Monday, March 8, 2010

My Chosen Family

I've heard said that friends are the family that you choose. I really believe this. You can really understand where people are coming from by meeting their family-family, but you can tell a lot about who people have chosen to become by meeting their friend-family. This week a tragedy has occured, and through it I have learned a lot about a very special friend of mine through interacting with both of his families.

I woke up Tuesday morning to find an email in my facebook inbox from the mother of one of my best friends, Mike. He had been driving home from his fiancee's house just after midnight late Monday night. He was driving on State St. on his motorcycle, when a 19 year old in an SUV didn't see him as she was turning left and hit him. He broke his femur in 3 places, broke some ribs, scraped up his face and banged up his head. He was life-flighted to UVRMC in Provo and has been in a coma ever since.

That first day, Mike's mom told me that she believe in the power of prayer, and asked me to get as many people praying for him as possible. I started making calls and sending messages, and the people I contacted started contacting other people. So many people have expressed their love and appreciation for Mike, all he has done, and the great person he is. Every time I see a member of his family, they express amazement at the outpouring of love they have felt from all of his friends, coworkers, etc.

His family-family has spent a lot of time at the hospital this week. I have been impressed how they have really stood together. They are all great people, and so much fun. I have seen such strength in them these past few days!

His friend-family is a lot bigger than I think anyone had realized. For a guy that was never very far from a computer, he really seems to have gotten around. In a good way. He has left a trail of friends all over this valley, dating way back to 1998 and all of his freshmen tre-dub buddies. He has fixed countless cars and computers, and has always been there for when I all I needed was a friend.

He was there for me when I was stood up one Friday night a few summers back, and I needed a last-minute replacement date to Brian Regan. He knew me well enough that he didn't mind that I was in a terrible mood and didn't talk much at all that whole night. He enjoyed himself that night despite my terrible company.

He was there for my dad when his truck broke down when bringing Allen up to BYU. Mike stayed up almost all night that Sunday dropping the gas tank to get in and fix the fuel pump so my dad could head home. He has always been so happy to help people out. He never accepted non-edible payment for any of the services he has provided to any of his many, many friends.

Mike is an important part of the family that I have chosen. There really aren't enough people like Mike in the world. He's a kind of gentle giant. Well, gentle most of the time. He's actually kind of scarily loud when there he is watching football or hockey, but at any other time he's pretty chill.

The doctors and nurses at UVRMC are taking good care of him. He's still in a coma, but showing some signs that he is healing physically. It's still too early to tell the condition of his brain, but there have been some small improvements over the past few days. His ward held a fast for him today, and his family said that they could really feel the outpouring of love and support surrounding them today. We're all hoping for the best, and hope he rejoins us soon.


  1. I really appreciate the post Karen, and for all you have done to keep us up to date on how Mike is doing.

  2. Wow. I hope he is progressing. You are a great friend, Karen. Sincerely. Alan and I talk about it all the time.