going slow.
       April was full of motorcycling events. First was a hill climb at Carnegie that Shawn and I went to see. Towards the end of the month I took a week off from work to travel and attend some races. I stayed at my sister's place in Salinas for the event at Laguna Seca. Then I rode down to LA to visit Gerry. That week I participated in a great racing school at Willow Springs. After that I scooted down to Kingman, AZ to see my grandparents for a couple of days. Then it was back to LA to stay at Raudel's house and watch the races at Willow Springs. When the last man crossed the finish line it was time for me to head home, putting an end to my 2,000 mile trek.
       The first weekend of May I traveled to Sears Point with some friends to see another race. Those last 3 weeks were a lot of fun although it was very tiring. I also continued to frequent the Sweet River Saloon on Wednesday's with Shawn for South Park night. If you get Comedy Central on cable you should check it out (South Park) because it is a hilarious show.
       On June 28, I was out riding with four of my friends on hwy 108 when I had an accident. A motorhome, coming from the opposite direction, turned left into my path and I collided with him. The police called it away as a fatal accident but I was not dead. I was hurt bad, my bike was totaled, and the mediflight helicopter soon flew me to the hospital. There I had surgery on my right arm and leg. I now have an assorted variety of rods, plates, screws, and wires implanted into my body. After my week in the hospital I spent two months recovering at my parents house. I would like say thanks to everyone for your support during this time. All of your cards, visits, and telephone calls really helped me feel better.
       In August my Mom rented a large car and set up the back seat like a bed so we could travel to Oregon. It was great to be out of the house and see so many relatives. I really enjoyed attending Heather and Scott's wedding as well as the 50th anniversary party for my grandparents. At the end of this month my doctor gave me the good news that I could walk short distances and the very next day I moved back into my apartment.
       The next few months were pretty slow. I continued with my recovery and started physical therapy. In September my parents and I attended the annual Modesto Oktoberfest. It was a little difficult getting around the crowds in my wheelchair but it was definitely worth the trouble. I was walking a lot better in October so I went to a comic book convention in Oakland called Supercon III. Also this month a local investment firm was giving free seminars in Turlock. My mom and I attended and really learned a lot from them. I bought a computer in November and I have been trying to learn HTML (web page computer language) recently. I also decided what to do with the settlement money that I received from my accident. I invested it for my retirement. I left some available for medical bills that I am still receiving and other expenses but I wanted most to go towards helping me out in the future and not just wasting it frivolously.
       So far December has been very exciting. My parents took me to St. Stans brewpub for my 27th birthday. Then on Dec. 12th my sister was married to Warren. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was great. Warren's family worked very hard to get it all ready and everything turned out just fine. Two days later was my fathers birthday and we celebrated with a lobster, shrimp, and crab dinner that Sherry, Warren, and Richard were able to attend while on there their way back home.
       That's about it for now. The week after Christmas I get to help babysit Richard so the Tabutol's can go on their honeymoon. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
       Bill Chirrick