It’s been a week since I experienced one of the most surreal days of my life. The outpouring of love and support that I experienced at Sonoma Raceway on November 18th was like nothing I’ve ever experienced racing 22 years. It’s a day I will most certainly never forget in my life. Seeing old friends like, Tom Houseworth, James Lickwar, Steve Rapp, Chris Fillmore, Josh Hayes and Melissa Paris as well as Jason Pridmore. Also, all the old friends that I was really surprised the made the trip for the day. I’m sure I’m missing many people who traveled miles but the whole day was so overwhelming. Heck, Anneliese had relatives from LA show up. Thanks Tom and Judy. My good friend, Pete Doyle, who was very instrumental in the whole day – I can’t thank enough for being so good to my family and me. His mother in law, Gail Fenlon, made sure she was here from Georgia. Her whole family from Georgia has supported us from day one. Her daughter in Georgia leads her company meetings with a prayer for my recovery every week. I can write a book on the amount of stories I hear daily about the incredible people and their well wishes. Pete’s wife, Christy, always sends a supportive “pep” text to my wife to help keep spirits up. The day was filled with Lisa and Kenny opening up their trailer for everyone who needed to change for a 2-up ride with Jason Pridmore. It started with Anneliese and Lisa leading the pack for the 2-lap ride around the Sonoma racetrack on the back of Jason’s 2-up bike. My daughter, Alli, my son Jack, and Kenny’s son, Kyle followed suit. The kid’s mom, Jen, also gave it a try. They all were very nervous but got off the bike with a smile on their face and hands slightly still clenched tight! Some had their legs still shaking! The car ride around the track was the first time since the accident I had a helmet on and felt that adrenaline rush that I oh, so love… going around one of my favorite tracks, we took a ride in Pete’s hot rod station wagon, Cadillac CTS-V. The ride was fairly calm until we exited turn 7 on the last lap – Pete turned the wheel hard to the right and stabbed the gas. It took a second but Pete’s desired result ended up being one of the best saves I’ve ever seen. Jack and Kyle, who were seated in the back, erupted with screams of excitement. Thanks Pete, I really needed that! Then came the group picture, I have to say, that was really overwhelming. The amount of people that came up to me before the shoot and after was incredible. The overwhelming feeling of love at that moment was something I will never forget the rest of my life. After the picture, while I was thanking everyone for their hard work, it was hard to hold back how I was feeling and I got really choked up. I really wanted to thank everyone for all the support and helping me get through some really dark/tough times.
The reception was like an AFM/AMA reunion, it was great to meet people that came long distances that I had never met – and old racing friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. The auction was amazing and I almost wanted to bid on a few items myself! I was able to stay most of the day but around 6pm, I looked at Anneliese and said I need to go. They got me in the car in 10 mins and we were home by 7pm. I was seriously out by 7:15 while Anneliese was getting me undressed, cleaning my wound and hooking me to the feeding tube. I laid in bed and rested until 4pm the next day. I was wiped but had the greatest day ever!
My health has been overall pretty darn decent in the past couple of weeks- knock on wood. I went to see the wound doctor last week, my awesome home health nurse, Deanna, also came on her day off. They seemed pretty pleased on how they were looking and seem to think we are doing all the right things in order for them to heal. I still have the wound Vac on the one on my back. My home health nurse, Deanna comes everyday to change dressings if needed and to check my health. She’s been instrumental in my healing process by keeping us informed and on top of everything. We have had a lot of company over the past week and have enjoyed visiting with all of our friends. I recently told Kelly Sillers that I can’t do anything! She responded, telling me that I need to search for my “New Horizons”. I am still searching for it – but I am trying new things! Sunday, while all the kids decorated the house for Christmas, I went and shot guns with my friend Tim Blasquez and Shawn Healy. It was great to get out and try something I’ve never done, thanks guys! This past Monday was my first Outpatient Rehab appointment in Vallejo. I’m back with my “Wrecking Crew Leader”, Todd. Looking forward to going there weekly to help me get stronger. I’ve also inquired about a place in Pleasanton called SCI fit. They are a spinal cord gym, where they only work with people with spinal injuries. I’m thinking about incorporating into their program as well. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this year – because I have a lot to be thankful for. My wife Anneliese, who is now an expert in nursing, caregiving and assorted other duties, yes I said duties lol- has done so much for me and I’m thankful everyday to wake up next to her.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and thank you everyone for coming out to my Benefit on Monday. Love you all!!!!
A HUGE thank you to Sonoma Raceway, 3 J’s, Zoom Zoom, Shawn Reilly, Dave Benjamin, Berto Wooldridge, Dave Worthington, Jenah Smith, Yamaha, and the best guy to call my best bud, Pete Doyle. Thank you everyone else that I’m not mentioning for making the benefit a day I will never forget!! Barry you rocked the cop car! Next time I will have sirens for you to clear the way! Hot pursuit baby, hot pursuit!
Here’s to the first month that I haven’t been admitted to the hospital since the accident! Yea, November.
Btw, here’s a get well to Eddie’s cousin Jessica who had brain surgery today. Get well Jessie, we love you!!