Today was a BIG day. Not your normal big day, a life changing kind of amazing big day. I woke up around 3 to take a leak. I was really excited about my upcoming day but knew that I should try to get at least another half hour of sleep before I got it started. I had set an alarm for 4am so that I could be ready to just head right down to the car once the girls arrived at 5am. I finished up all of the last minute touches for leaving for a whole day, pills, passes and cathing supplies. It is a little different than normally just running out of the house like I used to. Everything went smoothly and we got to the car to load up. I transferred into the front seat of Alex Wilhelm's car, a tiny Saturn. The girls then broke down my chair and began attempting to fit it in the trunk. Because the chair that I use at RIC is a rigid frame it doesn't break down like a folding chair would. The beautiful lime green frame wouldn't fit in the trunk, so my mom and Kalli had to ride all the way back, four hours to Appleton, with it between them in the backseat of the car. This was a good learning experience for it made me realize that I definitely have to get a fold-able chair when I go to pick my own.
We arrived at Reid Golf Course where an amazing charity golf outing was being held for me all day long. A few people had already arrived and more and more just kept showing up as we got closer to the ten o'clock shotgun tee time. We ended up with ninety-seven golfers making up 24 teams which dominated the entire golf course for almost the entire day. Kalli, Mark and I rode three across in our own golf cart so that we could run around like a marshal and harass all of the teams on the course. Not only was it an amazing turnout out on the course, but the clubhouse was also filled all day long with friends and family showing their support. We had a ton of fun going from group to group, handing out snacks, beers, and taking pictures.
Every hole had a fun contest to partake in from closest to the pin to shortest drive, everyone had a chance at some prizes. After a full day out on the course everyone began piling into the clubhouse where there were tables and tables filled with many different prizes and packages for a silent auction. I can't say enough to thank all the people that made it possible by donating prizes, services, and so much more!
There was a spread of food surrounded by a sea of conversation which filled the room as everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time for it was truly a perfect day. The weather was great, the turnout was amazing, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to come back to Appleton for my first time. After rolling around talking with so many great friends and family I hadn't seen in years I got a plate of food and mowed down as quickly as I could for I had to get back to RIC by around 8:30 or so. After eating, I snuck off into the back locker room to take a leak when no one was looking, it is pretty funny the places you can take a leak when you are peeing into a catheter bag.
The silent auction continued to be a great hit as the people circled the tables bidding on their favorite prizes. You could see people keeping an eye on things they wanted, going back and outbidding to make sure they got what they wanted. After a while, Jill Long, Mark Lee and David Lee began announcing the winners from each hole. Prizes were handed out and it was fun to see who was beating up the course and who was letting the course beat them up.
The giving spirit of the entire group was absolutely unbelievable. The whole time I rolled around in the club house speaking with different people I was so filled with love, support, and comfort it was hard to keep it together. At one point, I took a quick stroll around the tables filled with all of the silent auction prizes and each item made me think how much everyone loved me and was willing to do so much to help me get back on my feet. I couldn't believe how much was donated and offered towards the cause of the day.
After all of the prizes were announced, grand prizes were awarded to Brian Much and Bob Rodesavich for several hundred dollars each. Without blinking an eye each of them took their winnings and stuck it right in the donation box making the clubhouse explode with celebration and emotion. Choking back the tears at this point my heart started beating faster and faster for I don't think I have ever experienced such a rush of love in my whole life. Shortly after these tremendous acts of selflessness the crowd all placed their eyes onto me for I wanted to try to thank everyone with a few words. Although there aren't even words in the english language to describe emotions that were flowing through my body I tried my hardest to speak from my heart. With tears running down my cheeks and my voice continuing to leave me I professed how grateful I was to be surrounded by such wonderful people that beautiful summer day. I can't thank each and every one of you enough. Thank you, thank you, and yes I am going to say it one more time, THANK YOU.
After saying goodbye Kalli, my mom and I got into the car to head back to the RIC. On my way back I thought about how excited I am to move back to Appleton and to be near so many of my family, friends and everyone that is supporting me. It truly made me realize how far my rehab has already gotten me and that I am ready to move on to the next step towards an independent life.