I walk into the Reno Rehabilitation Center and I can’t decide if the energy is that of a cathedral or a coliseum. I always promised to be as honest as possible with you. I know there are a good number of you who get your information about James Kansas Chapman from me. I get your various messages and I always try to relay them to him when I see him! Some are close friends who don’t live here anymore. Some are family. Some are people who just casually knew him and want to know how he is doing. Some are people who found out about him via my blog and you now want updates. I won’t go into all the details because some of these aren’t my truths to tell. But I stand by everything I’ve ever said about James Kansas Chapman. My bestfriend, brother and man I had lived with the past 5 years.
There was a time about 8 months ago when he was laying in a hospital bed in California just got out of about 6 hours of intense surgery that I thought we were going to lose him. He doesn’t remember the group of us being there that were present but even then he was the most positive person in the room. Smiling letting us know it would be okay, when it should’ve been the other way around. I’m glad it didn’t take losing him to realize he was an angel.
Kansas was the guy I told everything to, he was my roommate. Now I feel honored to tell him about my day or the trivial things in comparison to him going on in my life. Today my day started at 7a and with work plus school and didn’t end till 6:45p. The best part of my day was seeing Kansas around 7:05p and being able to complain about it for a little. The whole time knowing he is going through so much more. Putting everything in perspective and eventually forgetting all that and we’re just back to talking about the really important things like “can you buy Girl Scout cookies year round?”. Or that one time our friend did that one really stupid thing back when we lived in a fraternity house. We’re back to being just some friends in thier mid 20’s hanging out. Circumstances have changed but we are still just trying to figure out life.
Circumstances have changed but we are still just trying to figure out life…
Where most of us would be constantly crushed by the weight of everything going on. James is persevering. He is doing mental reps with the burden. When visitors come all he wants to do is catch up on their life, but will answer any question you have about what’s going on with him or his current status. Constantly when I see him I am am asking for an explanation about something going on in the process or how some contraption works. He probably gets the same first batch of questions every time someone new visits, but always answers the curiosity with enthusiasm. I see him interact with others who are seeing him the first time since the accident. And after the first 5 minutes all their nervousness is gone. You’re just chatting it up with Kansas, Jimmie, James, Coach K, Crazy Steve, Kan Kan, Carson. He doesn’t hate the world, which when this first happened I hated it for him. He has his days just like the rest of us. Those days were everything around us just seems heavy. Those days when the unexpected turns permanent. Those days where life just isn’t working in your favor. Those fucking days. I try my hardest not to have those days in front of him, because I want to be as much light in his life as possible. Kansas embraces what happened in a realistic fashion but he is not satisfied with the progress. He is a man that is going to love his life. Circumstances doesn’t define his existence. I am constantly thinking of ways to make this transition easier on him. Thinking of the Coachella Adventure. Every time I hand out a raffle ticket and explain his story. Getting people to go to his GoFundMe page. Possible technology in the future that could help his situation. Just doing whatever small part I can do.
Kansas had a story that deserved to be told before his accident at the Spartan Race. All of us are just glad there are still more chapters to be written.
We all have more chapters to be written…
There are certain people I think about everyday no matter what. The women I’ve loved, my family, close friends, my Pop Pop who passed over a year ago and James Kansas Chapman. These people guide me in a way that they will never know. Who do you think about everyday? Are they individuals you want to be better for? Kansas has always been an inspiration to me. We have always been like minded about so many philosophies and subjects. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me to be a better human in every aspect of life. But now he is has become a hero to me. His spirit is amazing. Just being his unbreakable self he is teaching me so many life lessons.
He is a constant in my life. And us humans take our constants for granted. The people there everyday, we don’t think they’ll ever be gone. Our roommates, best friends, relatives, husbands, wives. You always assume they will be there. Kansas has showed me all these angels in my life that I need to notice have halos before they are gone and have wings.
Notice they have halos before they are gone and have wings…
I don’t want to take any of this energy for granted. I want to enjoy this changing view. Freak accidents happen, people fall out of love, grandparents pass, time never stops. The unexpected becomes the permanent. You could have the best day or the worse day, the world keeps turning. Gravity will keep you down, but keep your spirits up. You have the ability to wake up everyday and shape your reality. Don’t put that off till later, do it now. I promised to be honest and these are truths. I realized this is a coliseum. I just had dinner and talked about life with a Gladiator.
Thank you for your eyes, I sincerely appreciate it every time. If you would like to donate or help James Kansas Chapman in any way here is the link to his GoFundMe.