On July 2nd of this year, I was involved in a wreck that left my right hand and left shoulder injured. After almost two months of pain, I was sent to a plastic surgeon for a second opinion. I was sent from the appointment to the therapy department to be fitted for a brace. The nurse led me to the other side of the room where there were tables and chairs. I sat down next to an older gentleman with a veteran hat on. His name was Willard and after talking to him more, I found out that he was seventy years old and the injury on his left hand was caused from an accident with a table saw. I could see the years of hard work on his hands.

Before I left, Willard looked at me and said, “You know, it’s one thing for an old person like me to be injured, but it breaks my heart to see young people like you hurt.” I felt a lump forming in my throat because I sympathized with a man who was used to farming and putting in long hours barely able to move his hand. As I walked away and out of the clinic, I became misty eyed because what he said really touched me. In his pain, he was concerned about me. I realized that I am blessed beyond measure. Willard has such a positive attitude and outlook on life. We will both recover and heal, which is reassuring.

I never would have thought a man at seventy years young, fifty one years older than me could change my entire day and impact my life. Three weeks in a brace is such a small amount of time and I walked away with a new outlook on life. You can’t change the cards you are dealt, accidents cannot always be prevented and it is so important to make the most out of every situation that you are faced with. Willard made me realize that every person has their own obstacles that they have to face and it is important to be there for others. He is such a happy man despite the pain I know he was facing and I have decided to smile through the pain, to make the most of these three weeks and to help others along the way.

I am a strong believer in the fact that things happen for a reason and without this injury, I never would have met Willard and heard his story. God put me there to meet this kind man to share in my pain as I shared in his. My Grandma always says “Our job in this world is to help others through it.” Willard did just that and I hope to do the same for someone else. We may not always understand why things happen, but with a positive outlook on life, an entire situation can change. I feel blessed to have met Willard and I will always remember the impact he had on my life.