I haven’t really been able to post about the awesomeness that is the uninhibited human strength and spirit of my friend Aaron. Unless you live in Lancaster, you probably don’t know Aaron. But if you do live in Lancaster, chance’s are you have a story about Lancaster’s favorite photographer. To fill you in on Aaron…he is the photographer for the Lancaster News. While our population is quite small, there is always something going on in town, and 9 times out of 10, Aaron is there to capture it. A few weeks ago, he came out to shoot the Community Playhouse’s production of James and the Giant Peach. I called out to him and we stood out in the parking lot with my friend Terri and talked about life. As you may or may not know, there have been monsoons popping up all over the Southeast, producing quite a bit of flooding. Guess who was on photo duty? Yep, Aaron. He was telling us how he was knee deep in water taking pictures of the flood and was attacked by ants. All while telling us this story, he was smiling. Aaron is always smiling whenever I see him. We all had to go back in the school to go about our respective jobs, but just before, Aaron requested we actually hang out together. To which I said, “Totally,” but like every other human being, you don’t really think much else about it because the craziness of the show got in the way. We didn’t set up a hang out day.
Not even two days later, I am hearing from a friend of Aaron’s that he was hit by a drunk driver coming back from Ballantyne Sunday July 14. The driver, of course, was fine but Aaron was not. He was airlifted to Charlotte and was announced to be in a coma. Everyone began prayers for him immediately and a Facebook page was created for him. From there, the Lancaster Community submitted their thoughts of love and healing to Aaron’s family. On Wednesday of last week, the doctors said he would only have a 10% chance of coming out of the coma with an additional 10% chance of being himself again. The news was heartbreaking. It just didn’t seem right. Less than a week before, we had sworn to see each other and now it seemed like he was never going to come back. The thought of it was surreal. I cried, I questioned humanity, I questioned my faith. I prayed harder than I had in a while. It’s not that I have a problem talking to God but I am not much of a churchgoer for undisclosed reasons but I also don’t consider myself an atheist. I am, I guess what you’d call a laid back Christian. I have my beliefs and I recognize that everyone else does, too, and that’s cool. Of course, when I DO talk to God, I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt because I don’t reach out to Him as much as I should. But once I get past that little bought of “I really shouldn’t bother because I have a feeling He’s turned his ears off to my jibber jabber because I haven’t done this in a while” I just talk to Him. I talked to Him a lot last week. I even talked to Aaron in hopes that maybe the Universe would catch my words and somehow transfer it to his subconscious. Weirder things have happened.
Like Aaron waking up! Now that is mind blowing. Aaron was the 5% chance and he woke up on Friday officially. He has had to be moved in and out of bed, but he is talking, comprehending questions, and is showing major signs of improvement. He is his own little miracle. Whether or not you’re a person of faith, there is something to be said about how strong we really can be. You can attribute it to God. I personally believe that God definitely had a hand in it. You can also credit it to the man who decided he was going to ignore what the doctors were telling him in his sleep and he actually woke up. Aaron has so many people in this small town who love him, and by goodness he has a promise to keep. We are hanging out soon. And I am so thankful for that chance.